Your Community Reopening
Reopening will require a great effort by the community, businesses and organizations. It's about more than just following guidelines. Reopening safely requires that all stakeholders are brought to the table to form plans for the immediate and the long-term future.
This could mean temporary or permanent policy changes, adjustments to work practices and schedules, and training for employees who provide services and entertainment. It can also mean that offices, businesses, and organizations will have to concentrate on setting up safety controls, altering shared spaces, and taking proactive steps to maintain disinfection in a public setting.
Assessment, prevention, and control planning will be a continuous process as the main goal is to keep people safe.
Events and Happenings
Green Up Day - May 1, 2021
With the COVID-19 Social Distancing and Personal Protection Guidelines still in effect, changes have been made to the Green-Up Day procedures for this year. It is important that everyone participating in Green-Up Day protect both themselves and municipal workers supporting the effort by strictly adhering to the Governor's COVID-19 guidelines. To sign up and learn more, visit the Green Up Day event page.
Memorial Day Parade 2021 CANCELED
The Essex Memorial Day Parade community group has officially canceled the Essex Memorial Day parade for 2021, stating that Vermont guidance prohibits the gathering. For further details, visit https://www.facebook.com/essexparade/..
A local business is hosting a parade and food drive that is not sanctioned by the Town or the Village. You can learn more about this event on Facebook: 2nd Annual MARK BBQ Memorial Day Parade and Food Drive.
Essex July 4, 2021 Fireworks
The Essex Recreation Department continues to discuss and remain connected with the latest guidelines to determine if an event can be planned safely for 2021. Visit the Essex Rec pages for the latest updates.
Taste of the Fair returns to Champlain Valley Exposition
The Taste of the Fair returns Firday, June 25 through Sunday, June 27. Tickets go on sale April 30th. For more information, visit the Champlain Valley Fair website.
Champlain Valley Fair 2021
Anticipated dates for the 2021 Champlain Valley Fair are August 27 - September 5, 2021. For full details and updates on the fair, please visit the Champlain Valley Fair website.
Town and Village dedicate the 2020 Annual Reports
As we close out 2020 and enter the new year, the world continues to battle the spread of the coronavirus. Communities across the nation struggle from the separation of families, the impact to businesses, and the hardships of loss. For Essex, the connections continue to hold strong through shared grief and struggles. The demand has been great. The loss has been difficult.
The Town Selectboard and the Village Trustees wish to honor the people of Essex who have stepped up in their roles as frontline workers, heeded the call to sew masks, and donated food and emergency supplies to their neighbors. We recognize those who have set up fundraisers and support systems for those in need. We honor the teachers and childcare providers for taking on initiatives to maintain access to child care and education. We applaud local businesses for thinking outside of the box to keep their staff employed. We empathize with those who have had to change their path and move in a different direction. We recognize the swiftness with which those who work in food and agriculture, the military, delivery, manufacturing, and local, state and national government have revamped policies, and increased their services. We admire each and every person who has taken the time to buy groceries for a neighbor, helped with technology for those who can't leave home, and for those who simply do what they can to lift the spirits of others.
We remember those who have lost the fight against COVID-19. We celebrate with those who have survived.
For all who are feeling the fatigue of staying home and staying distant, we thank you for your patience and your willingness to continue making that sacrifice for others.
Thank you for being kind neighbors, for working extra hard, and for respecting others. This is much more than a dedication. It is a heartfelt note of thanks to the entire Essex community for being who you are and doing what you do.
Planning your summer gatherings
With warmer weather, you may be planning to host summer gatherings or cook-outs with people not in your household. Be sure to protect you and your family. Visit the CDC website for the latest tips and guidance.
