Mike Faher

State OKs $22.7M expansion for BMH

New four-story building is project's centerpiece

State regulators have approved a $22.7 million expansion project designed to address “current and future facility needs” at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

The project's centerpiece is a new, four-story, 20,180-square-foot building that will house bigger operating rooms, relocated medical offices, and an expanded cardiac rehabilitation area.

The changes aren't expected to significantly boost patient numbers at BMH; in fact, the Green Mountain Care Board said the project will slightly reduce the hospital's operating margin for the next several years.

But the care board decided that the project meets numerous medical needs.

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Groundworks moves ahead with relocation of overflow shelter

Facility will open Nov. 13 at Winston Prouty campus

Administrators are pushing ahead with plans to relocate Brattleboro's cold-weather homeless shelter, though it will begin operations a bit later than initially planned. The town's overflow shelter is scheduled to open Nov. 13 at the Winston Prouty campus, a few miles from the shelter's former longtime home in the...

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G.S. Precision finishes $17M expansion

In early 2015, it looked like longtime Brattleboro manufacturer G.S. Precision Inc. was set to leave Vermont. But a team of local, state, and federal officials crafted an elaborate financing package to prevent that from happening. Not only did G.S. Precision stay, but the company has just put the...

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Scott: Act 46 merger could offer ‘civic engagement’

As he presided over the creation of Windham County's newest school district, Gov. Phil Scott saw an opportunity for a lesson in “civic engagement.” Speaking on Sept. 22 to an audience of students, teachers, and parents from the merging Dover and Wardsboro school districts, Scott decried the “political rhetoric and engagement we see on the national level today.” He also called for less contentious policy discussions in Vermont - with an implicit acknowledgement that Act 46, the state law that...

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Welch bill calls for feds to compensate nuke fuel towns

Regardless of how quickly Vermont Yankee is decommissioned, Vernon will be stuck with the plant's spent nuclear fuel for the foreseeable future. U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., thinks that hardship should be worth some money - potentially millions of dollars per year. Welch has teamed with a Connecticut congressman to introduce a bill requiring the federal government to send annual compensation to communities that are forced to host radioactive waste due to the lack of a national repository for that...

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Towns to face new road rules

Citing water quality concerns, Vermont officials are proposing a host of new standards aimed at significantly reducing road erosion. But those standards may come with a steep cost in some towns. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is taking public comment on a draft permit that will require all municipalities to inventory their roads by the end of 2020 and then, over the next 16 years, bring those roads into compliance with new stormwater-runoff standards. State officials say the long...

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‘Always something’

Rickey Harrington oversees two southern Vermont towns, and his job titles include budget preparer, tax collector, planner, dog licenser, constable, and truant officer. So it's a good thing he's responsible for a total of 11 full-time residents. Harrington is the new state-appointed supervisor of Somerset, an unincorporated town on the western edge of Windham County. It's a good fit, he says, because he's been supervisor of neighboring Glastenbury - an unincorporated Bennington County town where he also resides - for...

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NorthStar defends plan for ‘rubblization’

State regulators and anti-nuclear activists are taking a stand against a proposal to reuse large amounts of Vermont Yankee's concrete as fill when the plant is decommissioned. The latest objections to the so-called “rubblization” plan come from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the state Public Service Department. Officials wonder whether the former nuclear plant's concrete is safe and suitable for burial at the Vernon property. “We want to feel comfortable ... that the material is truly clean,” said...

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