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Notices

Update on last night’s rain

We are fortunate to have escaped the flood damage that other towns experienced and our thoughts are with them as they begin the challenging process of cleaning up.  All Washington roads are open and passable.

Please call the Town Hall (802-883-2218) to report road issues or if you were impacted and need assistance.

Thank you,
Sheila Duranleau
Chair, Washington Selectboard

NEK Broadband and CVFiber Merger Public Hearing Notice

Town Notice of Public Hearing for Merger

Preliminary Merger <preliminarymerger@cvfiber.net>8:46 AM (44 minutes ago)
to Preliminary, Olivia

Good morning,

NEK Broadband and CVFiber hereby give notice that a public hearing will be held on July 16, 2024, at 6:00 pm, both online and in several public locations (listed below), regarding the proposed merger between NEK Broadband and CVFiber.

Details of the Merger:

Parties Involved:

  • NEK Broadband, 123 Red Barn Rd, Danville VT  05828.
  • CVFiber, 29 Main St.,Ste 4, Montpelier, VT 05602. 

Nature of the Merger: Communications Union Districts (CUDs) NEK Broadband and CVFiber announce our proposal to join forces to unite resources, expertise, and a commitment to deliver exceptional high-speed internet services to our communities. ​This initiative reflects our shared vision of fostering digital equity, economic growth, and community development across the Northeast Kingdom and Central Vermont. ​ ​

Public Hearing: A public hearing will be scheduled by each Communications Union District (CUD) for Tuesday July 16, 2024 at 6:00 pm EST.  This will afford the member towns and residents an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. 

Location Details: This will be a hybrid meeting with a TEAMS link (link and instructions below) and several physical locations:

NEK Broadband Office and Warehouse, 306 Middle St, Brighton, VT

NEK Broadband Office and Warehouse, 123 Red Barn Rd, Danville, VT

Goodrich Memorial Library, 202 N Main St, Newport, VT

PSD Giga Conference Room, 3rd floor, 112 State Street, Montpelier, VT

All interested parties are encouraged to attend the hearing. Individuals will have the opportunity to present their views, ask questions, and provide feedback regarding the proposed merger. Written comments may also be submitted prior to the hearing and should be addressed to 

Christa Shute, Executive Director, NEK Broadband preliminarymerger@nekbroadband.org or Jennille Smith, Executive Director, CVFiber preliminarymerger@cvfiber.net

Additional Information:

Documents related to the proposed merger are available for public inspection at 123 Red Barn Rd, Danville, VT during regular business hours. Digital copies can be accessed on the NEK Broadband website at https://nekbroadband.org/about-us/public-documents/ and the CVFiber website at https://cvfiber.net/preliminary-merger-plan/

NEK Broadband and CVFiber encourages all community members to participate in the public hearing process to ensure that community interests are considered in the decision-making process.

Published by:

NEK Broadband & CVFiber 

July 11, 2024

http://bit.ly/4czHF5R

Meeting ID: 249 133 730 886

Passcode: 5oxCMy


Dial in by phone

+1 802-828-7667,,60097398# United States, Montpelier

Notice can also be found on the CVFiber website: https://cvfiber.net/2024/07/notice-of-public-hearing-for-merger/

Early & Absentee Voting

From the Vermont Secretary of State’s website

In Vermont, we make it easy to vote. If you prefer to vote early or by mail you can! Voting starts as soon as ballots are available—not later than 45 days before the primary or general election and 20 days prior to a municipal election that uses the Australian ballot.

Request your ballot:

Online

Paper

At Clerk’s Office

If you have any questions about early or absentee voting, please call or visit your town clerk. If you need additional assistance you can email the Elections Division at sos.elections@vermont.gov, or call 800-439-VOTE.

Deadlines

All early voter absentee ballot requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. or by the close of the town clerk’s office on the day before the election.

All ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted.

In-home Ballot Delivery

If you are sick or have a disability, a ballot can be delivered to your home on Election Day. You may request an absentee ballot up until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Two justices of the peace (of different parties when possible) will deliver a ballot to you, and then will bring the ballot back to the polling place so that it can be placed in the ballot box and counted.

