Second installment of property taxes due Friday, February 9, 2018: Payments must be made on or before the due date to avoid 1.5% interest charges and an additional 8% penalty. My office will be open for tax collection every day this week, 9 AM – 12 PM and 1 – 4 PM. Thank you, Judy Coolidge, Town Treasurer

Upcoming Pawlet Town Government Meetings: All meetings are open to the public and are held at the Pawlet Town Hall on School Street.

  • Select Board, Tuesday, February 13 and 27, 7 PM. If you have a specific topic to discuss with the board and wish to be added to the agenda, please notify pawletselectbrd@vermontel.net by the Friday before the meeting you are planning to attend. The meeting agenda is posted at the Pawlet and West Pawlet Post Offices and on the town website www.pawlet.vt.gov
  • Pawlet Planning Commission, Monday, February 26, 7:30 PM

Pawlet Town Office’s Holiday Closings: The Town Offices will be closed February 19 for Presidents’ Day.

Preparing for Local Elections, March 6, 2018:  Informational Meeting is Monday March 5, 7:30 PM, Mettawee Community School and Town Meeting (Voting) is March 6, 9 AM – 7 PM, Pawlet Town Hall.  The full warning can be viewed here: https://pawlet.vt.gov/town-goverment/town-clerk/. Note that Vermont now has same day voter registration.

Pawlet Select Board seeks applications for the position of Assistant to the Selectboard: Under the general direction of the Selectboard, this position advances the effective functioning of the Town’s Government through research, data and oral and written communication skills to the administration of municipal government.  A complete job description, including responsibilities and education and experience requirements, is at the Selectc Board page at www.pawlet.vt.gov and at the Pawlet Town Hall. To apply, please mail a Letter of Intent, resume, and three professional references to Pawlet Select Board, PO Box 128, Pawlet, VT 05761. The position will remain open until filled.

WPVFD Pancake Breakfast, Sunday, February 11, 7:30 – 11 AM, West Pawlet Firehouse: This fundraiser event is sponsored by the West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department. The firehouse, located at 2806 Vermont Route 153 (Main Street) in West Pawlet, is a handicap accessible site; all are welcome. We serve several kinds of pancakes: regular, chocolate chip, blueberry, cranberry – all with local maple syrup – as well as waffles, our World-famous home fries, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon. Beverages include coffee, tea, milk and orange Juice. Prices are $8 (seniors 65 years of age and up), $10 (12 to 65 years), $5 (5-12 years) and free for children under 5. The department members extend a sincere thank you to the many patrons of our pancake breakfast events, which are held monthly September through April. For more information contact: Antonio Landon at (802) 345-4312 or email wp5801@yahoo.com.

Focus Group Meeting for Children’s Programs, Tuesday, February 13, 6 – 7:30 PM, Pawlet Public Library: Teachers and parents of preschool and elementary school children are invited to participate in a focus group to help inform the Library about future programming for children. The meeting will be held in the Waite Room in the lower level of the Pawlet Public Library. For more information, contact Adelle Seamans, pawletpub@gmail.com, Assistant Librarian, Pawlet Public Library.

Pawlet Haystack Hustlers Seniors Lunch, Tuesday, February 27, 12 PM, Mettawee Community School: We will enjoy a lunch prepared by the cafeteria staff ($4 donation), participate in a 50/50 drawing, visit a classroom, and hear from Elliott Greenblot, AARP Fraud Watch Network, who will speak about fraud and identity theft.  Call Sharon Undal at 802-645-0461 for reservations and information.

WPVFD Bus Trip to Foxwoods Casino, Saturday, March 10: The West Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department has organized a trip to help cure your cabin fever! Hop aboard a luxurious bus to the largest casino on the East Coast, Foxwoods Casino and Resort, with gaming floor offering slots and table games, 70 retail stores for shopping, over 35 restaurants to choose from, plus a Bowling Alley and Arcade; all connected inside the complex. The Bus will leave Mettawee School in West Pawlet, VT at 6 AM sharp.  The return coach will leave Foxwoods Casino at 6 PM. Limited seats are available, all ticket sales are final. For further information and ticket purchases, 802-770-0196.

New Library Director: Pawlet Public Library welcomes new Library Director, Mary Lou Willits of Middletown Springs. She previously served as executive director at the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, N.Y., for ten years and then as executive officer at Green Mountain College, where she was on the planning committee for the Board of Trustees and helped form a long-range vision for the college. Her administrative skills, grant expertise and initiatives, along with her talent for creating interesting and creative programs for adults and children and her vision for long-term financial stability will serve as a great asset to our Library. Call 802-325-3123 to learn more.

