Monday’s City Council meeting was well attended! Many thanks to everyone who joined us. The Winooski Hotel Group, who owns the land at the bottom of the Rotary (by the Champlain Mill and the Riverwalk), returned to address questions raised at our last meeting regarding use of public space, parking, and traffic near the rotary. They will move forward in the permitting process and will work with staff to arrive at a workable solution.
The Champlain Housing Trust also presented their new affordable townhouse project, currently known as "Butternut Station". Construction is planned for the unused space of the O’Brien Community Center parking lot (at the front, near the street). The project will include twenty homes (3-bedroom townhouses) priced for folks making low-to-moderate income. We approved moving this project forward to increase affordable housing for families in Winooski. Click here to view the presentation.
Speaking of the O’Brien Community Center, we approved a grant application request for our Community Services team to complete a new mural project (behind the Library, facing Hickok Street) in partnership with Juniper Creative Arts. The plan is to highlight native and indigenous plants/techniques used by the new American gardeners with plots at the adjacent community garden. The mural will have plenty of colors and feature lots of flower blooms so that in the winter it may serve as a reminder of the color and life the gardens bring in the summer months. Click here to learn more about this project.
We also watched a historic preservation presentation - the City Council is looking to add historic preservation protection as it pertains to our zoning regulations. The consultant, VHB, was represented by Britta Tonn, who is also a Winooski resident. The presentation, which includes some of the properties you recognize in Winooski, can be viewed here. Now that historic properties have been identified, we plan to begin public engagement so we can understand what residents want to see happen with our historic resources. We discussed the process where historic buildings might be redeveloped without completely tearing them down, noting that guidelines shouldn't be so strict that they discourage property owners from making the necessary improvements required to keep these locations viable for current and future use.
Town Meeting Day is on March 2, which is less than 2 weeks away! City Manager Jessie Baker and I recently recorded our annual Town Meeting Day budget presentation with Town Meeting TV - you can watch that video here. Thanks to everyone who attended the Joint City/School Budget Presentations, it was great to see everything happening with the City and School in one meeting. Also, many thanks to everyone who has voted early! The deadline to request an absentee ballot is February 26, 2021. For full Town Meeting Day information, please visit https://www.winooskivt.gov/townmeeting.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
Mayor Kristine Lott - email@example.com