Additional Application Info

An early or absentee voter, or an authorized family member or health care provider acting in the voter’s behalf, may apply for an early voter absentee ballot by telephone, in person, or in writing. “Family member” means a person’s spouse, children, brothers, sisters, parents, spouse’s parents, grandparents, and spouse’s grandparents.

Any other authorized person may apply in writing or in person; provided, however, that voter authorization to such a person shall not be given by response to a robotic phone call. An authorized person must identify the organization they work with, if applicable.

An early or absentee voter may also apply for their ballot online at their My Voter Page.

Absentee ballots for the August 13, 2024, statewide primary will be available not later than June 29, 2024. Absentee ballots for the November 5, 2024, general election will be automatically mailed to all active registered voters, not later than October 1, 2024. Ballots for local elections—town meeting elections by Australian ballot—are available 20 days prior to the election. You can, however, request ballots at any point during the year leading up to the election. We strongly recommend that military or overseas voters request an early or absentee ballot at least 45 days prior to the election.

Requests for an early voter absentee ballot can be made at any time until 5 p.m., or by the time of closing of the town clerk’s office on the last day that the clerk has regular hours before the election. The request can be made at the same time the person registers to vote.

A single request may be made for absentee ballots for town meeting, and the primary and general elections, if the “mail to” address is the same for all three elections. Please note that a request must be made every election year.

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will be considered a request for ballots for both the primary and general elections.

Military and Overseas Voter Absentee Ballot Requests

To register to vote and request an absentee ballot, visit the My Voter Page.

Military or overseas voters may also request an absentee ballot by telephone, fax, email, or by mail. You may also request that the unvoted ballot and certificate for the return envelope be sent to you by email, fax, or mail. If you have the ballot and certificate sent by email or fax, the clerk will include instructions for you. However, under Vermont law, voted ballots must be returned to the town clerk inside the absentee certificate envelope (with the voter’s original signature). Voted ballots may not be returned by fax or email.

For more voting information for military and/or overseas voters, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Responding to Early Voter Absentee Ballot Requests

The town clerk must mail a complete set of early voter absentee ballots to voters who have requested ballots. The ballots must be mailed “forthwith” (as soon as possible) after an application for a ballot has been filed with the clerk and the clerk has received the ballots from the printer. Early voter absentee ballots that are sent to voters who are outside of the country must be sent airmail, first class, postpaid, when such service is available. Ballots sent to voters outside of the country may also be sent by email when requested.

When a voter goes to the town clerk’s office to vote early, the voter is given the absentee ballots and envelopes and is provided a private place to mark the ballots. The voter must then seal the ballots in the envelope, sign the certificate, and return the ballots in the sealed envelope to the town clerk or an assistant town clerk. A voter may also take the ballots and return them to the town clerk before the end of Election Day. No person, except justices of the peace, may take any ballot from the town clerk on behalf of any other person.

How to Vote an Early Absentee Ballot

The following are the directions a voter will receive with an early voter absentee ballot for the general election.

Note: In the case of early or absentee voting in a primary, the envelope instructions will also include appropriate instructions for separating the ballots and depositing the unvoted ballot(s) in a separate envelope provided and clearly marked “Unused Ballots.”

Marking Ballots

Voters must mark the ballots in accordance with the instructions.

A voter who is ill or has a disability may ask one of the officers who delivers the ballots, in the presence of the other officer, to mark the ballot for him or her. A person who gives assistance to a voter in the marking or registering of ballots may not in any way divulge any information regarding the choice of the voter or the manner in which the voter’s ballot was cast.

A voter who spoils a ballot may return the spoiled ballot by mail or in person to the town clerk and receive another ballot. A voter may receive up to three ballots. A person can spoil two ballots and still vote.

Signing Certificate

The voter must sign the certificate on the outside of the envelope for the ballot to be valid.

A voter who is physically unable to sign his or her name may mark an “X” swearing to the statement on the certificate. The officers who deliver the ballots shall witness the mark and sign their names with a statement attesting to this fact on the envelope.

