Lamoille in the News
by Kayla Friedrich
Following 30 years of discussions regarding renovations to the Lamoille County Court House and three months of work on those renovations, Engleberth Construction Inc. says they’re either on or ahead of schedule with plans for the court house to be operational as of May 1, 2016.
Work continues at the Hyde Park Court House, at left: in the main entrance to the court house, walls have been removed along with the elevator and stair tower. The brick wall at the end of the hall will also be removed to open it up to the addition. At right, on Wednesday, August 19, steel framework was going up for the south addition. - Friedrich photos
So far, contractors have mostly removed walls that aren’t part of the final configuration through selective demolition inside, and they’ve prepared for the additions, pouring the concrete slabs. The east addition’s framework structure is already up, and the south addition’s steel framework was going up on Wednesday, August 19. In the original building, ECI is also getting prepared to put in ductwork for central air conditioning in the courtroom as well as preparing to raise all of the stair railings in a way they say will preserve their historical character.
In the end, the additions are expected to look much like the original building with brick walls and all new windows, but the additions will have copper roofing. After completion, roughly 12,000 sq. ft. will have been added to the original 14,000 sq. foot structure, nearly doubling the available area with around 8,000 sq. ft. being dedicated to office space.
“It’s going really well,” said Project Manager Jeff Carlson. “At this point we haven’t found anything lurking in the structure, which is good. It’s always fun when you get started in an existing building, to see how it was built a hundred years ago.”
While the construction is going well, Carlson said that they did have a few issues with people wandering into the site in the beginning. A few people from out of town got lost trying to find the temporary courthouse in Morristown’s Northgate Plaza, and one woman was dropped off at the construction site instead of the temporary courthouse, her ride leaving before she knew she was in the wrong place.
“She was just stuck here,” said Assistant Judge David Williams of the woman. “Hank Shed, our superintendent, actually drove her up to the plaza so she wouldn’t miss her court date.”
For the most part, Carlson and Williams said now that it has been a few months, they haven’t had many more issues with people being dropped off at the construction site, and the neighbors have been great, with few complaints. Williams writes a newsletter every week to keep everyone informed as to what’s going on. When people have had issues, they’ve been able to address them on the spot, and people seem satisfied with how the work is going.
“I think there’s a real sense of the community immediately surrounding the courthouse,” said Williams, “that this court house is extremely important to the village of Hyde Park. They want to see this facility succeed and remain operating, and they know this is going to be a long step toward assuring the court house operations will be here for a long time.”
Work is scheduled to continue through the winter months, with the exterior hardscapes being completed before it gets too cold, so they can resume work inside when snow falls. The hope is that any work left in the spring will be minimal. The village also plans to get the clock up and running before the grand opening.
There have been nearly 150 workers through the site from 32 Vermont subcontractors and vendors as well as workers from four local companies, Dalton Construction (Morrisville), Jourdan Electrical (Hyde Park), H.A. Manosh (Morrisville), and Village Builders (Wolcott). The entire project is estimated at a cost of $7.2 million, and is expected to pump nearly $835K into the Lamoille County economy before the job is finished.
by Andrew Martin
A Hyde Park landmark is in need of a bit of sprucing up. A fundraising campaign is about to kick off that will seek to raise money for needed renovation work and repairs to the Second Congregational Church in Hyde Park. An Open House will be held at the church on Sunday, August 30 beginning at 1 p.m. to begin the capital campaign.
The planned work at the church that necessitates the upcoming fundraising campaign centers on the need to replace the sills below the church’s four steeples. Issues with the steeples were discovered earlier this year when a painting project uncovered the fact that the sills are rotted. After consulting with Tektonika Studio Architects, of Stowe, and Dewolfe Engineering Associates, Inc., of Montpelier, it became apparent that the sills must be replaced quickly before high winds or severe storms could potentially cause the steeples to begin leaning, further damaging the building. The old sills will be removed, the steeples stabilized, and new sills installed as part of the work. According to church and project member Herman Fiess the goal is to have this work completed this fall. Contractor Mike Isabell of Century Building and Renovation, Inc. in Morrisville has been selected to do the work.
“Our church is an intricate part of the Hyde Park community,” Fiess stated in an interview with the News & Citizen, “It was first built in 1899 and has remained a part of the community ever since.”