Up Home – Hand-Colored Photographs of the Griswold Home in Pawlet, by Susanne and Neil Rappaport, Exhibit at the Vermont Folklife Center through March 31, 2018: After Minnie Griswold passed away in 1952, her sons locked up their mother’s house in Pawlet and left all her belongings in place, unaltered. Thirty years later, Pawlet documentarians Susanne and Neil Rappaport returned at the invitation of one of the brothers, Charlie, and went on to produce a collection of hand-colored photographs of Minnie’s home. This rarely seen collection of over 45 hand-colored photographs can now be viewed at the Vermont Folklife Center, 88 Main Street in Middlebury. The Vision & Voice Gallery is free & open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

School District Merger Update from Jacquelyne Wilson, Superintendent, Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union: On November 21, 2017, the communities of Pawlet and Rupert voted in favor of merging their school districts as part of the Act 46 consolidation process. The merger would have resulted in the elimination of designation to New York schools. Under the merger, students could still attend New York schools, and they could also opt to attend an approved independent school and receive the state union average toward tuition costs. The merger also formed a side-by-side relationship with the Taconic and Green Regional School District, resulting in a guarantee to remain within the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union. Under the law, citizens have the right to petition for reconsideration of a vote within 30 days of the vote. On December 18, 2017, a merger reconsideration petition was filed by some Rupert citizens requesting that Rupert voters reconsider the proposed Act 46 merger between Pawlet and Rupert.

On February 15, 2018, Rupert voters will again vote on the merger question.  An informational meeting for Rupert voters is scheduled for February 12, 7 PM at the Rupert Fire House. If the vote on the 15th is again to the affirmative, the merger will proceed.  If the merger vote is negative, the merger process will not move forward. Due to the uncertainty raised from the reconsideration vote, we have not been able to proceed with the budget process under the normal timeline.  Voters will not be voting on a budget in March.  Before a budget can be approved and put forth to the voters for approval we need to know who the governing body will be.  If the merger proceeds, the Board members who were elected to serve as members of the new Mettawee School District will develop and approve a budget. If the merger is rejected by the Rupert voters, the three existing Boards (Pawlet, Rupert, and UD47) will develop their individual budgets for voter approval.  In either case, a special election will need to be called to vote on the budget/s in late April or early May. This delay may also result in us being unable to issue April teacher renewal contracts by the April 1 deadline.  We are currently exploring our options regarding this issue. If the merger vote doesn’t pass, all three school districts will need to file a Section 9 proposal with the Agency of Education.  A Section 9 proposal is required under Act 46 and filers must state how remaining as they are meets the goals of Act 46.  In the fall of 2018, the Secretary of Education will begin the process of developing a state-wide plan and start the decision-making process for districts who have not merged.

Pawlet Favorite Poem Reading, Sunday, April 8, 2018, 3 PM, Pawlet Public Library: Adults and children are welcome to join us with their favorite poem to share. Each person has about seven minutes to read the poem (an excerpt from a long one is fine, or two or more short ones) and talk about it.  The idea is to have something by a published poet, rather than a poem that you have written. Poems in another language are fun, followed by a translation. Potluck refreshments will be served. Please contact Anita Pomerance as soon as you can with the title and name of the person who wrote your poem so she can put you on the program in advance (802-325-3786 or anita.pomerance56@gmail.com).

Healthy Meals at the Pawlet Food Pantry: Frozen prepared meals, healthy and free, are available at the food pantry for those in need every other Friday at the Pawlet Community Church, junction of Rtes. 30 & 133 in Pawlet Village. Please note pantry is open only one hour the first Friday of each month and two hours other Fridays. Unable to make it to pantry or do you know of anyone in need? We can help! Call: 802-867-2409. Meals are provided by The Grateful Hearts non-profit food program.

Food Pantry Seeks donations: Monetary donations can be mailed to: The Pawlet Community Church, PO Box 116 Pawlet, 05761. Attention: Tim Bryant. The Pawlet Community Church is deeply grateful for your support.

Emergency Fuel Assistance Fund in Pawlet needs donations: It’s winter, and our local fund meets emergency situations on the spot. Please send donations payable to “Pawlet Community Church Fuel Assistance Fund” to: Pawlet Fuel Assistance Fund, Attn: Tim Bryant, Treasurer, 337 Milaura Road, Pawlet, VT 05761. To get confidential help locally from the Pawlet Community Church Fuel Assistance Fund, call Pawlet Town Clerk Deb Hawkins, 325-3309 or Pawlet Community Church Pastor Melissa O’Brien, 325-2345 (cell) or 325-6314 (landline).

Rutland Area Visiting Nurse offers monthly community health clinics: The Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice sponsors a wide range of clinics for area residents and businesses, including health education, screening, testing, and adult immunizations. For more information visit http://vermontvisitingnurses.org/events/categories/rutland-area/ to learn about their flu and foot care clinics; cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure screenings; and many other important services.

2018 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events: This service is free to residents of the Solid Waste Alliance Communities, including Pawlet. Proof of residency may be required.

  • Saturday, April 14, 2018, 8:30 AM–12:30 PM, Rutland Town Transfer Station, in Northwood Park off Post Road Extension, Rutland
  • Saturday, April 28, 2018, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Fair Haven Transfer Station, Fair Haven Avenue (off West Street), Fair Haven
  • Saturday, October 13, 2018, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Rutland Town Transfer Station, in Northwood Park off Post Road Extension, Rutland