Residents and Neighbors,
This February has seen many Council actions similar to those over the past four years. Council appointed two new members to committees, held public hearings for proposed Charter changes and City Manager Steve Mackenzie presented on the upcoming budget. Council reviewed photos to place in the Municipal Annual Report and received the TIF annual report from Clerk Dawes.
What is different this year is Council reviewed a list of consultants and approved Fio Partners to assist with a new Strategic Plan, an RFP was released for a consultant to assist with creation of a Capital Improvement Plan, Council approved the job description and city profile for the current City Manager search, City Manager Mackenzie presented the needs of a Local Options Tax on sales to cover the gap in Capital Infrastructure and Improvements funding, and the City welcomed Braedon Vail as the new Police Chief. Manager Mackenzie also asked for guidance on two policies; the food vendor policy and creation of an accepted gifts policy, which would complete the 5-year review cycle.
Council received presentations from Jim Ward from CVPSA and their funding request on the ballot, BUUSD Superintendent Chris Hennessey on their annual report, Turning Point Executive Director Robert Purvis for the regional recovery center to be built on South Main Street, Aldrich Library Executive Director Loren Polk shared library use statistics and updated Council on the warming and welcome center in the Milne Room, BADC Executive Director Cody Morrison spoke on new businesses and the sharp increase in inquiries from businesses exploring moving to Barre, Barre Partnership Executive Director Tracie Lewis overviewed their annual meeting and holiday events; note that the Heritage Festival is scheduled to return this coming summer from July 27-30, 2022!
Council approved funding from the Semprebon Fund for river access, acceptance of State DWSRF loan, submitted step III CWSRF NMPS loan application, purchased replacement DPW vehicles, purchased replacement DPW Radio Communications System, VTrans Rights/Easements Agreement for So. Main St. Railroad Crossing, submission of Letter of Interest re: Vermont Afterschool Grant Application, 3-Year Collective Bargaining Agreement with Fraternal Order of Police, and authorized the Downtown Rentals Easement re: Keith Avenue Parking Lot.
It has been an honor to serve on Council for the past 11 years, including being your Mayor for the last four years. The City is well poised to continue its success with the actions that Council and staff have taken and I am thankful for the support from residents.
Be safe and be well,
Lucas J. Herring
Mayor, City of Barre