It has been estimated that the project to repair the steeple structures and sills will cost roughly $67,500. During the Open House on August 30 that will kick off the capital campaign an architect will be on site to explain the numerous specs and drawings detailing all of the upcoming work planned for the church. A gala celebration will also occur and individuals will be able to tour the building. A mass mailing will also be taking place just before the Open House in order to better inform the residents of Hyde Park of the planned work to the church and the need for community support.
The work to the sills under the steeples is actually Phase One of a multi-part plan that will see a number of renovations and changes at the historic Second Congregational Church in the near future. Once the steeples of the church have been stabilized more work is planned for 2016. Next year’s project will include grading and drainage work, paving, new entryways and stairs, and landscaping. Other major repairs to the building were made in the early 2000’s and roof work was completed in 2012. Much of that work was done without community fundraising, but Fiess explained that this current project will require aid from the community.
“We really need the community’s aid in this,” Fiess explained, “This is our first capital campaign and we need help…we can’t do this on our own.”
Fiess and his compatriots researched potential grants available for the project but did not apply in large part due to the fact that any grant funds would likely not be available until next year. The need to have the sill and steeple project completed this fall means that such a wait was not possible.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Fiess stated regarding the work to the church building, “One project leads to another.”
Fiess also emphasized that a great deal of homework and research has gone into the plans for the church.
“We have done our homework and everything is well documented,” he stated, “Everything has been thought out, and we feel our plans for the building really fit in with the direction that the rest of Hyde Park Village is taking.”
“We want to make the building more accessible and useable by anyone in the community for any purpose, not just church activities,” Fiess added. He continued by explaining that other future work to the building could include renovations to the downstairs of the church, thereby allowing for more activities to take place there. The church already hosts community breakfasts in that space as well as concerts.
“We appreciate what the people of Hyde Park have done for us in the past, and we are hoping they are willing to continue their efforts to support our church,” Fiess concluded, “We want to carry on the work started so many years ago by the builders of the church and continue it forward for years to come.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the planned work to the church can do so by sending donations to the Second Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, P.O. Box 216, Hyde Park Vermont.
by Kayla Friedrich
Lamoille Housing Partnership (LHP) is teaming up with Pizza on Main located in the old Arthur’s building in Morrisville, on September 10 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in an effort to help curb homelessness in Lamoille County. Between those hours, Pizza on Main will be donating 10 percent of all food proceeds to Lamoille Housing Partnership.
“A lot of our work is to house people who are not necessarily low income, although we do a lot of low income housing, and we are also concerned about local homelessness,” said Executive Director of LHP Jim Lovinsky.
As co-owner of the old Arthur’s building, LHP helped put two people into housing that were previously homeless, when they opened the apartments upstairs, and Lovinsky said that LHP is excited to continue to help get people off the streets. As a non-profit, the organization depends largely on donations. They also have a mission locally to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing in Lamoille County and the town of Hardwick, working with such organizations as Alliance Property Management.
Hannaford’s Supermarket will be providing desserts for the Pizza Night event where there will also be a silent auction or raffle of locally donated items. Earlier in the summer, LHP held a similar event in Hardwick, which featured over 50 items to auction off such as things from Cabot Creamery, Stowe Mountain Resort and other local businesses.
“We don’t make money on our rentals,” said Lovinsky. “They are set up so that the money we get goes back into the buildings, primarily, for maintenance and upkeep. So, we really depend on local donations to provide a lot of our other programming.”
All proceeds from the Family Pizza Night event will go toward programs that LHP administers. LHP often works with other local service providers to help them house people. They also run yearly housing summits, the next of which will be held at Green Mountain Technology and Career Center on September 17 from 8:30 a.m to noon. This year’s housing summit will focus on connecting landlords to service providers, and will offer networking opportunities between the two. There will be two panel discussions as well, including a variety of local and regional service providers serving the Lamoille Valley. This event is free of charge and seeks to bring housing and rental issues into focus, and to assist landlords and tenants.
LHP wants to encourage community members to join them for music, raffle prizes and desserts to support the prevention of homelessness in Lamoille County. There is a minimum charge for the event.
September is nearly upon us and that means one thing; it’s time for the youth of Lamoille County to return to school and don’t forget that means school buses will be back on the roads. The start dates for the various schools around the county can be found below.
Lamoille North Supervisory Union: All students in the towns of the LNSU (Eden, Belvidere, Waterville, Cambridge, Johnson, and Hyde Park) will begin school on Monday, August 31.
