|2012 MAJOR BRANDON EVENTS
keep checking out www.brandon.org for updates and more details.
FARMER'S MARKET - Fridays from May 25 - Oct 13 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Stop by the Market in Brandon's Central Park. Vendors sell the freshest produce, breads, jams, honey, maple products, and crafts. For more info call 273-2655
BRANDON TOWN BAND Every Monday as long as it isn't raining, Brandon's multi-generational town band plays in Central Park starting at 6:30 pm. Bring a chair or blanket!
FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES - Concerts are being scheduled. Free. Outdoors in the Park. Excellent Music!
MAY 26-27 - OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND - Open Studio Weekend is going to be an event-filled time in Brandon. Brandon always has one of Vermont's largest concentrations of artists.
JULY 6 - UNDER THE STARS - Bring the whole family for an evening of great family fun. Free street dance begins at 6 pm hosted by Jam Man Entertainment. Spinning all the family friendly greatest hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today! Central Park will open at 5 pm and be home to various activities. Wide variety of food vendors! Grab the family and come on down.
JULY 7 - INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION - "Largest Independence Day Parade in Vermont." The Brandon Independence Day Celebration includes Music, Activities, Parade, and Fireworks at Dusk. For more information call 247-6401.
JULY 12 - 15 - The 18th Annual BASIN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL - Lots of events, activities and above all, MUSIC. Day and weekend ticket prices. Celebrate all things Bluegrass in the Basin! On the web at: www.basinbluegrassfestival.com. For more info, call 802-247-3275 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY 24 - GREAT BRANDON AUCTION - If you can only attend one auction this summer, make it this one! 24th annual auction! Benefit auction offering quality goods and services. Attic treasures and barn bargains. New art, merchandise, gift certificates, antiques, furniture and lots of surprises. 4 pm in Central Park (2 pm preview); Terms: Cash or Good Check. Auctioneer: Barb Watters. Rain or shine. For more info call 247-6401. This is the Brandon Chamber's one and only annual fundraiser.
AUGUST 4 - YARD SALE DAY - Day-long event - Sidewalk Sales and Town-Wide Yard Sales; Sales start at 9 am (some earlier) and last as long as there are still bargains available! Rain or Shine.
SEPTEMBER 29 - BRANDON HARVESTFEST - Come make Harvest People (aka stick figures, scarecrows, Leaf People...) with the experts. You can even take one home! Hay Rides, Apple Pies, Pumpkins, BBQ, Brandon Town Band. Starting at 10:00 am in Central Park; for more info call 247-6401
OCTOBER 6 - Brandon Farmer's Market Harvest Fair - in Central Park. This Fair is one of the Market's highlights of the season with crafts, fibers, farm goods, handmade items, etc.
|BRANDON CONTESTED RACES CANDIDATES FORUM
There are two contested races on the Brandon ballot this year and all four candidates have been invited to a Candidates Forum on March 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the Brandon Senior Citizens Center. For the three year Selectboard seat, incumbent Kellie Martin is being challenged by David Atherton. For the Listers seat, incumbent Lou Faivre is being challenged by Maria Ammatuna. The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event, which will be moderated by Charlie Jakiela. Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions from the public. If you would like to submit a question in advance of the forum, please email it to: email@example.com and put CANDIDATES FORUM in the subject bar.
STREETLIGHT UPGRADES AND
IMPROVEMENTS COMING TO BRANDON!
The Brandon Lights Committee, a volunteer citizen group, has assessed all street lighting in Brandon and Forestdale. Our goal is to improve street lighting quality while becoming more energy efficient and saving taxpayers significant dollars. Every street light has been evaluated according to criteria developed by lighting professionals and adopted by the Brandon Select Board. To be retained, all street lights must be in the public interest for safety or collective aesthetics, as follows:
- Vehicular and pedestrian safety, including:
- Busy intersections
- High-traffic roadways
- Pedestrian crosswalks
- Railroad crossings
- Sharp curves
- Locations of high night-to-day accident ratios
- Public facilities used after dark such as public walkways, parks, or recreation areas.
