Author: Tom Benton

‘Honoring the dead, helping the living’

SWANTON — Given enough time, reliance on memory can glaze so thickly over facts that an entire story shifts. Take the Memorial Building, for instance, the history of which is not as idyllic as some have asserted, but, instead, simply a very human blend of physical reality and community ideals. With the aid of the Swanton Historical Society’s president, Ron Kilburn, the Messenger explored newspaper archives and local histories to uncover the Memorial Building’s history. That history began, more or less, at Swanton’s annual town meeting in March 1947 — more or less because, according to the Swanton Courier’s...

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Alewives invade Lake Carmi

FRANKLIN — Now that cold weather has finally dissipated a several-month-long blue-green algae bloom, Lake Carmi is contending with another threat: alien invaders. Local birdwatching enthusiasts Hal and Charlotte Bill discovered hundreds of unusual dead fish on the boat ramp of the Lake Carmi State Park on Saturday. They’re small fish, only a few inches long, and a plain silver, like living lures. Investigation by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife (VTDFW) soon discovered those hundreds were only a small portion of a lake-wide fish kill numbering in the thousands. VTDFW has now confirmed Charlotte’s suspicion: that the...

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Village hires contractor for eco park

ENOSBURG FALLS — The Village of Enosburg Falls Board of Trustees awarded the village’s eco park project to Guilmette’s Handyman Services at the board’s regular meeting on Nov. 28. The project would renovate the site of the village’s former diesel generator, which the village decommissioned in the early 1990s. The village hired architectural design company H. K. Wagner to create a master plan for the renovation in 2010. Wagner’s design includes what the company called an “interpretive park.” The park would have included examples of wind, solar and other forms of renewable power, a concept village manager Jon Elwell...

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Ace deal would add $1M to grand list

SWANTON — Maquam Holdings’ Ace Hardware project is like a shaken snow globe. A blizzard of barely decipherable information is flying in every direction, obscuring the actual project, its history and its possible effects. Here are facts. The Village of Swanton and Maquam Holdings signed a purchase and sale agreement for 3 Label Lane, the Memorial Building, at the Village Board of Trustees’ regular meeting Monday night. Maquam Holdings, owned by Swanton residents Debbie and Gordon Winters, has already purchased the Prouty building and the old Champlain Theater on Canada Street. The terms of the Memorial Building sale are...

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Swanton: Officials sign Memorial Building agreement

SWANTON — The village board of trustees signed a purchase and sales agreement with Gordon Winters at the board’s regular Monday meeting, officially transferring ownership of the Memorial Building, which Winters plans to develop into an Ace Hardware store. The deal is not done, though. Residents have 30 days to petition the agreement, which is a public document available in the village office, a fact board members stressed at Monday’s meeting. The board also discussed the possible tax effect should voters approve the purchase of one or two new fire trucks for the Swanton Village Fire Department. Board members...

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