News Flash

City of Winooski News Updates

Posted on: January 7, 2022

Mayor's Update - 1.7.22

Mayors Update1

Hello Neighbors, 

I hope everyone enjoyed a safe holiday season. On the topic of safety, I'd like to start my update with a reminder about COVID-19. During my weekly meeting with the Vermont Department of Health and our community partners, we discussed the sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in our communities around Vermont and in Winooski. Please take this moment to remember that masking, distancing, testing, and vaccinations continue to be our best defense. And while the case count is concerning, I'm pleased to hear that the rates of hospitalization and death are lower due to vaccinations. While the availability of at-home testing remains tied to supply chain issues, our community partners are working with the Vermont Department of Health on solutions to address access and education, especially for our more vulnerable community members. The Vermont Language Justice Project has created a number of translated informational videos for at-home test kits, available in multiple languages. The Vermont Department of Health is also coordinating with local food banks to increase the distribution of tests and masks. Remember, you can always get tested at the O'Brien Community Center and grab a mask while visiting any of our municipal locations. I'd like to also take this opportunity to remind everyone of our city-wide indoor mask mandate. Masks are required while indoors in any building open to the public in Winooski. For full details on testing, masks, vaccines, and more, please visit winooskivt.gov/covid-19

Moving onto City Council and FY23 Budget Process Info, our meeting on Monday included the presentation and proposed budget for the Public Works Department and the City's Capital Improvement Plan. Highlights included the completion of the Hickok Street reconstruction project, an update on the in-progress city-wide traffic calming policy manual, the final design phase of the Main Street Revitalization project (with construction starting this summer), and details regarding the Exit 16 DDI project in Colchester (exit16ddi.vtransprojects.vermont.gov). Next year, the City will add $1200 in contract services to improve roadway painting and bike line striping as well as install a new sidewalk on Manseau Street. There will also be road resurfacing work on the Bernard, Roger, Florida, and Gail Streets this summer (Audette, Shepard, and Hall Streets to follow in 2023). Take a moment to view the street and sidewalk improvement plans and the whole Public Works presentation here.

In other capital project news, scoping studies are being developed for the West Allen Street Park and for Lafountain Street. These grant-funded studies will make the projects 'shovel ready'. We are also seeking grant funding for a bike-pedestrian master plan which could be used to guide bike and pedestrian improvements across Winooski. As for our water and wastewater funds, no major work is planned for next year, however, we do expect a 4.5% rate increase as part of a previously approved 5-year phased plan. This plan will allow the City to stabilize our ability to address future capital projects, such as replacing the aging water mains throughout Winooski. The average Winooski home would see a $39 increase over the year. 

In other news, I wanted to mention that the hemp drying facility located at the end of Elm Street has agreed to relocate the hemp drying process - so the odor issue we experienced last summer won't be an issue moving forward. Also, for those interested in the aircraft noise data being captured in Winooski, please visit btvsound.com. The airport will post Excel files of the raw noise data there every month. They have also hired a person to be the point of contact for the home insulation program, and later this year we’ll learn more about property owners can find out when and if they qualify. We will push that information out once the airport has shared it. 

To view all related agenda item documents, view the meeting minutes, or watch the meeting recording, visit our Agenda Center. We continue to host our public meetings in a hybrid format and encourage folks to join by computer or telephone, details are always included in the meeting agendas. Our next City Council and FY23 Budget Process meeting is on Monday, January 10, 2022, and will feature our Public Safety budget presentation.

As always, feel free to reach out any time.

Mayor Kristine Lott - klott@winooskivt.gov / 802 766 1988

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