Residents and Neighbors,
The City Pool reopened with a ribbon cutting ceremony held on Sunday, June 27th. Many residents gathered for a photo before plunging into the pool to cool off. Temporary fencing will remain up around the pool until the grass has rooted, but the facility is open with similar hours prior to the pandemic. Reminder that City Hall has also reopened as of June 21st.
Sandy Rousse of CVHHH discussed the collaboration with Barre City EMS, which allowed for increased medical services for those at home through the pandemic, while decreasing calls for services and costs for the City; a Community Service Award was presented to Deputy Chief Joseph Aldsworth. Fire Marshall Robert Howarth noted the decrease in total number of vacant buildings from 154 in 2017 to 26 in 2021 as part of the Vacant Building Ordinance update and addressed Council questions regarding tax sale properties and accumulation of garbage on abandoned properties. Scott McLaughlin from the Vermont Granite Museum gave an overview of operations from the last time he visited Council nearly 18 months ago. The Museum recently received a grant to restore old film of the granite industry in Barre.
Planning Commission Chair David Sichel requested input for items to be reviewed by the Commission, which Councilors provided Unified Development Ordinance changes regarding housing demolition, signage in downtown businesses, responsible parties in the Municipal Plan Implementation Table, and prioritization of both Neighborhood Development Areas and Community Rating System. Council heard presentations from Linda Couture of the Recreation Committee and Alexander Raeburn of the Public Art Committee. Council and Department Heads reviewed FY21 accomplishments, followed by a discussion on FY22 Council priorities. Department Head priorities will be discussed over several upcoming meetings.
Council approved the FY22 City Council Priorities, Annual Supply Bid Awards, FY22 Fuel Oil and Propane Contracts, Selection of the Citywide Re-Appraisal Contract, City Fee Schedule, changes to Chapter 17 Traffic Ordinances and the Rules of Procedure Policy, purchase of Altertus security system for City Hall and Bola Wrap restraint devices, creation of the Manager’s Search Committee, re-established the Organics Diversion Committee as a Task Force and moved the initial Property Tax due date to September 15th, 2021. Council approved the contract with Extreme Excavating for paving in the Perry Street and Camp Street areas to be completed by the end of July, and nine new appointments to committees as part of the annual appointment process.
Upcoming items include the approval of FY22 Municipal Property Tax Rate, assignment of East Montpelier parcel sale proceeds, Tire Disposal Day, ARPA funding allocation discussion, discussion on Council Ground Rules, and an update from Central Vermont Solid Waste District.
I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day!
Lucas J. Herring
Mayor, City of Barre