Lamoille South Supervisory Union: All students from Stowe and Elmore will begin school on Monday, August 31. In Morrisville students in grades K-9 and newcomers to the school district will begin school on Monday, August 31. Returning students in grades 10-12 will begin school the following day, September 1.
Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union: All students in Wolcott will begin school on Monday, August 31.
by Kayla Friedrich
According to a Vermont State Police press release, the Williston public safety answering point (PSAP) received a call at approximately 10 p.m. on Sunday, August 16, of a male who had allegedly been taken against his will on South Pond Road in Eden.
Vermont State Police responded to the area to locate the male. Parties on scene reported that the victim, 18-year-old Hunter West, had allegedly been assaulted by 29-year-old Andrew Philip of Johnson, and forced into a blue Toyota Rav4, which was allegedly driven by Matthew Hosford, 18, of Eden. Police say the victim made several attempts to exit the vehicle, but was restrained by Philip.
Hosford allegedly drove West and Philip to a camp in a wooded area of Eden. When Philip and Hosford believed law enforcement were looking for them, they allegedly abandoned the vehicle, which gave West a chance to escape.
Vermont State Police made contact with West and ensured his safety. They found Philip and Hosford in Johnson on Tuesday, August 18. Both were arrested and transported to the Vermont State Police Williston Barracks for processing.
The court set conditions and a $10,000 bail for each, and the accused were transported to the Chittenden County Correctional Center. Arraignment on charges of kidnapping, simple assault, and interference with access to emergency services is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26 at the Lamoille County Court House temporarily located in Morrisville.
by Andrew Martin
Authorities believe that the fire that destroyed Bailey House Floral on Brooklyn Street in Morrisville on Sunday and Monday, August 16 and 17, is not suspicious but no cause has been announced. The blaze began late Sunday night and firefighters were on scene throughout the night into the morning fighting the fire.
The fire was first spotted and reported by a member of the Morristown Police Department who was in the area. Along with the Morrisville Fire Department other responding agencies included the Hyde Park, Wolcott, and Elmore Fire Departments. When firefighters arrived on scene they found the two-story commercial building ablaze. While firefighting crews were able to contain the blaze to the building the majority of the structure was destroyed.
Once the fire had been extinguished the Morrisville Fire Department requested assistance in investigating it from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire Investigation Unit. Two investigators visited the site on August 17.
The investigation led inspectors to list the cause of the fire as undetermined still, and the blaze is not considered suspicious. There were no injuries that resulted from the fire, and the estimated damage is $350,000.
David Bothfield, co-owner of the building along with Dr. Karen Seidel, said he could not comment about the fire until law enforcement had released the scene.
The fire comes almost two years after their neighboring building, which housed Dr. Seidel’s optometry business, was destroyed in a fire that was ruled arson. No arrest has been made in that case, and a new building has been erected on the lot.
by Andrew Martin
The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department has purchased a parcel on Main Street in Hyde Park Village. On July 28 the department completed the purchase of the property formerly owned by Allen and Alice Ring. The LCSD paid a total price of $320,000 to purchase the 5.16 acre lot from Allen and Alice’s son, David.
In total the Ring property includes two garages, a 2,600 square foot house, and a cold storage building. According to Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux the entirety of the $320,000 needed to make the purchase were savings from revenue earned by his department through various contracts. The property was paid for in full using these funds and the purchase will not increase the patrol or communications contract costs for the member towns covered by the LCSD.
While plans for the property have not yet been finalized one option is for a portion of the lot to be used for any future expansion of the LCSD. The main headquarters of the sheriff’s department cannot accommodate any future growth by the department.
“…the proximity of our office and the new property offers a perfect solution for a long time to come,” Sheriff Marcoux stated in a press release issued by his department.
“…we have used every potential space in our current station,” Marcoux stated in an interview with the News & Citizen, “We have no room for future growth there.”
“This new property is a great fit for us,” Marcoux added, also explaining that he had spoken with Allen Ring several times before his passing about purchasing the property, “We now have space to grow in the coming years.”
Other potential uses of the property could include leasing some of the buildings. The main heated garage will likely be used to store and maintain LCSD cruisers. According to Marcoux some work will be necessary on that building before it is put into use. The older garage located directly on main street will likely no longer be used to house department vehicles and instead can be refurbished and leased. In the press release Marcoux also stressed that there is a very real possibility that portions of the property will be leased to enhance the needs and vitality of the Hyde Park Village community.
