Residents and Neighbors,
Council held two FY23 Budget workshops. From the presented budget, four new positions were included to support ongoing operations of which ARPA funding can be used to offset some of the expenses. The Manager provided minimal increases to summer cemetery staff, traffic signal maintenance, and annual stipends for BADC, BP, BJCJ and the Aldrich Library. Council authorized a portion of surplus funding to bring the proposed tax rate increase to 1.99%. Further discussion is expected prior to finalizing and placing before voters. Council also received a clean FY21 Audit with no findings or material weaknesses. Further discussion on the surplus allocated $200,000 of the fund balance for future general fund expenses and $233,000 for capital fund items.
Barre City Representatives Peter Anthony and Tommy Walz noted support for a statewide mental health clinician program, a bill to remove the railroad trestle over the Stevens Branch, Barre City Charter Changes, changes to dispatch services, cannabis regulations and taxation, and Act 250 revisions. Housing availability, revitalization, and Rental Assistance Program funding will also be priority this session.
Council received a presentation to approve the First and Second readings of the Animal and Fowl Ordinance, Resolution #2021-16 for Donna McNally’s 40 Years of Service and recognition of other staff reaching milestone years, TIF Consultant findings, capital plans, Civic Center revenues and expenses, proposed charter changes, enabling cannabis sales, expanding the Local Options Tax to sales, Diversity and Equity Community Needs Assessment, and a second ARPA fund restrictions presentation from the Manager.
Council approved the FY21 Audit Presentation, Revised Water/Wastewater Enterprise Fund Budgets, National Opioid Settlement Documents on Behalf of the City, Step III Design Agreement of No. Main St. Pump Station, Christmas for Kids Coin Drop, Public Record Inspection Copying and Transmission Policy, Tax Stabilization Policy, Voter Approved Funding Language, Letter of Support to Neighborhood Revitalization Program for Habitat for Humanity, disbanding the Animal and Fowl Task Force, website volunteer information, seat adjustment and appointment to the Development Review Board, Regional Emergency Management Committees members, BUUSD School Board Vacancy, Health Officer Appointment, and warning the First & Second Public Hearings for Potential Charter Changes.
Upcoming items include a briefing on OSHA Employee Vaccination Mandate, update on Vacant Building List, discussion and Public Hearings on proposed Charter changes, review of Town Meeting funding requests, Council Priorities, accept and execute the NBRC Grant for the NMPS Project, continued ARPA funding discussions, TIF District due diligence update, City Hall rearrangement plans, 2021 Certificate of Highway Mileage, 2nd Quarter budget update, and review and approve Warning for 2022 Annual Town Meeting.
I hope you had a safe and Happy New Year!
Lucas J. Herring Mayor, City of Barre