Return of Ballots

Early or absentee voter ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of business on the day before the election (be sure to check your town clerk’s hours) or to the polling place by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The ballots may be returned by mail or in person, unless the ballots were delivered by justices of the peace who would then return them to the town clerk.

The town clerk must record receipt of the voted ballot(s) on the list of early or absentee voters.

Once an early voter absentee ballot has been returned to the clerk in the sealed envelope with the signed certificate, it shall be stored in a secure place and shall not be returned to the voter for any reason.

During the hours that the polls are open, the town clerk delivers the envelopes to the presiding officer in the polling place where the early or absentee voter would have voted if he had voted in person.

On Election Day, election officials examine the checklist to see whether the voter has already voted in person. The election officials also check the certificate on the envelope containing the ballots to make sure it is properly filled out. When the election officials are satisfied that the early or absentee voter is legally qualified to vote, has not already voted in person and that the certificate is properly filled out, they open the envelope containing the ballot(s). Without unfolding the ballots or permitting the ballot to be seen, the election officials mark the entrance checklist indicating the fact that that voter has voted by means of an early voter absentee ballot, and then they deposit the ballots in the ballot boxes or voting machine. Early voter absentee ballots are commingled with the ballots of voters who have voted in person.

Defective Ballots

When an early or absentee voter is not legally qualified to vote, or has voted in person, or if the certificate on the voted ballot envelope is not signed, or the voted ballot is not in the voted ballot envelope, or, in the case of a primary vote, the early or absentee voter has failed to return the unvoted primary ballots, the envelope must be marked “defective”. The voter will be notified that the return of their ballot was defective, within three days of the clerk receiving it, and the voter will have an opportunity to correct the error and have their ballot counted.

Absentee Ballot Request Form

https://outside.vermont.gov/dept/sos/Elections%20Division/voters/vtabsenteerequestgeneric.pdf

Use this link to request an absentee ballot for any or all elections within a calendar year. A request must be submitted each year.

This is an online fillable PDF, or print it off and fill out. Mail to the town clerk’s office or drop it off. If dropping it off after hours, do not put it into the ballot box as it may not be found in a timely manner. It can go into the metal drop off box that is to the right of the entry doors.

Town Clerk

2895 VT RT 110

Washington, VT 05675

TORNADO WATCH 7/10/24

Tornado Watch

7/10/2024 12:11 EDT through 7/10/2024 21:00 EDT

Tornado Watch issued July 10 at 12:11PM EDT until July 10 at 9:00PM EDT by NWS Burlington VT

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 517 IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS IN NEW YORK. THIS WATCH INCLUDES 4 COUNTIES IN NORTHERN NEW YORK:

CLINTON ESSEX FRANKLIN ST. LAWRENCE

IN VERMONT THIS WATCH INCLUDES 12 COUNTIES IN CENTRAL VERMONT:

ADDISON ORANGE WASHINGTON IN NORTHEAST VERMONT CALEDONIA ESSEX ORLEANS IN NORTHWEST VERMONT CHITTENDEN FRANKLIN GRAND ISLE LAMOILLE IN SOUTHERN VERMONT RUTLAND WINDSOR

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF ALBURGH, BEEKMANTOWN, BLOOMINGDALE, BRADFORD, BURLINGTON, CANTON, CHASM FALLS, CONSTABLE, CROWN POINT CENTER, DUANE CENTER, GOUVERNEUR, ISLAND POND, JOHNSON, LOON LAKE, MALONE, MASSENA, MIDDLEBURY, MINERVA, MONTPELIER, NEWCOMB, NEWPORT, OGDENSBURG, PARADOX, PARISHVILLE, PAUL SMITHS, PLATTSBURGH, POTSDAM, RANDOLPH, RAY BROOK, RUTLAND, SCHROON LAKE, SOUTH COLTON, SOUTH HERO, SPRINGFIELD, ST. ALBANS, ST. JOHNSBURY, STOWE, TICONDEROGA, VERGENNES, AND WHITE RIVER JUNCTION.