- Street-side areas, such as school bus stops or municipal buildings, where there is a regular congregation of people after sunset or before sunrise.
2. Ambiance & Aesthetics
- Downtown business district (general, not individual)
- Areas with relatively high nighttime pedestrian traffic such as near parks or restaurants
Lights that do not meet these criteria will be recommended to the Select Board for removal. Every light removed will save energy and approximately $150/year in taxpayer dollars. All remaining lights will then be changed from incandescent to LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures by CVPS at no cost. New fixtures will save 50-75% in energy use and will cost taxpayers 20% less than present lights. They will also give a "cleaner" and clearer light, with less light pollution of our night skies.
The Committee is very interested in citizen comment during this process. The location of all street lights being considered for removal is public information and may be found a) in the Brandon Reporter, February 8, 2012; b) at the annual Brandon Town Meeting, March 5, 2012; c) in the Brandon Free Public Library. Additionally, the pole holding each light being considered for removal will be posted with a bright orange notice.
If you wish to comment on any aspect of the project you may send an email (with your contact information) during the comment period to LightsBrandon@gmail.com; or you may mail or take a note to the Town Office, Attn: Brandon Lights Committee. All comments must be received by 5 PM, March 12.
Comestirit up at the first annual Cocktails for a Causefundraiser for the Maclure Library and Brandon Public Library.
Bring a crowd of thirsty friends and join us at the
Center Street Bar / Café Provence any time between 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28.
A sampling of guest servers includes:
Pittsford: Butch Shaw, Peg Flory, Barry Ferraro, Patty Morale, Bill Herrington, Jamie Stewart, Jeannie Corbett.
Brandon: Warren Kimble, Bette Moffett, Bernie & Steve Carr, Sue Gage, Nancy Rowe
And of course, The Librarians
So, don't miss out on a great time and a chance to support your community's libraries!
Pass it on!
LOAF, LEAF, LADLE SUPPER
SATURDAY, FEB 25TH 2012 TIME: 5-7
BRANDON CONGREGATIONAL FELLOWSHIP HALL
RT 7--BRANDON, VT.
10-12 HOMEMADE SOUPS TO TRY---BREADS---SALAD BAR--PIES & BEVERAGES
ADULTS $9 YOUTH 5-12 $4 UNDER 5-OUR GUESTS
FURTHER INFO: CALL CINDY 247-4130
Mothers Of Otter Valley Students (past & present)
are looking for gently used prom gowns, cocktail dresses,
formalwear of all sorts... to sell at the ...
To benefit the "Nifty Thrifty"
(Academic Incentive Money)
Drop off your donations of gently used gowns,
formalwear, and accessories:
shoes, jewelry, shawls,
hair ornaments, clutches, cummerbunds
at several locations:
The Brandon Inn
Otter Valley Union High School Rutland High School Mary Hogan Elementary School
The Brandon Thrift Shop
Then come BUY your Ballgown, Prom Dress, Black Tie Party outfit, Mother-of-the-Bride dress,
or just a little something special
@ Ayrshire Building in Brandon
the brick building on Union Street across from Hannaford and RiteAid
Friday March 9th 3:00 to 5:00
Saturday 10th 10:00 to 5:00
Sunday 11th 10:00 to 3:00
CASH ONLY, PLEASE
For more information please call Laura @ 247-3280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Otter Valley Senior Discount Cards of 2012 are now available! Cost: $10
Support local businesses and OV Project Graduation
Businesses on the card:
Keith's Country Store
Brandon House of Pizza
Vermont Soup and Sandwich
Carr's Florist and Gifts
Antiques By The Falls
Blue Seal Feeds
Ace Hardware of Rutland
They can be purchased at:
Blue Seal Feeds
Carr's Florist and Gifts
Keith's Country Store
Ace Hardware of Rutland
Here's the first issue of the Brandon Downtown Alliance's (the DBA) newsletter, with a little bit of background and news and information on recent activities, upcoming events, and the possibilities now open to us.
