By Councilor Bryn Oakleaf
Hello, Winooski. I want to share a summary from the most recent Municipal Infrastructure Commission that was held in mid-December. For those that may not know, I serve as the City Council Liaison to the Municipal Infrastructure Commission. This Commission is comprised of five Council-appointed members. In their role, they support the implementation of Winooski’s Strategic Vision as outlined in the 2019 Master Plan. The Commission is charged with helping the City Council and staff "Invest in the City’s municipal infrastructure, including energy resources, facilities and technology; roads and sidewalks; and water, sewer, and storm water lines and facilities.”
As a quick rundown, at the December 15th meeting, we discussed the departure of two Commission members, reviewed capital project updates and public outreach plans, and continued conversation on energy goals in the Master Plan. There was quite a bit to discuss and the Commission did well to get through all of the agenda items. We are sad to see Commission members Timur Tsutsuk and Corey Mack step down from the Commission. They were dedicated to their role, and brought skilled and insightful perspectives to the group. While we are disappointed to have them move on, their participation on the Commission is greatly appreciated. Efforts are underway to fill their vacancies, and we anticipate the City Council reviewing proposed appointments later this month.
After discussing turnover on the Commission, Jon Rauscher gave an update on capital project update. The Main Street Revitalization project is continuing to gather easements from landowners along the corridor. We learned that plans for public outreach on capital project announcements will be offered via QR code. This new feature will provide timely project announcements that are translated to ensure they are accessible to the greater Winooski Community. It will be exciting to see this rollout this year and to learn its strengths and where tweaks may need to be made. In other City updates, the parking study comment period ended in December. The consultant hired for the study will review and incorporate changes based on comments received and a final report should be available in the next month or so.
The rest of the meeting focused on the energy goals identified in the Master Plan, and general discussion on what information the City has regarding its own facility energy demands. Before diving into discussion on renewable energy generation, it was noted that a first step is to gather baseline data across electrical and fuels types for what municipal spaces currently use. In addition to establishing baseline usage, a compiled list of completed energy projects will also inform improvements made thus far. To assist the Commission with next steps the Commission will look to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) and other partners for their input. Because there is a lot to discuss regarding the energy goals in the Master Plan, the Commission will likely have this as a recurring agenda item for future meetings.
I encourage all Winooski residents interested in the City’s infrastructure to attend future Commission meetings. The Municipal Infrastructure Commission is taking steps to return to a regular monthly meeting schedule. Look for announcements for the next meeting date, agenda, and how to join. To learn more, visit https://www.winooskivt.gov/1389/Municipal-Infrastructure-Commission.
Please get in touch if you have comments or questions on the work of the Commission.
Bryn Oakleaf, email@example.com.