Last week, we welcomed our new Equity Director, Yasamin Gordon. Yasamin started in her role on May 10 and is already off to a great start. Yasamin was hired to help us focus on providing city services and engaging our community more equitably, including supporting an Equity Commission and collaborating with our school liaisons. This position was funded through a generous 3-year grant from the Working Communities Challenge. We are partnering with the Winooski School District, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, AALV, and the Winooski Housing Authority on this important work. This new role, and the grant funding, stem from a community conversation that launched in 2019 to think about how we can lift underrepresented voices and involve the area’s diverse population in decision-making and community dialogue.
We also received an update from the Burlington International Airport regarding the noise monitoring and mitigation programs that are funded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport will be installing a noise monitor at Winooski City Hall that will record flight sounds that pair with aircraft radar data. This should be operational by July and the public will have access to online data. We also learned that the program to insulate homes against high noise levels is on track to launch later this year, with a pilot of 10 houses, likely 2-3 here in Winooski, getting worked on this year, while designs are underway to do 50 more next year. The airport has hired someone to run the program who will do outreach to property owners that qualify. Learn more about both of these programs at http://www.btvsound.com/. The Council is considering a resolution to request that this program includes high-quality products for windows and doors, etc. and that outreach is robust so everyone who qualifies is notified and understands their options.
The Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) provided an update on the "Butternut Station" affordable housing project (located in front of the O’Brien Community Center). The project is on track to begin construction in July and is expected to take about 12 months to complete. There will be twenty 3-bedroom townhouses priced for folks making low-to-moderate income. CHT is working with organizations serving lower-income residents in Winooski to spread the word about the opportunity to purchase one of these homes. We need more affordable family-sized homes in Winooski and I'm excited to see this opportunity for our residents.
Finally, we received an update from our Historic Preservation consultant, VHB, who provided a detailed report of historic properties in Winooski. Click here to view the report. The report also includes recommendations on how we can encourage new development projects to preserve historic properties by retaining character and history while being mindful of cost and maintenance burdens. Should we choose to move forward with any of the recommendations, we’ll hold public hearings and directly reach out to potentially impacted property owners.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
Mayor Kristine Lott
email@example.com / 802 766 1988