north bennington news and events

Renovation of the historic 'Grapery' progressing in the Hiland Hall Garden

The Fund for North Bennington, Inc. in May commenced renovation of the historic 1905 'Grapery' in the Hiland Hall Garden. Above, the front knee-wall is being rebuilt on top of its original foundation of three railroad rails. Parts of the cast iron frame are being repaired with welds, but the original iron remains largely intact. A new wooden framehas been milled and installed on top of the cast iron, and tempered glass will soon be set in the wooden frame.

The work is being overseen by Jim Goodine, of Bennington, and supported by volunteers and gifts from Friends of Hiland Hall Garden, Inc. The project has also been made possible by more than 115 individual gifts and a grant from the Windham Foundation. The Grapery renovation is targeted for completion before the end of 2017. Fundraising continues to meet the final project costs. Donations to help complete the project may be made here. Please remember to designate your gift for The Grapery.

The Grapery has been actively used by students from The Village School of North Bennington for science and art projects, and will continue to provide space for the work of the volunteers and interns in the Hiland Hall Garden.

The Hiland Hall Garden is located just south of the Carriage Barn at the Park-McCullough House. The garden is private, but open to the public during daylight hours. The Grapery is owned by The Fund for North Bennington, Inc.

Paran hydroelectric study proposals under review by FERC

On March 16, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) accepted applications for preliminary study of two potential hydroelectric generation sites in North Bennington, and issued preliminary permits for each in June 2017. A 58 kw generating turbine is planned for the dam on Lake Paran. The other project would be a 36 kw plant on Paran Creek by the fire station. The Village of North Bennington supports both proposals. Click here for more information.

PFOA community updates

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA ) is a persistent, mobile, and toxic chemical. Once a major ingredient in Dupont's Teflon®, it was used in manufacturing at a plant in North Bennington until 2002. Recent testing has found PFOA in some area wells at levels above the Environmental Protection Agency's health advisory level. There is no PFOA in the water system serving most houses in the Village.

The State of Vermont is issuing regular updates on PFOA testing and studies in the North Bennington area, and is maintaining a map showing sampling results. The Vermont Health Department fact sheet on PFOA is here. The engineering study for expanding the North Bennington water system can be downloaded here.

A class action lawsuit was filed in May 2016 in federal court against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, the successor to the manufacturer that used PFOA in North Bennington. The suit seeks damages on behalf of property owners in and around the village. A copy of the lawsuit is here.

Events at The Left Bank

An on-line calendar created by Amy Anselmo keeps tabs on all the community events at The Left Bank building at 5 Bank Street, North Bennington. Click here for the calendar. For more information about The Left Bank click here.