Residents and Neighbors,
Council set the FY21 budget based on the amount to be raised by taxes on Town Meeting Day in March, but the overall tax increase was reduced to 2.99%. Council finalized interviews and made appointments to the three newest committees. Seven people were appointed to the Diversity Committee, five members were appointed to the Civilian Oversight and Advisory Board, and the Public Art Committee now has four members. Two others were appointed to the Cow Pasture committee.
Rick DeAngelis spoke to limited operations concerns due to Covid at the Good Samaritan Haven. Council decided to allow the Mayor to enact an emergency order to provide daytime support to individuals and keep them in a safe environment, not being exposed to the general public, to occur between now and November 1st. Council discussed a Mission and Vision statement to be shared with Department Heads, used with the City’s Strategic Plan, and communicated to committees to ensure the work they are doing tie back to the overall direction and goals for the City.
Council received presentations from DPW Director Bill Ahearn on the Digester Boiler installation and an overview of a three-year program to repair manhole covers and street drains. Mayor Herring reviewed the priorities and ground rules with Council. Caroline Earle and Karl Rinker from the Barre Rotary presented an Art Splash Fundraiser based on creation of large fiberglass cars, cats, and dogs. Gabe Lajeunesse from Edward Jones spoke to changes that can be made to the Investment Policy for investment in environmentally friendly and socially just portfolios. Council reviewed changing the Food Vending Policy into an Ordinance on Peddling to be brought back before Council. Stephanie Quaranta provided an overview of this year’s grant application process for a section of the Multipurpose Path.
Council approved a WWTF Loader purchase, a change request for the City Pool, City Hall repairs and Boiler & Heating System upgrade contract, Resolution 2020-09 for the FY21 Water/Sewer Rate, and Resolution 2020-10 for Women’s Suffrage. Council nominated Alexis Dexter for the Athena Leadership Award and dedicated the FY20 annual report to Arthur Ristau with a memoriam to Tim “Squid” Copeland.
Items to be discussed in September include fees for use of Electric Vehicle charging stations, the draft 2020 Municipal Plan, sale for the Valliere Ave. parcel and property in East Montpelier, an RFP for Citywide Reassessment, a requested one-year TIF Bond extension through the State Legislator, signed Administrative Policies, Grants Management and Procurement Policies, and awarding the Alumni Hall Boiler, Heating System Upgrade and Bathroom Refurbishment contracts.
Lucas J. Herring, Mayor, City of Barre