Sender

NWS Burlington VT

Sent

7/10/2024 12:11 EDT

Addison, VT; Caledonia, VT; Chittenden, VT; Essex, VT; Franklin, VT; Grand Isle, VT; Lamoille, VT; Orange, VT; Orleans, VT; Rutland, VT; Washington, VT; Windsor, VT (COUNTIES)

Coin Drop Alert

Please know there will be folks on VT RT 110 next to the town hall on Saturday, July 13, from 8 a.m. to noon. The coin drop is to benefit the Washington Agricultural Association.

A message from Representative Carl Demrow

I am writing because I’ve heard from a number of folks who are concerned that education property taxes are going up 14% as a result of the legislature’s override of Governor Scott’s veto of H. 887, the yield bill.  Education property taxes in Washington are not going up 14%.

The homestead education property tax rate for Washington is going up one cent.  It is less than a 1% increase over last year’s rate.  

The reason for this is two fold:  Your Echo Valley School board works to keep spending low and  in 2022 the legislature changed pupil weighting,  which drastically decreased spending per equalized pupil at Echo Valley.

Vermonters are understandably concerned about property taxes. This was a THE issue at the State House this year. School funding in Vermont is complicated. It’s a mix of local control and legislative action. Each year, school districts make budgets and bring them to the voters for approval. This is the “local control” part: school spending is decided by school boards and voters in each district. 


This year, school boards faced a “perfect storm” of rising costs. These included healthcare premiums going up 16%, the end of federal COVID money for schools, big student needs (like mental health services after the pandemic), the cost to fix and maintain Vermont’s old school buildings, inflation, and more. Because of this, school budgets went up across the state, and so did property taxes. 


After local voters approve budgets in March, it is the legislature’s job to pay the bill by setting what is called the yield. Per pupil spending divided by the yield gives you a town’s property tax rate.

This year, the legislature worked hard to find ways to cover that cost while trying to lower property tax rates. At one point in December, it looked like property taxes would go up by more than 20% on average. By using every responsible option, the legislature brought that average increase down to just under 14%.  Again, a less than 1% increase in Washington.  The legislature did this by using extra tax revenue we didn’t expect, adding a one-time transfer to the Education Fund from the state’s General Fund, and raising taxes a bit on cloud software and short-term rental bookings (paid by visitors, not hosts). Together, this added about $96 million in “other” revenue to the Education Fund. We also added extra help in the form of an expanded property tax credit for the 66 percent of Vermonters who pay their property/school taxes based on household income. 


Governor Scott had some last-minute ideas, like borrowing money to lower this year’s property tax rates, ending school meal programs, and using up all of our Education Fund reserves. These ideas would have created a bigger problem next year. This is money taxpayers would have to pay back, making bills higher in the future. Even though the need is immediate, it just isn’t responsible. And if we did not vote to override a veto and pass a yield bill, taxes would have gone up more than 20% statewide. We can’t have that.

I am happy to talk to any constituent about how we pay for our schools in Vermont and how it is connected to property taxes. Vermont has a very complicated education funding system, and we need to be willing to change it next year. In H.887, we also set up a “blue ribbon” commission to hold hearings in every county and bring an action plan to the legislature on cost savings and financial changes.   My baseline is that our education finance system needs to be affordable, understandable, and fair to rural communities like ours.


I totally agree that Vermonters can’t afford rising taxes like this. I pay these taxes too. But I think most of us support our schools and are willing to vote for responsible budgets that give our teachers, students, and families the resources they need. The hard part is balancing the two, and H.887 does that for the next fiscal year.

————–
Carl Demrow
State Representative, Orange 1
House Ways and Means Committee

cdemrow@leg.state.vt.us

802-505-1867
PO Box 531
Corinth, VT 05039

Voting Rules & Information

Deadlines

 All early voter absentee ballot requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. or by the close of the town clerk’s office on the day before the election.

All ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted.

 In-home Ballot Delivery

If you are sick or have a disability, a ballot can be delivered to your home on Election Day. You may request an absentee ballot up until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Two justices of the peace (of different parties when possible) will deliver a ballot to you, and then will bring the ballot back to the polling place so that it can be placed in the ballot box and counted.