The Champlain Valley Exposition, often referred to as “the fairgrounds” is an agricultural non-profit 501c3. It proves year over year to not only be a host of dozens of events and gatherings, but it’s a huge economic driver for the region. Every year, CVE hosts dozens of events that touch every fabric of Vermont’s culture. Ranging from the Vermont Farm Show, Circus Smirkus, the National Street Rod Association, Girls on the Run, and the iconic Champlain Valley Fair. But in 2020, CVE's role in the community changed. Instead of rides, concerts, food, and excitement at the Fair, CVE hosted the UVM Medical Center as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site and remains a "Surge Site," a hospital, for the Vermont National Guard and the State of Vermont. No one can say for certain what the near future will look like, or even how CVE will be operating in 2021. When large gatherings can occur again, look to the Champlain Valley Exposition as the epicenter of entertainment, culture, agriculture, and economic activity. Make no mistake. The Champlain Valley Exposition must survive and be a pillar for the region and the State of Vermont.
Mask Mandate Effective August 1st, 2020
(As reported on the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce website): In a move foreshadowed by the Governor during his Tuesday press conference, today the Governor announced he signed an order that masks be worn in public places where physical distancing isn’t possible starting August 1st. Masks will be required of anyone over the age of 2, unless the person has a physical or developmental disability that would be complicated by the wearing of one. Currently, there is no penalty structure in place for refusal to wear face coverings, however, businesses can now easily refuse service to customers who don’t comply. The state will continue to focus efforts on education.
While the Governor has been hesitant to create a mask mandate, his administration has said that such a mandate is a tool in the toolbox to combat the spread of COVID-19. In looking at regional trends, the Governor is worried about a resurgence of the virus and spill-over from neighboring states.
From the Unified Manager
Town Meeting TV interviews Evan Teich, Unified Manager of Essex and Essex Junction offers his condolences on recent deaths, and describes the municipal response, public safety preparedness, regional collaboration, closing of parks equipment, pending use of the Expo as a field hospital, and his faith in the community to work together during this period.
SELECT A TAB FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES ON:
- Employment/Health Benefits
- Child / Family / Seniors
- Volunteering & Donating
- Business Supports
EMPLOYMENT AND HEALTH BENEFITS
|Vermont Department of Labor - Unemployment Benefits, workforce development|
|Department of Vermont Health Access - Medicaid Benefit Information|
|Vermont Health Connect - Health Insurance|
|Vermont’s COVID-19 Presumption law The State of Vermont has enacted legislation that allows workers’ compensation benefits – under certain circumstances – for any employee infected by COVID-19.|
The Vermont Department of Labor issued fraud alerts that stress heightened awareness with online and social media interactions as well as potential unemployment insurance fraud. Visit the Vermont Department of Labor website for further information and to learn what to do if you believe you are a victim of UI fraud.
CHILDCARE, FOOD, EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
Food Distribution: For details, or to donate to the Vermont Foodbank visit https://www.vtfoodbank.org/
|EWSD Childcare Opportunities for Essential Workers during Vermont’s COVID-19 Response|
Childcare for Essential Persons – Childcare is available for those who have been deemed essential to the COVID-19 response
|Essex Westford School District - Free breakfast and lunch for children throughout closure|
|WIC (Vermont Dept. of Health) - Gives access to healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling|
|3SquaresVT (known nationally as SNAP) - A state food assistance program based on income|
|Vermont Department of Public Service - Internet and telecommunications resources to support you and your family|
|Foodpantries.org - Listing of local food pantries, websites and locations|
|Heart & Soul of Essex - Offering resources for Essex residents. Download printable Community Services Brochure.|
|AARP Community Connections - Sometimes, just hearing a friendly voice on the other end of the line can help in challenging times. AARP Friendly Voices are trained AARP volunteers who will provide a call to say hello.|
- Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) - Williston Drop-Off Center(WDOC) Please visit websites for up-to-date hours of operation, materials accepted, fees and limitations. Be sure to observe the facility guidelines to help keep yourself and staff safe:
- Stay 6 feet apart from each other and staff
- Wear a mask
- Consolidate your visits to reduce traffic through Drop-Off Centers
- Water and COVID-19 FAQs - CDC Information about drinking water, recreational water and wastewater; guidance for boil advisories and spread of COVID-19 in spas and water playgrounds. Read the "Don’t Flush It" series and get the word out to prevent flushing wipes, even if the package says, "flushable".
