by Guy Page
Finishing the UVM athletic complex will require another $87 million.
The UVM Board of Trustees last week reaffirmed its commitment to the Multipurpose Center project and reiterated the importance of its original goals including increasing the space available to all UVM students for recreation, wellness and fitness activities and upgrading facilities for intercollegiate athletics, a UVM statement said. To date, the university has invested over $67 million in the project, which includes a new group fitness hub and multi-use activity court (MAC) that have significantly enhanced recreation space available for the general student body since opening last year.
UVM Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman said: “While the pandemic and a changed landscape for construction financing have created significant financial challenges, I appreciate that our donors, along with university leaders and trustees, remain fully committed to seeing this project through to completion.”
A UVM work group discussed potential funding options and recommended the continued pursuit of all sources of funding, including philanthropy, to help realize the project’s goals. The work group determined that an additional $87 million is needed to complete construction.
New game wardens – Vermont Fish and Wildlife game warden trainees Louis Daversa, Noelle Kline, and John Truong were promoted to full game warden on Monday, February 13. The promotion came after wardens Daversa, Kline, and Truong completed a seven-month series of rotations through Vermont communities in each region of the state. All game warden trainees also complete the four months of police academy required of sworn law enforcement officers in Vermont.
Disabilities services pay, management bill becomes law – February 13, Governor Scott signed into law H.1, legislative oversight of payment reform and conflict-free case management for developmental disability services.
Illegal border crossings remain high – crossings of the Swanton Sector of Canada/U.S. border in sub-freezing temps continued last week, as U.S. Border Patrol Agents apprehended 115 subjects from 12 countries—mostly Mexican nationals. “Unfortunately, perilous weather has done nothing to deter this traffic,” USBP said.
The first week of February followed an equally busy January. Despite area temps reaching -4 degrees, agents apprehended 367 subjects in January— more than 12 preceding years of January totals combined. October through January, encounters rose 846% against the same prior-year timeframe.
Mobile home park funding – Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced the launch of the Manufactured Home Improvement and Repair Program (MHIR), offering financial assistance to manufactured home communities (commonly known as mobile home parks) as well as current and prospective manufactured home owners. The program, funded by $4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will provide financial assistance for park improvements, home repair and foundation installation.
The three-part program aims to financially assist park owners in preparing vacant or abandoned lots for new manufactured homes, aid existing mobile homeowners in improving the habitability of their homes, and support new and existing mobile home owners with installing new foundations.