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City of Winooski News Updates

Posted on: January 14, 2022

Mayor's Update 1.14.22

Mayors Update1

Hello Winooski,
 
Our recent City Council and FY23 Budget Process meeting featured our Public Safety presentation (Police, Fire, Code) and was very informative. Our Police Department budget will retain the same amount of staff and services currently provided. We heard about some great achievements over the past year and about the work being done moving forward, including our School Resource Officer partnership with the Winooski School District, the hiring of 3 new BIPOC officers, and continued collaboration with the Community Outreach Team who help us respond to mental health issues and provide resources to community members in need.
 
Our Fire and Code budget will also continue with the same level of staffing and service. Achievements over the past year include engaging with the Housing Commission on code and safety issues, continuing our important partnership with Saint Michael's Fire and Rescue, and continuing efforts to stand up a regional dispatch system with our neighbors across Chittenden County. This effort has been slowed by COVID and funding challenges, but towns are working towards a new system that would shorten response times in emergencies and improve service. Our Fire Chief also presented a bond proposal to replace a 23-year-old tower truck - a new truck with a taller ladder is needed to effectively respond to calls in Winooski where many taller buildings are located in our Downtown and gateway corridors. To acquire this new truck by 2024, the City would need voters to approve a 1.3 million dollar bond vote this March so we may borrow the money to make this purchase. If voters approve this bond, the financial impact would not take effect until next year or the year after. Council will discuss putting this item on the Town Meeting Day ballot at our next meeting (Tue 1.18.22).
 
To view the full Public Safety presentation and all FY23 budget and participation info, please visit winooskivt.gov/fy23.
 
During the meeting, we also had a discussion with Green Mountain Transit (GMT), who provided us with an updated assessment of their cost and services for FY23. Winooski contributes funds to GMT for the regional bus service and for their Special Services Transportation (SSTA) that is available for our community members (a total of $236,000 for next year). GMT is working with the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission to look at better ways to fund public transit that won't rely so heavily on local property taxes (fares are also changing in July). In addition to considering the number 9 route and its access to the Shaws in Colchester, GMT also told us about their pilot 'Microtransit' program, an on-demand, Uber-like service, which currently runs in Montpelier. If they find this service viable, they may bring it to Chittenden County. Other topics included electric buses, services to the Winooski School District, and more. View the related documents and info here.
 
As for the COVID-19 situation, we renewed the city-wide mask mandate and ask community members to remain vigilant as cases continue to spread. Testing and vaccines remain available - for full details, please visit winooskivt.gov/covid-19.
 
Lastly, winter is certainly here. Please be mindful of the extremely cold weather ahead of us - the Vermont Department of Health has provided a number of helpful resources and multilingual documents for winter weather preparedness. Click here to view. If you're having heating issues or other concerns regarding housing quality in Winooski, you can use this form to file a complaint using our Minimum Housing Complaint Form. Also, please sign up for our winter parking ban alerts if you haven't already! You can do so by texting 'Winooski' to 888-777 or signing up online.
 
As always, feel free to reach out any time:
 
Mayor Kristine Lott
klott@winooskivt.gov / 802 766 1988

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