 Additional Application Info

 An early or absentee voter, or an authorized family member or health care provider acting in the voter’s behalf, may apply for an early voter absentee ballot by telephone, in person, or in writing. “Family member” means a person’s spouse, children, brothers, sisters, parents, spouse’s parents, grandparents, and spouse’s grandparents.

Any other authorized person may apply in writing or in person; provided, however, that voter authorization to such a person shall not be given by response to a robotic phone call. An authorized person must identify the organization they work with, if applicable.

An early or absentee voter may also apply for their ballot online at their My Voter Page.

Absentee ballots for the August 13, 2024, statewide primary will be available not later than June 29, 2024. Absentee ballots for the November 5, 2024, general election will be automatically mailed to all active registered voters, not later than October 1, 2024. Ballots for local elections—town meeting elections by Australian ballot—are available 20 days prior to the election. You can, however, request ballots at any point during the year leading up to the election. We strongly recommend that military or overseas voters request an early or absentee ballot at least 45 days prior to the election.

Requests for an early voter absentee ballot can be made at any time until 5 p.m., or by the time of closing of the town clerk’s office on the last day that the clerk has regular hours before the election. The request can be made at the same time the person registers to vote.

A single request may be made for absentee ballots for town meeting, and the primary and general elections, if the “mail to” address is the same for all three elections. Please note that a request must be made every election year.

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will be considered a request for ballots for both the primary and general elections.

 Military and Overseas Voter Absentee Ballot Requests

To register to vote and request an absentee ballot, visit the My Voter Page.

Military or overseas voters may also request an absentee ballot by telephone, fax, email, or by mail. You may also request that the unvoted ballot and certificate for the return envelope be sent to you by email, fax, or mail. If you have the ballot and certificate sent by email or fax, the clerk will include instructions for you. However, under Vermont law, voted ballots must be returned to the town clerk inside the absentee certificate envelope (with the voter’s original signature). Voted ballots may not be returned by fax or email.

For more voting information for military and/or overseas voters, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

 Responding to Early Voter Absentee Ballot Requests

The town clerk must mail a complete set of early voter absentee ballots to voters who have requested ballots. The ballots must be mailed “forthwith” (as soon as possible) after an application for a ballot has been filed with the clerk and the clerk has received the ballots from the printer. Early voter absentee ballots that are sent to voters who are outside of the country must be sent airmail, first class, postpaid, when such service is available. Ballots sent to voters outside of the country may also be sent by email when requested.

When a voter goes to the town clerk’s office to vote early, the voter is given the absentee ballots and envelopes and is provided a private place to mark the ballots. The voter must then seal the ballots in the envelope, sign the certificate, and return the ballots in the sealed envelope to the town clerk or an assistant town clerk. A voter may also take the ballots and return them to the town clerk before the end of Election Day. No person, except justices of the peace, may take any ballot from the town clerk on behalf of any other person.

 How to Vote an Early Absentee Ballot

The following are the directions a voter will receive with an early voter absentee ballot for the general election.

Note: In the case of early or absentee voting in a primary, the envelope instructions will also include appropriate instructions for separating the ballots and depositing the unvoted ballot(s) in a separate envelope provided and clearly marked “Unused Ballots.”

Marking Ballots

Voters must mark the ballots in accordance with the instructions.

A voter who is ill or has a disability may ask one of the officers who delivers the ballots, in the presence of the other officer, to mark the ballot for him or her. A person who gives assistance to a voter in the marking or registering of ballots may not in any way divulge any information regarding the choice of the voter or the manner in which the voter’s ballot was cast.

A voter who spoils a ballot may return the spoiled ballot by mail or in person to the town clerk and receive another ballot. A voter may receive up to three ballots. A person can spoil two ballots and still vote.

Signing Certificate

The voter must sign the certificate on the outside of the envelope for the ballot to be valid.

A voter who is physically unable to sign his or her name may mark an “X” swearing to the statement on the certificate. The officers who deliver the ballots shall witness the mark and sign their names with a statement attesting to this fact on the envelope.

