Category Archives: Waterbury

Paddlefest coming to Waterbury

Staff Report

WATERBURY CENTER — The Vermont Paddleboard Festival is coming to Waterbury Center State Park at 177 Reservoir Road on June 24, where more than 50 models of paddleboards from 12 manufacturers will be available to test. There will be clinics on everything from how to choose a paddleboard to paddleboard repairs; and a paddleboard yoga demonstration and races. Beginners to experts are welcome.

“Stand up paddleboarding has grown in Vermont since it arrived here about three years ago,” said organizer John Bauer of the blog Vermont Paddling. “This festival is designed to allow people to try it for the first time and to give experienced paddlers a chance to try different boards.”

Stand up paddleboarding is a combination of surfing and paddling that allows you to stand up and glide over water on a specially designed surfboard. The festival begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Attendees will need to pay a $3 day use fee unless they have a state park pass; the festival is asking for a $5 entry fee, which will be donated to Friends of the Winooski.

The Waterbury Center State Park is expected to fill quickly. Attendees with canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are encouraged to park at the boat launches at Cottonbrook, Blush Hill and the Waterbury dam and paddle to the state park. Launch locations and more information may be found at

Waterbury leaders hone office plan

WATERBURY — Waterbury trustees and Select Board members are scheduled to convene Wednesday for a joint meeting to discuss and most likely sign comments they will submit to federal officials as part of the process of reconstructing the state office complex in town.
The board members and trustees will be submitting comments on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s draft environmental assessment of the state-led project to revamp the state office complex, which was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene, said Select Board Chairwoman Rebecca Ellis.
“I’d say it’s a tweaking of what’s in the environmental assessment and a correction of a few of the things that are in there,” said Ellis, referring to the comments officials plan to submit.
“The main impact of the project is the demolition of historic buildings,” Ellis added. “I would say the town and village are supportive and understand the need to take down the buildings, so I don’t think we’ll be objecting to that, but there are actions that can be taken to mitigate the loss of the buildings and the history that goes along with the buildings.”
The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Street fire station in Waterbury.

Volunteers to do community service in Waterbury

WATERBURY — Volunteers are turning out for a community service day in Waterbury to help with river clean up, home energy improvements and trail work.
About 100 Vermont Housing and Conservation staff, AmericaCorps members and Montpelier High School students are expected to volunteer throughout the day on Wednesday.
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board community service day starts at 8:30 at St. Leo’s Hall.

Police search for attempted beverage store robber

WATERBURY - Police are searching for a man who tried to rob a convenience store in the village of Waterbury.
Police say the clerk was outside the Depot Beverage on River Road at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday when the suspect approached brandishing a handgun.
The clerk fled after seeing the weapon.
The slender male suspect was over 6 feet talk. He was wearing blue jeans, black T-shirt and a long sleeve khaki shirt wrapped around his head turban style.

Kirby House deal reached

WATERBURY — A residential care facility in Waterbury will pay $15,000 to settle claims that it violated federal health regulations by billing the government for services provided by a nurse whose license was previously suspended.
Under a deal announced Wednesday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Burlington, the Kirby House will pay the money but will not admit liability.
The case stems from the Kirby House’s employment of a person prohibited from participating in federal health programs, according to a news release from the federal prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors say the employee had initially been hired to perform non-nursing functions but that the person later worked for six months as a licensed practical nurse.
Residential facilities are prohibited from billing Medicaid or Medicare for nursing services provided by individuals who have previously had their licenses suspended.

Public hearing set on building plans

Federal and state officials want to hear from the public about plans to rebuild the Waterbury state office complex. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and state of Vermont will hold a public hearing May 30 at Thatcher Brook Primary School on Stowe Street. An open house will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the hearing at 7 p.m. The public will have the chance to look at information about the plans and talk with state and federal representatives about proposals to demolish some buildings and build new ones.
“We are proposing to remove some buildings and take other steps to reduce future flooding and restore the flood plain,” said Rob Evans, river corridor and flood plain manager with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. “We’re hoping to hear the public’s thoughts on the impact to the historic campus, as well as on the flood plain.”
The hearing is part of a federally mandated environmental review process. A preliminary copy of the draft environmental assessment is available at the Waterbury Municipal Offices, 43 S. Main St., during office hours. After the meeting, public comments will continue to be accepted until 4 p.m. June 15 and can be mailed to Peter Thomas, FEMA Essex Junction Joint Field Office, 30 Allen Martin Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Shumlin to sign off on state building budget today

 WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) Gov. Peter Shumlin is poised to sign into law a budget for state building projects that includes a more than $16 million down payment for rebuilding after Tropical Storm Irene.  About 1,500 state workers were displaced from their Waterbury offices when Irene hit last August. About 200 have since returned to the Public Safety building, but hundreds more are now working at temporary locations across northern Vermont. The plan is to rebuild the complex so it can withstand another flood and bring about 900 jobs back to the community. The bill to be signed Monday is an adjustment to what’s now a $158 million, two-year capital construction budget that was first passed last spring. Big changes were needed to respond to flooding brought by Tropical Storm Irene in late August.

Waterbury looking for money for Irene recovery

WATERBURY — One of the Vermont towns hardest hit by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene is looking for financial backers for a number of ambitious recovery projects.
Waterbury is one of two Vermont communities selected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that has been selected for assistance in developing a long term recovery plan. The other community selected for long-term assistance is Wilmington.
Some of the projects under consideration in Waterbury include a new municipal complex, an arts center, affordable housing, expanded recreational opportunities and energy efficiency ideas that would make Waterbury what one participant called the greenest community in the state.
Vermont Public Radio says that on Thursday a group of volunteers made their pitch to the agencies and foundations that could help pay for the projects.

Grant makes marketing workshop possible

By Jenna Pizzi
Vermont Press Bureau

WATERBURY – Many small businesses in the Waterbury area have been struggling to adapt to life after Tropical Storm Irene.

Nina Brennan, owner of the Proud Flower, was forced to move locations when her shop was inundated by floodwaters from the storm. And now that she is back up and running, Brennan is weathering another storm – a loss of foot traffic through the historic village and contracts from the state office complex.

“I have missed the deliveries to the state and the walk-ins from people after work,” said Brennan. “It is definitely a noticeable difference.”

The complex, which housed some 1,500 state employees, was severely damaged in the storm, displacing employees to work in other areas. While Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Legislature have committed to bringing state employees back to Waterbury, construction and renovation of the buildings could take years.

So in order to help Brennan and other local businesses adapt, Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation is hosting a series of seven marketing workshops, funded by a $10,000 grant from TD Bank.

“It is in our best interest to support the local businesses,” said Marino Bartolomei, Waterbury store manager for TD Bank. “And we want to do everything we can.”

The first of the workshops, giving an introduction to the kind of marketing solutions that will be offered through the course of several months, was held at the American Legion on Wednesday morning. The workshops are free to Waterbury-area businesses.

For the complete story, see Thursday’s Rutland Herald.

Brush fire slows traffic on I-89 in Waterbury

State Police and four separate fire departments responded to a brush fire this afternoon just to the east of Interstate 89 in Waterbury, which started with a blown tire on a delivery truck that caught fire, flew into the oncoming northbound lane and ignited the grass and brush.

Traffic in both lanes slowed around mile marker 61 as fire crews from Waterbury, Berlin, Middlesex and Stowe worked to contain the blaze.

The Calmont Beverage box truck was driven by Christopher Lefebvre of Barre, who was southbound when his wheel fell off and started the fire around 2:45 p.m.