Town Meeting Day is right around the Corner. Please remember to come out and vote! If you are not able to vote on March 5, you can still contact the City Clerk’s office and request an absentee ballot and/or to vote ahead of time.
On January 29, Council adopted the proposed FY20 Budget. The $12.5 budget is a 2.38% increase, which is below the rate of inflation (2.4%) and social security increase (2.8%) and received a unanimous vote of support from Council. Included in the warned articles is a $2.5M Bond to help improve infrastructure throughout the City.
The City received notice that over 300 VTrans employees will be moving to City Place over the next year. GMT will be providing a new Barre LINK Express transit service between Burlington and Barre, as well as other related system improvements to Barre from Randolph and St. Johnsbury. Additional parking improvements are also being discussed to support the transition.
Deputy Chief Aldsworth and Joan Marie Misek from the Department of Health presented on the Sharps Pilot Program. Calls to the Barre City Police Department have dropped 93% over the past year regarding needles. Through the 17 sharps collection units, needles are properly being collected and disposed of through the Central Vermont Medical Center.
In working with CVTV, the City will now be able to notice additional items through their station and website. Press releases related to warming shelters or recent arrests, or public information like the presentation of the FY20 budget can now be shared for greater communication from the City of Barre.
There was a proposal for the lease and/or sale of the Ayer Street Parking Lot to the owners of the Reynolds House. Council discussed accommodating the short-term needs of the renovated Bed and Breakfast while also developing a process for the possible sale of the property, which will be discussed again in the near future. In addition to the Ayer Street Lot, the City Manager will be presenting several other properties around the City that may have potential for sale.
On February 2, Fire Chief Douglas Brent and I held a “Coffee with the Mayor and Fire Chief” event at Espresso Bueno. Residents stopped by and discussed issues. I am currently setting up another meeting like this, but with the Director of Public Works, Bill Ahearn. More information will be out about this shortly.
Council is now in charge of the Unified Zoning Ordinance Draft. A statutory 15-day warning notice must be given prior to a first reading, which will be done after Town Meeting Day. The Vacant Building, Miscellaneous, and several other Ordinances are being reviewed; the Council agenda is being reviewed to support presentation and adoption.
Lucas J. Herring
Mayor, City of Barre