Return of Ballots

Early or absentee voter ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of business on the day before the election (be sure to check your town clerk’s hours) or to the polling place by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The ballots may be returned by mail or in person, unless the ballots were delivered by justices of the peace who would then return them to the town clerk.

The town clerk must record receipt of the voted ballot(s) on the list of early or absentee voters.

Once an early voter absentee ballot has been returned to the clerk in the sealed envelope with the signed certificate, it shall be stored in a secure place and shall not be returned to the voter for any reason.

During the hours that the polls are open, the town clerk delivers the envelopes to the presiding officer in the polling place where the early or absentee voter would have voted if he had voted in person.

On Election Day, election officials examine the checklist to see whether the voter has already voted in person. The election officials also check the certificate on the envelope containing the ballots to make sure it is properly filled out. When the election officials are satisfied that the early or absentee voter is legally qualified to vote, has not already voted in person and that the certificate is properly filled out, they open the envelope containing the ballot(s). Without unfolding the ballots or permitting the ballot to be seen, the election officials mark the entrance checklist indicating the fact that that voter has voted by means of an early voter absentee ballot, and then they deposit the ballots in the ballot boxes or voting machine. Early voter absentee ballots are commingled with the ballots of voters who have voted in person.

Defective Ballots

When an early or absentee voter is not legally qualified to vote, or has voted in person, or if the certificate on the voted ballot envelope is not signed, or the voted ballot is not in the voted ballot envelope, or, in the case of a primary vote, the early or absentee voter has failed to return the unvoted primary ballots, the envelope must be marked “defective”. The voter will be notified that the return of their ballot was defective, within three days of the clerk receiving it, and the voter will have an opportunity to correct the error and have their ballot counted.

Road Closure Saturday June 29

Due to installation of an underground water line on East Orange Road, the road will be closed just east of the Woodchuck Hollow Extension intersection for a few hours on Saturday, June 29, 2024, starting at 7 a.m.

Subject: NWS Burlington: Dangerous Heat and Strong to Severe Thunderstorms Today

AOT – Vermont Local Roads <AOT.VermontLocalRoads@vermont.gov>
to VT-LOCALROADS

Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2024 4:42 AM
Subject: NWS Burlington: Dangerous Heat and Strong to Severe Thunderstorms Today

Dear Emergency Managers & Federal/State Agency Partners & others,

The information in this email pertains to ALL of Vermont, as well as Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence counties in New York.
WHAT HAS CHANGED
·  No changes to the heat threat or the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms today.
OVERVIEW
·  A Heat Advisory remains in effect for the entire region through 8 PM today.
·  Maximum temperatures will reach the upper 80s to upper 90s today with high humidity
·  Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible today with primary threat being damaging winds and frequent cloud to ground lightning, between 11 AM and 7 PM.
·  Localized and isolated flash flooding is possible in any areas that experience multiple rounds of storms.
Please see the attached briefing for more details. For more on heat, visit: www.weather.gov/btv/heat<http://www.weather.gov/btv/heat>

DISCLAIMERS & CONTACT INFO

A reminder: These e-mails are to help prepare you for upcoming weather events and to increase your situational awareness, but are not the source for weather warnings.
Closely monitor future forecasts via www.weather.gov/btv<http://www.weather.gov/btv> (or NWS Albany at www.weather.gov/aly<http://www.weather.gov/aly> for Bennington and Windham Counties).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us 24/7 via:
1. Telephone: 802-863-4279 or 802-658-0150
2. Email: nwsbtv.info@noaa.gov<mailto:nwsbtv.info@noaa.gov>
3. NWSChat for eligible & registered users at https://nwschat.enterprise.slack.com/

Day Change-Week of June 24-28

Due to the upcoming August primary, all town clerk offices must be opened on Friday, June 28, to review all mail, emails and absentee requests from military, civilian overseas, or military overseas voters.

Therefore, next week this town clerk’s office will be closed on Monday June 24, and opened the rest of the business week.

The listers will still hold their office hours at the town hall Monday 1-3.