Build it for easy, safe access, not to maximize height. Always build in the bottomone-third of the tree. And position it so it rests or is attached to the basal one-third ofeach branch. Carefully consider how children will enter the tree house. Don’t nail ladder rungs intothe trunk. Use a self-supporting ladder tied to the tree or a heavy, unlooped, knottedrope. For many trees with low branches, children don’t need a ladder or rope for entry. There’s an attraction between trees and children. The only major concern is the child’s safety. But there are some minor tree issues tothink about. Don’t install or allow wires, electrical lines, heat sources, fires or metal poles in oraround a tree house. Any tree-selection process for building a tree house should havealready eliminated trees near utility lines, antennas, chimneys and overhanging roofs. Trees bend and twist in the wind. So simply jamming or wedging boards betweenbranches or into crotches will lead to failure. Use rope to make sure a tree house stayssnug against a branch. When you see your 10-year-old headed toward your yard tree with a hammer, nails andscrap lumber, immediate decisions need to be made. Attaching it to branches with rope can keep windstorms from blowing it away. It cankeep ambitious and ingenious children from changing design concepts and injuringthemselves, too. A tree house structure will weaken over time. Check it monthly, remove it in the coldseason, and examine it after every storm. Next, determine how high to build it. For most play, any height represents the thrill ofa tree house. Well-connected, large tree branches should support the weight of a tree house. Userope attachments to keep it in position on branches but not to bear its full weight. Tieup all loose ends of rope, or melt them into knots. A tree’s constant motion, even in still air, and its great size and reach make itfascinating. At some time in your life you’ve imagined, or maybe even built, a treehouse. Remember, tree houses should be temporary, seasonal structures that are removed eachyear. This allows a tree time to adjust and a parent time to check and repair the treehouse. Use new, synthetic, heavy rope to reattach it each year. Leave thin, open gaps along the bottom and top of the tree house to allow for good aircirculation and plenty of light, and to let breezes blow tree litter away. Tree houses are inherently dangerous and require careful maintenance. But they can befun, educational and challenging, too. Slightly tilt the floor to shed water. Allow any water falling on the tree house to run offaway from the tree trunk. Don’t allow water and leaf litter to accumulate. Use wood to build it. Wood is “soft” on the tree and children, is strong for its weightand withstands bending and mechanical shocks well. Attach the main floor pieces orbraces to branches with heavy rope in multiple wraps. They may be for kids, but tree houses require adult construction and supervision forsafe play and for minimizing damage to the tree. Remember to defend the life of a tree that will stand long after any tree house is goneand the children have departed. Piece together your tree house carefully to reducemajor, long-term tree injuries. Tree houses should be designed to rest on major branches and nestle around the treetrunk. Never wound the tree with nails, screws and saw notches.
Council Authorizes $1.5 Million Of Incentives Under New ProgramMONTPELIER, Vt. The Vermont Economic Progress Council has approved more than $1.5 million in job creation incentives under the states new economic development program, including assistance to the new owners of Specialty Filaments.At its meeting last week, the Council reviewed and authorized the first incentives under the new Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program, making three companies eligible to receive up to $1,329,404 in job creation incentives and $240,496 in property tax incentives.We are very pleased that one of our first authorizations under the new Vermont Employment Growth Incentive program was to assist the Monahan Company in preserving the jobs at the former Specialty Filaments facility, said Karen Marshall, Chair of the Vermont Economic Progress Council. Vermonts economic incentive program is going to work to keep Vermonters at work in Middlebury.Monahan SFI, LLC, a subsidiary of the Thomas Monahan Company of Arcola, Illinois was given preliminary authorization for $758,806 in economic incentives to add new jobs and invest in new machinery and equipment at Specialty Filaments, which closed and laid off 175 employees earlier in the month.The new subsidiary purchased the assets of Specialty Filaments, Inc. in a bankruptcy auction. Monahan SFI, LLC will re-open the plant and re-hire most of the employees laid off during the recent plant closing, and will submit a more detailed application for a full review at a later date.Pad Print Machinery of Vermont, Inc. was authorized for $331,399 in economic incentives to add new jobs and invest in a new facility and machinery and equipment. The East Dorset company plans to create a new subsidiary, Ink Jet Machinery of Vermont, to develop and manufacture digital inkjet print head engines.The company had been considering several options other than creating the new subsidiary, including outsourcing production to China or growing only a few jobs within Pad Print Machinery of Vermont, said Marshall.Olympic Precision, Inc. was authorized for $239,199 in economic incentives to create new jobs and invest in equipment by building the Center for Precision Manufacturing, a Department of Defense-funded research and development facility.The company and the Town of Windsor were authorized for property tax stabilization with an estimated value of $240,946, and will collaborate with the Windsor Improvement Corporation to redevelop a currently unusable lot and build a facility to house the Center, which will be operated by Olympic Precision, Inc.Under reforms passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Jim Douglas last year, the economic incentives were authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the company receives payment.The prior program had companies earning tax credits that were applied against future tax liability.The Council approved the applications after reviewing nine guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis that showed that because of the economic activity that will be generated by these projects, even after payment of the incentives the State will realize a net increase in revenues of $1,441,885.The Council also determined that these projects would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized.The Vermont Economic Progress Council is an independent board consisting of nine Vermont citizens appointed by the governor that considers applications to the states economic incentive programs.The Council is attached to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, whose mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities.For more information, visit:http://www.thinkvermont.com/vepc/index.cfm(link is external)-30-