Residents and Neighbors,
It seems like a lifetime ago since I wrote a monthly letter. And a lot has changed since then. The Working Communities Challenge Grant process was postponed, as is the VCRD Community Visit Day. Most other events throughout the City, and the Country, were cancelled, postponed, or otherwise transitioned online due to COVID-19. It is surreal for me, as I am sure it is for you.
Municipal buildings are closed to the public, but still in operation. City has moved to online payments, deadlines deferred and waived late fees for many services to assist residents. DPW staff fixed the water main break and lifted the boil water notice. Please check the City website for questions on services, changes, or how to best contact city staff for assistance.
The City is adjusting just like schools are to provide education, restaurants are to provide food, and the State is to provide essential services. City Council now meets by video conference and I may hold my first official meeting of City Council while at my house in April. Council is also still approving grant applications, appointing committee members, reviewing our policies, and monitoring our financials to ensure that the City keeps moving forward.
Through Governor Scott’s Executive Order and other guidance, we have implemented social distancing measures, a dedicated COVID-19 webpage, and maintain contact with the State Emergency Operations Center. The City Manager and COVID Response Team provide updates as things are changing within the City, including a “Telephone Town Hall” to answer questions from the public. The most accurate information on the current status of the Coronavirus can be found through the Vermont Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
Going back to the beginning of the month, I want to thank the residents for voting and for approving the budget and bond to help keep Barre moving forward. I welcome two new Councilors, Jake Hemmerick from Ward 1 and Ericka Reil from Ward 3, and thank former Councilors Jeffrey Tuper-Giles and Samn Stockwell for their service to our community. And I was to again congratulate the Spaulding High School girls’ hockey team for their undefeated season and State Championship!
We are all in this together,
Lucas J. Herring
Mayor, City of Barre