Residents and Neighbors,
Thank you to everyone that participated in this year’s November elections. In the City of Barre, over 3,800 people participated! A special thank you to all of the volunteers and staff that worked at the polls. Barre City has seen a surge in cases of the coronavirus in November, which is a trend across the State and Nation. Please keep us all safe this Holiday Season by continuing to follow the guidelines as provided in the Governor’s Executive Order and CDC Guidelines. Additional testing dates for clinics have been provided as needed at the Barre Auditorium. City Hall and the B.O.R. are currently closed.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced the Greater Barre region as a recipient of a $300,000 grant from the Working Communities Challenge. The goal of the group is to lower the rate of single female head of households in poverty by 15% in 10 years. Council supported a local match of $15,000 over the initial three-year program. Items approved by Council include the VTrans Stormwater Grant application, Sno-Bees and Barre Thunder Chickens Club trail use request, $45,000 donation from the Semprebon Annuity to the Barre Opera House, Barre Community Justice Center Sub-Recipient agreements, resolution recognizing Corporal Duhaime, approval of the Flag Policy and resolution to fly the Black Lives Matter and Thin Blue Line flags, accept the resignation of Michael Smith from and appointment of James Ward to the CVPSA, appointment of Thom Lauzon to the Planning Commission and Robbie Strachan as the Deputy Health Officer.
Presentations to Council included Bethanee Syversen on Human Trafficking and Cody Morrison on the status of the Barre Rock Solid Marketing Program. Council adopted revisions to the Animal and Fowl Ordinance around dogs in parks and designated areas of cemeteries; also allowing for dogs to be off leash in the Cow Pasture. Council created a Task Force to discuss poultry and farming practices. The Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions ordinance was revised to accept the current process for open fires, allowing street art, and adjust times that parks and playgrounds are open. FY22 Budget review began with Police service. The Police Department budget shows a decrease, but the overall services have increased with Meter Enforcement and Dispatch Services. BCS Director Jeff Bergeron noted savings in fuel costs across the different facilities, but revenues are also down due to facilities rentals. The main cost drivers are staff, summer temporary work and software licensing for facility staff and in the Planning and Assessing office.
Upcoming items include Citywide Reassessment RFP, continued budget review, FY20 Audit presentation, Minimum Housing Ordinance changes, Brusa Trust donation, revisions to the Grants Management and Social Media policies, and acceptance of Stowe Street as a Municipal Street.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!