Who needs a downtown program and why is it important for Brandon?
Vermont's downtowns and villages have served as the social and economic centers of our communities for generations, playing a key role in a region's economy. Almost one fifth of Vermont's economic activity and jobs are based in our downtowns. Downtowns are areas of intensive capital investment, both public and private, in buildings, water and sewage systems, streets, sidewalks, and parks. Protecting this investment is smart public policy. We are fortunate to have a wealth of historic buildings that make our town centers attractive places to live, work and visit.
However, recent decades have brought tremendous economic, technological and social changes, often with adverse effects on our downtowns. Although the national trend of disinvestment in downtowns - leaving rundown or boarded-up storefronts, vacant upper stories, and reduced tax bases - has not overwhelmed Vermont, the health of our downtowns can be fragile. Sprawl, the dispersed commercial development that is springing up at the fringes of traditional town centers, can diminish the economic viability of our communities and local businesses.
The Vermont Downtown Program was established in 1994 to provide technical assistance and training for communities and to help towns develop skills and strategies for their downtown revitalization efforts. The Program is an affiliate of the National Main Street Center, a division of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has succeeded in over 1,400 communities nationwide.
The Downtown Development Act, passed in 1998, provides substantial support for downtown revitalization. Towns that receive downtown designation under the Act are eligible for a number of benefits, including tax credits, loans and grants from various state agencies. To qualify, towns must develop a comprehensive revitalization strategy for the downtown district and demonstrate broad-based community support. The strategy must involve a long-term commitment to enhancing economic opportunities, preserving historic buildings, and improving public spaces and infrastructure in the commercial district.
A few concerned Brandon citizens organized our first Downtown Alliance in 2002 for the purpose of creating Green Park. The alliance was named "24 Center Street" and after soon accomplishing its purpose, it became the organization charged with the revitalization of the downtown. Regrettably, the organization became inactive until 2009 when a downtown designation was registered with the state - but then the town allowed it to languish. Until now.
What the DBA is doing for Brandon
Starting in the fall of last year, a dedicated group who saw the need to revitalize our downtown and were aware of the opportunities a downtown designation provided (to say nothing of taking advantage of the possibilities Irene presented) got together and under the leadership of Steve Beck succeeded in getting Brandon re-certified as a designated downtown. Committees have been meeting and progress is starting. Among the things that have been accomplished:
- "Love a Park" was organized and began upgrading the town's parks
- A town-wide public forum was held at the Congregational Church to start the conversation about rebuilding after Irene
- The debris and trash were removed from Kennedy Park, the grass cut, a new fence installed, and decorated for the Christmas season
- A census and analysis of the town's retail space is being prepared
- A new public forum is planned to discuss the impact of Segment Six which will start this summer -with a presentation from the folks in Barre who are dealing with a similar situation with great success
- The bricks were recovered from Green Park and solicitations for new bricks are well underway
Brandon has a very vibrant Chamber of Commerce and the DBA and the Chamber will be working hand in glove in the months to come, building upon planned events and creating new activities to enrich the town and focus attention on our community. These are all things we can and have done by ourselves, but Vermont's Downtown Programs have many financial opportunities for town, the merchants, and homeowners -
- A state income tax credit of 10% for the costs of substantially rehabilitating a certified historic building is available as an "add on" credit for projects that qualify for the 20% Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit. Projects qualifying for the 10% credit will thus receive a net 30% credit.
