Towns making plans for land bought after Irene

COLCHESTER (AP) -- A number of Vermont towns that bought properties made unusable by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene are now trying to decide what to do with that land that will be cleared of structures damaged by the 2011 storm.

So far 30 properties have been purchased by cities and towns and another 67 buyouts are in the pipeline.

Readsboro Town Administrator Mark Shea said one idea for areas along the Deerfield River where three homes were bought out include building a bench next to a display of photographs of the houses and the families who lived there as well as a plaque about the town’s response.

"Let’s not forget that the community stood together," he said.

The hazard mitigation program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency pays a portion of the pre-flood value of structures in areas likely to be hit again by future flooding. The structures are then torn down so they can’t be damaged again.

Londonderry Resident George Mora tells Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/19vFGeZ) it may be possible to engineer the land to create a kind of catch basin for floodwaters.

"It has the potential to give anyone in town a sense of power in the face of destruction, to think that there may be something we can actually do to combat it," he said.

Vt. Statehouse to host day-long arts summit

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Artists, educators and others will be gathering at the Vermont Statehouse for the first statewide art meeting in 15 years.

The Oct. 26 Vermont Arts Summit in Montpelier will revolve around the themes "connect, animate, lead."

Conference organizer Zon Eastes of the Vermont Arts Council says the meeting will be an opportunity for participants to meet old friends, make new acquaintances and delve into issues such as copyright basics in the digital age and the future of the arts.

The event is being organized by the Vermont Arts Council and the Office of the Creative Economy within the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.