Author: Courtney Lamdin

Town hires new officials

The town of Colchester has filled two major municipal positions this month. Geoffrey Urbanik was named deputy town manager, and Julie Graeter was appointed town clerk and treasurer, press releases say. Urbanik replaces deputy manager Aaron Frank, whom the selectboard appointed town manager in March following Dawn Francis’ departure. Graeter succeeds longtime clerk/treasurer Karen Richard, who retires on June 30. Graeter has worked as Colchester’s assistant clerk/treasurer since 2004, primarily helping with town and state education tax billing and collections, a town press release said. She has also assisted with town elections. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting...

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House candidates file petitions for office

All four of Colchester’s legislative seats will be contested this general election, paperwork filed last week shows. A total of eight people filed between Colchester’s two voting districts by the May 31 deadline. The contenders are evenly split: two Republicans will face two Democrats in the general election in each district. Incumbent Curt Taylor is seeking re-election to the Chittenden 9-1 district as a Democrat. His former seatmate, Jim Condon (D), is stepping down after announcing he’s facing an “unwelcome medical diagnosis,” he told the Sun in April. Rounding out the Chittenden 9-1 race are Democrat Seth Chase and...

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Update: Missing woman found

UPDATE: A 31-year-old missing woman was returned home safely May 12, Colchester police said. Chief Jennifer Morrison said “an astute citizen” believed she spotted Whitaker in on Williston Road in South Burlington on May 12. South Burlington officers responded and located Whitaker, the news release said. Colchester police are seeking a local woman who left her Malletts Bay home Tuesday night, a press release Wednesday said. Vanessa Whitaker, 31, is “a vulnerable adult with cognitive impairment,” police said. She also went missing last fall, and police located her the following afternoon unharmed, the Sun reported then. Whitaker “has a history...

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Vacant building to house chocolate-maker

A Vermont-based chocolate company will soon take up residence in a long-vacant building on the Colchester-Milton border. Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates signed a lease for the Brentwood Park building that formerly housed Furniture World of Vermont four years ago. The Grand Isle chocolatier plans to move to Colchester’s Chimney Corners by September, CEO Mark Elvidge said. “We need an efficient facility to do our work, and there’s really nothing left on the Islands that’s suitable,” Elvidge said. “Being down [in Colchester] with a little bit closer proximity to the highway is good for shipping. We feel there’s going to be...

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Exit 17 redesign inches forward

Four years after a scoping study was completed, state planners have begun the second phase in a long process to fix traffic congestion and safety at the Exit 17 Interstate 89 interchange. Planners from the Vermont Agency of Transportation hosted a public hearing on proposed changes at Chimney Corners earlier this month, summarizing the congestion-easing measures that theoretically won’t be built until 2023. The plan is to replace the 1960s-era structurally deficient two-lane bridge, adding additional approach and turn lanes and leaving room for bicycle and pedestrian traffic at a cost of more than $30 million, the presentation shows....

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