Brattleboro fire trucks parked next to the Municipal Center, as the Selectboard met on Sept. 19.
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Brattleboro to run its own EMS

Selectboard spurns Rescue Inc.proposal and unanimously approves municipal fire-based model for emergency services

The Selectboard has voted unanimously to pursue a municipal-based model to provide the town's emergency medical services (EMS), choosing it over starting a new contract with Rescue Inc.

Staff members recommended the town model, saying it outperforms any other model investigated, including Rescue, by nearly $1.2 million over five years.

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One town struggles with housing issues

Short-term rentals (STRs), like those listed on websites like Airbnb and VRBO, are adversely affecting the housing market. That's according to the town's "Housing Needs Assessment and Strategy" report, published in April. The report acknowledges that, while not solely responsible, STRs have contributed to rising housing prices and a decline in the availability of long-term rental housing. There are more than 300 active short-term rentals in the Londonderry area, an increase of 62% over the past three years, as reported...

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Galbraith to reflect on role of the U.S. in a fast-changing world

For years, former Ambassador Peter Galbraith has given an annual talk to the Windham World Affairs Council (WWAC). These talks have usually focused on the various hot spots in the Middle East and the U.S. role in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. This year's annual Galbraith Lecture, set for Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 6:30 p.m., at Centre Congregational Church, will take a wider view of U.S. foreign policy. The talk - titled "Is the American Century Over? Can...

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Fall water main flushing begins on Friday, Sept. 22

Utilities Division crews from the Department of Public Works will start fall flushing of the town water mains on Friday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. and continue work through Friday, Oct. 13. Some daytime flushing will continue throughout the week of Oct. 6–13. Customers are asked to check the flushing schedule closely, as flushing causes water discoloration, low water pressure, and, in some areas, periods of no water. Water main flushing will occur during both night (10 p.m. to 6...

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Brattleboro employees support municipal fire-based EMS model

Out of the gate at the Sept. 12 public forum at Brooks Memorial Library, Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland surprised some by recommending the Selectboard choose a fire-based EMS service for the town - a move supported by the 10 other town staff members present, each speaking in favor of it. "I believe we have a fantastic opportunity in the municipal model," Moreland said. He continued to note that after reviewing the Request for Proposal (RFP) responses from American Medical...

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Selectboard discusses EMS options in advance of impending major decision

It was almost 11 p.m., about 2{1/2} hours into a three-hour discussion on Sept. 7 about how the town will provide emergency medical services (EMS) in the future, when the conversation focused a beam directly on the town's partnership with previous provider, Rescue Inc. For a nanosecond, you could hear a pin drop after board member Elizabeth "Liz" McLoughlin, asked the board to direct town staff members to plan to outline a history of the Brattleboro Fire Department's previous relationship...

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Funding in place to move families living in danger of flooding

With the final piece of financing approved on Sept. 11 by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Tri-Park Cooperative Housing Corporation, which owns three Brattleboro mobile home parks - Mountain Home Park, Glen Park, and Black Mountain Park - is set to implement flood resiliency projects outlined in its 2020 Master Plan. The majority of the $6 million in federal and state grant funds assembled for the project will be used for a voluntary buyback program to relocate 26 Mountain Home...

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Lawsuit seeks to prevent pharmacy from closing

In the latest legal confrontation in a long string of civil claims and counterclaims surrounding one of the last independent pharmacies in the area, the former owners of Greater Falls Pharmacy are seeking judicial intervention to keep the current owners from closing the business. On Sept. 8, Michelle and Donald Laurendeau, who have operated the pharmacy since 2018, announced on the pharmacy Facebook page that, "due to the changing pharmacy environment and the impact these changes have had on our...

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No easy solutions

The unemployed, the unhoused, the people with mental health problems, the panhandlers, the drug users, the dealers, the travelers, the thieves - it is hard to tell the players on the street without a scorecard. When I first thought about writing about homelessness in Brattleboro, I lumped all of the above together because homelessness has become an all-encompassing word. Yet it shouldn't be. Brattleboro has problems, certainly. But why should this town be different from everywhere else in the country?

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