The bulk of Monday’s Council meeting focused on the fiscal year '23 (FY23) Community Services budget. Over the past year, thanks in part to federal education funding, we were able to provide increased free after-school and summer programming for youth and meal delivery for seniors - which is expected to continue throughout FY23. The Community Services Department will also continue to collaborate with our partners (such as the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Language Justice Project) in the ongoing effort to support our residents during the pandemic. The only significant Community Services budget change is that we will be hiring our Myers Memorial Pool lifeguards in-house, as opposed to contracting with the YMCA. This will help alleviate staffing issues that we identified during our first operational season. Our next FY23 budget meeting will cover Public Works and our Capital Improvement Projects - for full details on this process, please visit winooskivt.gov/fy23.
During the meeting, we also heard from the Winooski Gardening Group. This amazing group of dedicated volunteers is responsible for maintaining many of the flower beds and plant displays you see around Winooski - they have been making Winooski a welcoming place for decades! Their presentation helped outline some new areas where additional gardens could be planted and reminded participants that volunteers are needed. If you'd like to be inspired by this work, I recommend checking out their recent Legacy Campaign Feature. If you're interested in getting involved, join their Facebook group or email Sue O'Brien: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news, the Winooski Planning Commission has spent the last two years or so reviewing the zoning regulations in our gateway districts (Main Street, E. Allen, Mallets Bay Ave.) - also known as Form Based Code. After a thorough review to clarify the regulations and improve the development we see in Winooski, they have forwarded some changes to the City Council for consideration. These changes include an increase in the distance a building can be setback from the sidewalk, which we've heard is something both residents and developers would like to see. The City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes at a future meeting next year.
Other items worth noting on the agenda included the approval of joining the State in a national opioid settlement and a new restaurant license approval for Sarom's Café, which will service Vietnamese fare on Manseau Street next year. To view all related agenda item documents, view the meeting minutes, or watch the meeting recording, visit our Agenda Center.
As always, feel free to reach out any time:
Mayor Kristine Lott
email@example.com / 802 766 1988