To the Editor,
Residents and Neighbors,
I hope the New Year is treating you well. We’ve already had a large snow storm, followed by rain and freezing temperatures. Thankfully, Barre City staff ensure that our Streets and Sidewalks are clear.
We’ve had a busy month. Council held a Special Meeting along with Barre Town on January 2nd to receive an overview from the Aldrich Library, Barre Partnership, and Barre Area Development. Council has held three Special Meetings to address the FY20 budget, with a 4th planned on Monday, January 28th. There are several deferred maintenance and infrastructure needs that we are trying to address, in addition to maintaining current operations. We will look to solidify the FY20 budget on the 28th, as we need to approve that amount as part of the Town Meeting Day Meeting Warning at our Regular Meeting on Tuesday, January 29th.
Police Chief Tim Bombardier and I held a “Coffee with the Mayor and Police Chief” event as Espresso Bueno. The City also continues to hold Neighborhood Watch Organizational Meetings and has held 5 meetings in Barre Housing Authority locations in January. Chief Bombardier presented on the Special Investigation and Street Crimes Units within the City, which has been successful in arresting and prosecuting criminals.
Health Officer Robert “Howie” Howarth and I participated in the Vermont Local Emergency Management Director Course. Staff are updating the Road and Bridge Standards, as well as the River Corridor Plan, which will allow the City to collect 10% more on reimbursable expenses from FEMA declared disasters.
2018 was successful for appointments to Committees and Commissions, which continued as Council appointed Rick Badem and Rachel Rudi to the Planning Commission. This Commission is set to finish its work with the Unified Development Ordinance to pass along to Council for adoption. Next week, Council will be appointing members to the joint Barre City/Montpelier Solid Waste Management Committee.
Council received presentations from Sara Akers’ 1st Annual “Boots N’ Balls” Kick Ball Tournament, to introduction of K-9 “Mikey” who has joined the BCPD, to Winterfest in the Cow Pasture. We also heard from Capstone Community Action, VLCT, and on a VTrans Ledge Removal Project. For the City, we discussed video cameras in the downtown, a water/sewer bond and all Coin Drops requests for the year have been approved. I presentation on allocating the Wheelock House as a Teen Center. Although there was general support of the concept, the current budget conversations resulted in no financial support and Council voted to list the Wheelock House for sale.
Lucas J. Herring
Mayor, City of Barre