Residents and Neighbors,
Council approved the Working Communities initial $15,000 grant application that, if accepted, will allow application for a $300,000 implementation grant. Input was given by many organizations in the greater Barre area to break down silos and focus on single women households with children to remove barriers to employment and services.
BADC showcased the “Barre Rock Solid” marketing initiative and attended City Council seeking placement of a $40,000 article for the Town Meeting Day ballot. City Council reviewed use of a Downtown Improvement District for the funding request, which comes back before Council on January 2nd. City Council approved the second amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance. This amendment makes changes on Ayers Street for commercial use within the zoning map allowing 802 Coffee to move their roasting and production operations and 15 Ayers Street to continue its redevelopment as a respite house.
The City’s Annual Dollar Drop on December 7th raised over $4,000 for the BCEMS Holiday Fund. Gifts purchased were presented by Officers Fleury and Murphy to students from the school. Council participated in “Ugly Sweater Day” with over 30 businesses in the City of Barre, upon a challenge to and a request by Executive Director Tracie Lewis from the Barre Partnership. At the Ward III Caucus on December 19th, residents of Ward III elected Samn Stockwell to the vacant seat which will be filled until Town Meeting Day in March of 2020.
Paul Costello from VCRD discussed the facilitation of the Community Visit Program in the City of Barre early in 2020. The City Assessor’s update on the Grand List noted an increase in value of $10 million and a part-time assistant was hired to reduce the backlog in permit inspections. The Firehouse Weathervane appraisal was accepted and will be on loan with the Vermont History Center. Early presentation of the FY19 Audit was accepted and allows it to be included in the Annual Report.
City Council approved several policy revisions, the Fire Fighter’s contract, a commercial cannabis system resolution, support for the CVSWMD’s Grant Application, and sale of 3 properties. Council began review of the FY21 Budget with presentations given on adding police officers and funding a mental health officer. A line-by-line review comparing previous budgets was performed with additional work scheduled on January 4th. Council will also start the Community Visit process, review RFPs for planning of the Public Works Campus and Citywide Reassessment, and FY20 priorities. Presentations are expected with the City Plan, this year’s Summer Camp Program, and reports by boards, commissions and committees.
Have a safe and Happy New Year!
Lucas J. Herring
Mayor, City of Barre