- A state income tax credit of 25% is available for owners or lessees of buildings built prior to 1983 that undertake projects to rehabilitate a building façade or storefront that contributes to the integrity of the designated downtown but does not qualify for the 20% Federal RITC and 10% state add-on above
- A 50% state income tax credit is available to property owners and lessees for the costs of bringing a building into compliance with state building codes
- A rebate of up to $2,000 of the construction permit fees are available when installing a complete automatic fire sprinkler system
- A municipality may receive a reallocation of sales taxes paid on construction materials used on qualified projects in the designated downtown, to be used in support of the qualified project
- Designated downtowns are eligible to receive loans, loan guarantees, or grants up to $75,000 from the Vermont Downtown Development Board for capital transportation and related capital improvement projects
- Priority consideration is given by any state agency administering any state or federal assistance program providing funding or other aid to the designated downtown area, provided the project is eligible for the assistance program
The possibilities are almost endless. The DBA and its committees are well underway and are working hard - and there's opportunities for anyone to pitch in. Almost all of Brandon's storefronts are now occupied... and the excitement is only now starting. Contact the DBA at 802-247-3635, Steve Beck. Or by email at: email@example.com
NEXT CHAMBER MEETING
The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet for their annual retreat in March. The next general meeting will be Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm in The Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace.
|WELCOME NEW MEMBER|
Caleb Kenna Photography
28 Pearl St. ~ 802-770-8700
Membership Categories: Photography; Weddings
From Senator Peter Welch's Office:
Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont hard. But in the Vermont tradition, we are persevering. Neighbors are helping neighbors and we are on the road to recovery.
As tax day approaches (April 17th this year), Vermonters who suffered losses from the storm should know they may qualify for special assistance, including tax relief for damages to homes and businesses.
For more information and to find out if you are eligible, visit www.welch.house.gov/irene.
Please feel free to forward this email to friends, family, or neighbors affected by Irene.
PETER WELCH, Member of Congress
ALSO FOR PEOPLE AFFECTED BY TROPICAL STORM IRENE:
The Rutland County LTRC
(Rutland County Long Term Recovery Committee and Disaster Recovery Contact Information)
Entire County of Rutland
This is the main website for the recovery efforts in Vermont. It includes resources for individuals, families, and businesses along with case studies and important contact information.
The specific website for business and agriculture.
Vermont Disaster Relief Fund's homepage that also includes contact information and important resources information for the recovery effort.
The LTRC is responsible for allocating resources and hearing cases for people who want to access funds from the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.
Brandon Music Appoints
New Office Manager
Brandon Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Olivia Gawet as new office manager and personal assistant to the CEO of Brandon Music/Divine Art Recordings Group, Stephen Sutton. Gawet is a Rutland native and graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, with a bachelor's degree in Music. After graduation, she worked as office manager at Small Planet, a Rutland-based advertising and design firm until 2007. At that time, Gawet joined the faculty of Mount St. Joseph Academy in Rutland as French and Music teacher. Through positions in the Rutland Catholic Deanery as youth ministry coordinator and at St. Bridget's Church as office assistant and special programs coordinator, Gawet has had extensive experience in fundraising as well as organizing and executing special projects. She also worked at the College of St. Joseph as communications coordinator.
As a member of the team at Brandon Music, Gawet will focus primarily on the development of the new Compass Music and Arts Center, and also manage daily operations within the record company. As a highly regarded performer in the area, she brings a deep knowledge of what it means to be a singer and an artist in today's economic climate where the arts are under duress. In her new role, Gawet hopes to bring a fresh perspective and vibrant energy to the new Compass Music and Arts Center, especially in its early stages of development. Some of Gawet's aspirations in this role are to better understand the recording industry from the production side and to help other artists promote their own potential.
|The DUNMORE DIP
The Dunmore Dip helps fund eradicating the milfoil in Lake Dunmore and Fern Lake. The fun part is trying to predict when the ice on Lake Dunmore will melt, causing the red flag to tip and fall into the water. Lord Dunmore stops his clock when the flag goes down. That is the "official" Dunmore Dip time. Visit the web site http://www.ldfla.com/other/dunmore-dip.html. Donation is only $1 per guess. Or call John Ebert at 802-352-9392. Entries MUST BE postmarked by MARCH 15, 2012.