“I want to sit down with the village trustees and work out the possibilities for the site,” Marcoux added, “I want to work with the village and be a good community partner.”
by Mickey Smith
The state will know Wednesday, August 19, if Speaker of the House Shap Smith (D-Morristown) is officially throwing his hat in the ring in the race for Governor.
News reports began surfacing about Smith's potential plans, as it was reported he had filed the paperwork in preparation for a gubernatorial campaign.
When reached for comment, Smith said he would make his plans known at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, in the Courtyard behind the Arthur's housing project.
Smith would be the first candidate to formally announce his candidacy for what will be an open position, as fellow Democrat Governor Peter Shumlin announced in June he is not seeking re-election.
Former lawmaker and 2010 candidate for governor Matt Dunne has also filed paperwork that he intends to run for the Democrat nomination, but has not made a public announcement. Secretary of State Susan Minter has also been suggested as a possible candidate.
On the Republican side, Lt. Governor Phil Scott is also expected to announce his intentions to run for governor, but at a Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce meeting two weeks ago he said he was still ironing out the details in his personal/business life before making a final decision.
Smith is a 1983 graduate of Peoples Academy and in 1987 graduated from the University of Vermont. He also graduated from Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington and is currently a lawyer with the Burlington-based firm of Dinse, Knapp and McAndrew.
Smith was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 2002 and was elected Speaker of the House in 2009, a position he still holds.
by Andrew Martin
MORRISTOWN—Lost Nation Brewery is continuing to earn accolades and awards from around the country. Earlier this spring Lost Nation’s flagship beer, Gose (pronounced goes-uhh) was recognized by Forbes Magazine as the Best Craft Beer in America. The recognition comes just two years after owners Allen Van Ande and Jamie Griffith first opened their brewery and began brewing Gose in the spring of 2013.
Lost Nation’s Gose was named the Top Craft Beer in America by Forbes Magazine recently. The Morrisville-based brewery began brewing Gose when it first opened in 2013. Brewery owners Allen Van Ande and Jamie Griffith can be seen above in the beer garden at Lost Nation with two cans of the unique beer. - Martin photo
Gose is a traditional German-style wheat beer that nearly became extinct for several decades following WWII before making a comeback in the 1980s. It is known for being extremely refreshing and is brewed with coriander and sea salt. The tart, dry finish of the beer combines with the hint of salt and citrus to leave the drinker craving another sip.
Allen and Jamie decided to brew Gose due to the beer’s uniqueness and their own desire to create a beer that was not well known.
“It’s very unique and all the tastes mixed together really make it stand out,” Allen stated, “It also has a low alcohol content and is very refreshing, meaning that you can enjoy a few.”
Allen and Jamie brew Gose year round, making several batches a week. It is one of their best selling beers to date and both feel it is what their brewery is most recognized for.
“I really like seeing peoples’ reactions when they first try it,” Allen added, “You see a lot of great responses to the different flavors.”
The article in Forbes magazine that listed Gose as the number one craft beer in the country supported this idea.
“The salt is what leaves the Gose finish dry, encouraging another sip…once a Gose palate has been developed, there’s no going back,” the article’s author, Karla Alindahao stated.
Jamie added that Gose actually makes a great substitute for those non-beer drinkers looking for something else. He and the staff at Lost Nation often offer Gose as an option when a customer at the tap room or beer garden asks for something other than beer.
“It’s a non-beer drinker’s beer as well as a beer-drinkers beer,” Jamie added, “That’s what makes it so unique; it’s very versatile.”
Gose is available year-round in draught and 16 ounce cans. Anyone interested in learning more about the beer and Lost Nation can visit the brewery’s website at HYPERLINK "http://lostnationbrewing.com/home.php" http://lostnationbrewing.com/home.php or by visiting the brewery in person. Lost Nation Brewery is located at the end of Old Creamery Road in Morrisville, just off the bypass and adjacent to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. The tap room and beer garden are open from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Along with Lost Nation’s Gose being named the Number One Craft Beer in America several other local brews made Forbes Magazine’s list of the top thirteen craft beers in the country. The Alchemist’s Focal Banger and Heady Topper both made the top thirteen, as did Hill Farmstead’s Abner, Sue, and Susan beers.
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