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first_imgWINOOSKI FALLS NAMED WINNER OF THE2008 LIVABLE COMMUNITIES AWARDBURLINGTON, VT – The Winooski Falls project and its developers HallKeen, The Braverman Company and New Boston Fund will receive the 2008 Livable Communities Award for forward thinking in the field of home and community design. The Livable Communities Award, cosponsored by AARP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), honors builders, developers and remodelers that create attractive, well-designed homes and communities, which are safe, comfortable and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. This year, HallKeen, The Braverman Company and New Boston Fund is one of four winners nationally.”The boomers approaching retirement age have changed every institution they have encountered so far, from schools, to the workplace, to the suburbs,” said AARP Director of Livable Communities Elinor Ginzler. “Now city planners, developers and homebuilders are anticipating their next impact. This is happening at the same time the cost of gas and traffic congestion are providing incentives to reduce the need to drive. As a result, you see communities reinventing their downtowns to be more user-friendly as this year’s winner, Winooski, VT, did. You see suburbs building town centers to provide entertainment, goods and services closer to home. And you see builders looking to make their homes more user-friendly for a generation accustomed to amenities and comfort.”AARP Vermont teamed up with the City of Burlington and some 30 area organizations to launch the Burlington Livable Community Project three years ago. The group has worked to engage the community — stakeholder organizations and residents — in defining a vision and specific action steps to make Burlington more livable for an aging population. It focuses on three issue areas: housing, mobility, and community engagement and enthusiastically supports the national recognition being received by this project which fully embodies their agenda.HallKeen, The Braverman Company and New Boston Fund won the 2008 Livable Communities Award in the category of “Developer over 250 units”. The development provides residents with a real sense of small-town community and a strong identity with proximity to a riverfront walkway and many public transportation options, downtown Burlington, countless shops, restaurants, two college/university campuses and the largest hospital in the state. The community of Winooski prides itself on “smart growth” – building community while protecting the environment – offering energy-efficient, universally-designed and affordable units.The developer Ken Braverman Principal, HKW/LLC, stressed the positive impact projects like this can have on a community. “By putting smart growth principles into action, the Winooski Falls project demonstrates that developing livable communities for people of all ages is an excellent way to restore and revive our city centers. My partners and I thank AARP/ NAHB for this honor, and look forward to continuing to build on our success in Vermont’s downtown neighborhood for many years to come.”Governor Jim Douglas was pleased that the project received national recognition.”Winooski Falls demonstrates the economic and cultural value of public and private partners establishing and promoting smart revitalization in a historic downtown. I am pleased that my Administration could play a role in creating a new neighborhood offering full access to employment, recreation, dining, and shopping in a mixed-income, multi-generational residential and commercial setting unlike any other in Vermont. On behalf of the people of Vermont, I applaud HallKeen, The Braverman Company, and New Boston Fund for creating a community at Winooski Falls that benefits individuals and families of all ages.”As there will be 70 million people over 65 by 2030, AARP is releasing a national poll showing that at least a quarter of baby boomers expect to move again and they will be looking for something comfortable. Half or more of those boomers will look for a home that’s all on one level. A similar number (50%) will look for a newer home. This project is a great example of the kind of residential community that will serve them best. It’s new, convenient, aesthetically appealing and inviting to everyone.Winners will be honored at a dinner in Washington, DC on December 10, 2008 and will also be featured in AARP The Magazine, the nation’s most widely circulated magazine. For more information, photos and video clips on the winning projects, visit www.aarp.org/homedesign(link is external).AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.30 – 30 – 30last_img read more

first_imgMASON CITY The Mason City School Board Monday night approved three issues that resulted from the special investigation by the State Auditor’s office that showed over $2.2 million was not properly disbursed during an eight-year period between July 2009 and August 2017.The board unanimously approved paying back just over $6100 that the Clear Lake Community School District was overbilled for in sharing agreements involving the superintendent, the transportation director, and the buildings & grounds supervisor. The board also unanimously approved paying $19,985 to the State Auditor’s Office for a portion of the cost of the special investigation. The board on a 5-2 vote approved paying seven employees a combined total of $24,183 that the investigation found were underpaid.Board member Jacob Schweitzer says those employees have stuck through the special investigation process and are due the back payments.  “We’re currently in the process of a very lengthy process of trying to correct the administrative pay because of the actions that we’ve been taking over several years were merit or whatever the rationale was between the different payments, but now we have this smorgasbord of pay schedules that we’re trying to work through.”Board member Scott Warren voted against the motion, saying that approving these underpayments could lead to other people coming back to the board wanting back pay they were promised.  “What if somebody 15-18 years ago because we paid those administrators in a discretionary fashion…I’m not saying it was right, but could you open up this whole can of worms for people going back because it always had been in a discretionary fashion, and we as a board, at least in the time that I’ve been present, did not okay each and every raise to that administrative team. We’ve changed how we do that now, but for us to go back I think opens up a whole can of worms and you got to live up to your agreement, and your agreement was on a piece of paper, it’s called a contract.”Board member Doug Campbell says the board has done a comprehensive job of cleaning up due diligence from the past, and paying those employees is the right thing to do moving forward under a new administration.  “It is the primary function of this board to be fiduciary, so we need to do everything we can in a fiduciary sense to set that straight. So I’m going to disregard most everything in the past and try to go forward in good faith with anybody that would ever want to become an administrator here or work here to see that going forward we’re going to take care of it. I quite honestly don’t care what previous boards have done, I want to be a board of good faith, we’re open and honest and want to do the best we can.”Superintendent Dave Versteeg confirmed to the board last night that an investigation is continuing regarding the improper disbursement of funds. “My knowledge is there is a case in overpayment, and it is an ongoing open investigation. So we don’t really have any comment about it, and nobody is commenting about it, but it is still pending.”Warren and Lorrie Lala were the only two board members to vote against the motion to pay those who were underpaid.View documents connected to the school board’s decision by clicking hereListen back to the school board’s discussion via the audio player below:last_img read more