BRANDON ROTARY ICE OUT
Guess the date and time the flag sinks on Belden's Pond (Rt 7 north of town). Look for the snowman who will stop the clock when the flag goes down. Winner's share is 50% of entry fees with the balance going to Rotary to support Rotary projects locally and internationally. $1 per entry or 6 for $5. Click for an entry form.
A Fun, but a Challenging Ride Experience Awaits You!
The rides will be fun...but also challenging because, after all, Vermont is the Green "Mountain" state! Grand and Weekend Challenge riders may choose a mix of routes: Black, or Blue so you can customize your ride experience from 185 up to 275 miles of riding for the entire 4-day Grand Challenge or 150 to 225 for the 3-day Weekend Challenge. Short on time? Choose the 3-day Challenge or the one day century or half-century - whichever you choose, we offer a Challenge for you! So don't worry, if you're not up to the maximum challenge, we offer shorter routes each day that average 45 miles a day to experience the beauty that is Vermont!
3 Great Ride Options to choose from:
- The Grand Challenge
- The Weekend Challenge
- The One-Day Legendary Gap Century & Half Century
The Vermont Challenge runs from August 15-19, 2012
Register today @ www.vtchallenge.com and save!!!!
Sign-up before 3/15/12 and save $30.
Register your team of eight or more and each team member receives a discount of $30 off individual registration rates.
|TASTE OF VERMONT|
The third annual Taste of Vermont fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Brandon will be held on Sunday, March 11 at the Brandon Inn. Start at 4 pm with a Meet the Chefs gathering together with local cheesemakers, farms, wines and a silent auction. Dinner tasting starts at 5 pm with the live auction and dessert starting at 6 pm. This annual event not only helps scores of kids in Rutland and Addison Counties, it tastes great too! For more information, to donate, or purchase tickets, contact the Boys and Girls Club of Brandon at 802-465-4131 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|NEWS FROM THE |
FRIENDS OF THE BRANDON TOWN HALL
Please join the Friends of the Brandon Town Hall on March 30 at 8:00 pm for the Wood's Tea Company's last Vermont concert. It will be held at the Paramount Theatre on Center Street in Rutland and will be a benefit for the Brandon Town Hall. This is the group's farewell tour after 30 years in the entertainment business. Tickets may be purchased for $20 through the Paramount or at Carr's Florist & Gifts.
Finally we have raised enough money to start the bathroom renovation!!!
On Monday, February 13th the Friends of the Brandon Town Hall (FOTH) met with the Brandon Selectboard (SB) at selectboard's first meeting of the month.
FOTH presented to the SB the site plans designed by Daniel Pratt of R.C. Williams Associates for the basement floor of the Town Hall.
During the last 4 months the FOTH learned that it would be cost effective for us to renovate the entire basement at the same time the new bathrooms were installed. However, that was going to cost us more money than we had raised. After much thought, the FOTH submitted an application from the Revolving Loan fund of up to $40,000 to be paid back within three years. The board overseeing this fund reviewed and approved this loan with an unanimous vote. The cost of the expanded project will not exceed $175,000.
Following the FOTH presentation that evening the SB approved the project and the loan (because the revolving loan uses Town money, the SB has final approval of any requests for borrowing from that fund). The SB also approved The McKernon Group as the contractor for the project.
Now the fun begins! During the next few days volunteers will be busy removing copious amounts of "stuff" from the basement area. The McKernon Group will begin demolition work on or about February 22, and will have the project completed no later than May 1, 2012.
To view the site plan please visit our website at www.brandontownhall.org and click on the news button for more information.
All of the members of FOTH thank you so very much for your donations during this fundraising campaign. We could not have done it without YOU.
Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 267
Brandon VT 05733