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January 23, 2019 top stories
Fairlee adopts new
vendor ordinance

FAIRLEE—After several months of development and review, the Fairlee Selectboard has approved an ordinance that sets up a permitting system for itinerant vendors, door-to-door salesmen, and food sales from trucks, trailers, and other portable equipment.
The selectboard approved the ordinance at its meeting on Jan. 21. Fairlee Selectboard Chair Jay Barrett could not be reached for comment on Tuesday morning.
The ordinance would require any person or business who “engage in a temporary or transient business ... either in one locality or traveling from place to place” to apply for a permit from the town administrator. Additionally, the ordinance applies to the sale of food items from a vehicle, trailer, or other portable structure.
Vendors would need to submit an application to the town administrator at least seven days prior to the commencement of operations. The town administrator can approve the permits or refer the application to the selectboard. The ordinance also permits the town to impose conditions on a permit.

Lunch debt prompts
program review

BRADFORD—In its quest to eliminate school lunch debt, administrators at Oxbow could explore whether to adopt a universal meals program at the school.
Universal meals is a federal program that provides free meals to all students at the school. Currently, just students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program are eligible for free meals.
But many students and families eligible for the program have not enrolled in the program, despite repeated attempts by administrators to increase participation. That is believed to be at least one factor that has contributed to the school’s lunch debt, which had reached $12,000 in the fall.
By moving to a universal meals setup, at least some students who currently bring their lunch would begin taking advantage of the school’s offering. That would reduce the per meal cost for the contractor currently overseeing the school’s lunch program. Dozens of schools, including Waits River Valley School, implement the program around the state.

This week's featured photo
Rivendell turns
down offer

WEST FAIRLEE—The agenda for the Rivendell Interstate School District board’s Jan. 10 meeting at Westshire Elementary School included “possible property acquisition.”
The location was appropriate, as the school sits right next to the property in question. Twenty years earlier, the fledgling school district bought a 13-acre parcel between Route 113 and the Ompompanoosuc River in the heart of West Fairlee for $150,000.
The “O’Brien property” included an 11-room house and a large barn, as well as rolling fields. Westshire, the elementary school for children from West Fairlee and Vershire, was built on most of the property, and the house, barn and small plot of land were sold.
The first potential buyers were a group of residents who proposed to develop the farmhouse as “The Kimball House School-Based Health Center.” However, that dream collapsed when they determined that bringing the house up to required standards would be too expensive. Instead, they rented space in West Fairlee’s former elementary school which had been turned over to the town.

New district
meeting set

BRADFORD—The inaugural meeting of the new school district enveloping Bradford and Newbury has been rescheduled despite litigation attempting to thwart its formation.
The meeting, ordered by the Vermont Secretary of Education, has been scheduled for Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. at Oxbow High School. It would be the initial step in setting up the new school district as mandated by the state under Act 46.
Under the state’s plan, the three independent districts overseeing Bradford Elementary School, Newbury Elementary School, and Oxbow High School would be dissolved and replaced by a single district overseeing all three schools beginning July 1. The move would only impact school governance and not directly affect school buildings or operations.
In December, the state ordered that the inaugural meeting for the new district be held on Jan. 23. But just days later, Newbury and 30 other towns filed a lawsuit in Washington County Superior Court. They also asked a judge to halt the new district meetings until the legal challenges can be resolved. A handful of other towns have filed two other lawsuits against the state.

MOONLIGHT STROLL—Haverhill Recreation held the annual Moonlight Snowshoe event at Blackmount Country Club in North Haverhill on Jan. 19. Despite the falling snow and impending snow, many turned out for the event. Shown above are Danielle Wyman, Monica Harris and Arayah Wyman of North Haverhill. Although they live right across the street, this was the first time they participated.
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