Vermont Department of Taxes Issues 2020 Tax Season Guidance in Response to COVID-19 Emergency
The Vermont Department of Taxes continues to carefully monitor the evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Department is working closely with the office of Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont legislature, following changes at the federal level, and adhering to guidance from the Vermont Department Health. Please see the Department’s information on relief for Vermont taxpayers at tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus. You should check this link periodically as the guidance may change. You may also follow the Vermont Department of Taxes on Facebook and Twitter.
|Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) Community Action Housing Assistance Program for general inquiries, including difficulty paying rent. For more information or to set up an appointment, please call (802) 863-6248 ext. 4.|
|COVID-19: EXTENDED HOUSING SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE, HOMELESS VERMONTERS Vermont Department of Children & Families’ Economic Services Division has extended housing supports for those over age 60, or have underlying health conditions. For more information, contact the DCF Benefits Service Center at 1-800-479-6151, M-TH from 8AM to 6PM and Friday from 8AM to 4:15PM.|
|Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont work together to provide free civil (not criminal) legal help to low-income people who live in Vermont. Services are free. Visit their page to find help with rent and evictions, landlord visits and housing. If you have health issues that place you at higher risk with COVID-19 exposure, you can make a reasonable accommodation request to your property owner to ask them not to come to your home during this public health crisis.|
|Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for homeowners for a temporary time.|
|Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a temporary suspension of foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages.|
|United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has placed a foreclosure and eviction moratorium (temporary stop) on all USDA Direct and Guaranteed Home Loans.|
|United States Department of Veterans Affairs can help Veterans, service members, and their surviving spouses to buy a home or refinance a loan. VA will also offer benefits and services to help you build, improve or keep your current home. Visit the Homeless Veterans Crisis Chat for free, confidential support for homeless Veterans.|
HOMEMADE FACE MASKS
|Volunteer Opportunities - Help support Vermonters affected by COVID-19|
|Neighborly Best Practices for helping during COVID-19|
TAX TIP: The Internal Revenue Service will not let you deduct the value of your time or service, but expenses related to volunteering for a qualified organization can be tax deductible donations.
As we helplessly sit and watch as COVID-19 puts enormous financial pressure on all nonprofits, the pandemic creates medical and health needs, as well as economic uncertainty above and beyond the usual. This means that nonprofits working directly to meet those needs require more resources to do so. Many donors are dialing back their contributions due to the economic uncertainty. Many fundraising events and other programs to raise funds are on hold out of concern for public safety. It has never been a better time to donate to your favorite causes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for consumer protection offers the following advice when considering charitable organizations.
- Research the charity. Is it a real group? Search online to learn more about its reputation. If you’re getting requests by phone, tell callers to send you information by mail. A legitimate charity will send you information in writing.
- Know where your money is going. Find out what percentage of your donation goes to the charity, and whether your donation is tax-deductible.
- Pay it safe. How does the charity want you to pay? Rule out anyone who asks you to send cash, wire money, or get a prepaid debit card. Chances are, that’s a scam.
For more information on what to know before giving to a charity, visit this FTC Consumer Information page for donating wisely and avoiding scams.
TAX TIP: Your charitable giving will qualify for a tax deduction only if it goes to a tax exempt organization, as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. You can verify an organizations’ status with the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search.
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION FOR ESSEX
The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation is a key partner in Vermont's overall economic development. Serving Essex, they assist in sustaining a positive business climate in areas such as labor and housing markets, business financing, education, export assistance, growth planning and development issues, and environmental concerns.
AGENCY OF COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (ACCD)
As part of the Vermont Forward plan, universal guidance will transition businesses from sector-specific mitigation measures to more broad mitigation measures across most sectors.
Transition to Universal Guidance
Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants
COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses
|Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce|
|Vermont Department of Health Food and Lodging Program released a helpful guide: COVID-19 Guidance Fact Sheet|
Call: (802) 863-7221
|The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act|
|State of Vermont Critical Business List (PDF)|
|COVID Response & Recovery Support for Working Lands Businesses|