The signs say it all. A group of neighbors are outraged about who's moving into a Berlin home on Chandler Road.
"It's a step out from prison to live in the community and I have huge safety concerns about that in the neighborhood," said Sara McCloud, a neighbor.
The property is owned by Berlin's former police chief, Bill Jennings. He's decided to rent his home to the Montpelier and Greater Barre Community Justice Centers. Participants in their re-entry programs will live there as they transition out of prison back into the community.
"It's a four-bedroom house. We expect we'll have four people live there," said Yvonne Byrd of the Montpelier Community Justice Center.
Byrd heads the program. She says the men have been convicted of various crimes, includes sex offenses, but says they've served their sentences and have been deemed safe by Corrections to live in the community.
"I don't believe for a minute that anyone in that neighborhood will be any less safe than they are now," Byrd said.
The tenants will all wear GPS ankle bracelets. Each will be assigned a probation officer, but no one from Corrections will live in the home.
McCloud says there are simply too many children nearby and it's too far from the services these men will require.
"I think this is a dangerous precedent if they set this up and we move in criminals," McCloud said. "We have other vacancies on the road and it could end up being just like a secondary jail in Riverton."
Byrd said, "I suspect that wherever we might rent a place that there would be people who say why not go do it over there?"
But zoning regulations may legally require the transitional housing to settle elsewhere. Town officials say the plan was never discussed with them and there are several issues to iron out.
"One of the things we need to look at is whether it's a state facility versus just folks living as a family unit," said Jeff Schulz, the Berlin town administrator.
Byrd says she notified neighbors and is moving forward with the four-month lease. She plans to sign with Jennings next week and move the men right away.
Neighbors say their concerns are falling on deaf ears.
"If they had handled it differently, I can't really say the neighbors would have been any less upset, but we probably wouldn't feel so disregarded as we do now," McCloud said.
So they're planning a peaceful protest at Monday's select board meeting.
The town says the select board needs a better understanding of what's being proposed and how the Department of Corrections plans to deal with any safety issues that may come up.
Saturday, December 7 2013 9:24 AM EST2013-12-07 14:24:20 GMT
"St. Johnsbury has enough to offer that you don't get too bored," says resident Riley Barter. She has a new appreciation for the place she calls home. "I guess I never realized how unique St. JohnsburyMore >>
Hundreds of St. Johnsbury Academy seniors take risks with their Capstone projects.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 9:12 AM EST2013-12-07 14:12:35 GMT
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious."It's priceless, it literally is oneMore >>
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:32 AM EST2013-12-07 13:32:27 GMT
If you're lucky, you may have seen a snowy owl in Vermont. Researchers say the birds are traveling even farther south than usual -- some even as far south as North Carolina. We spotted one Friday afternoonMore >>
Researchers say snowy owls are traveling even farther south than usual, and that means more sightings here in Vermont.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:51 AM EST2013-12-07 12:51:22 GMT
South Burlington police say a shoplifter tried to hide her drugs by swallowing them at the police station. Police arrested Diana Matt Friday night at the University Mall Kohl's for allegedly stealingMore >>
South Burlington police say a shoplifter tried to hide her drugs by swallowing them at the police station.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:49 AM EST2013-12-07 12:49:56 GMT
Police in Brattleboro are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night. Police say, just after 7 p.m., the car struck the man at Western Avenue and Union Street and thenMore >>
Police in Brattleboro are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:16 PM EST2013-12-07 04:16:55 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:03 PM EST2013-12-07 03:03:22 GMT
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank and there was no drive-through lane.The car jumped the curb in front of the Berkshire Bank Friday morning, taking out a railing and getting hung up on the front steps.More >>
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank -- and there was no drive-through lane. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:01 PM EST2013-12-07 03:01:17 GMT
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.Cold Hollow in Waterbury is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions.More >>
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.More >>