Home Commentary Heard on the Street, 5.11.22

Heard on the Street, 5.11.22

The Guertin shelter, pictured here before it's move to Main Street, often shelters those who need a place to sleep outdoors. Photo by J. Gregory Gerdel.

Marijuana Dispensary Readies for Retail

Montpelier City Council member Conor Casey and Officer Mike Philbrick toured the Patients Alliance marijuana dispensary recently. “I think they have done a really good job of reaching out. Right now it looks like they are opening in July and will potentially be the first retail dispensary in the state because Burlington is not slated until October and Brattleboro as well. So you could see a lot of activity in that area of town,” said Casey at the end of the April 27 city council meeting. 

COVID is Up — Washington County 2nd Highest in Vermont

Washington County had 578 new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days, according to healthvermont.gov. This is the second highest case count next to Chittenden County at 1,545 cases. Washington County has a population of 58,409 (2019) compared with Chittenden’s 163,774 (2019).

Guertin Park Structure: Gone

The Guertin Park structure has been removed from its spot on Main Street between Shaw’s supermarket and The Drawing Board. This move follows a winter of controversy after the small shelter served as a gathering spot for people without homes. They even put up a tree with Christmas lights over the holidays. Montpelier Police Chief Brian Peete told The Bridge’s Greg Gerdel in a story published April 28 the shelter became more of a congregating spot rather than a place people stayed overnight. Open fires, public intoxication and physical aggression had been ongoing issues there.

Road Construction Season Hitting High Gear

If you commute to work, or drive around for any reason, you may have noticed a sudden presence of closed roads, one-way detours, and other construction projects in the area. And it will be expanding. Interstate 89 from Brookfield to Montpelier is currently being resurfaced. Also, Route 12 South toward Berlin/Northfield has one-way traffic. Route 14 from East Montpelier to Hardwick (approximately 19 miles) is being reclaimed, and Route 2 from East Montpelier to Marshfield is undergoing a paving project. In Montpelier, reconstruction of the Washington County Railroad line is planned for the Main Street intersection as well as an intersection in East Montpelier. And finally, deck replacement of bridge No. 64 over the Winooski on Route 2 in Montpelier is planned. Ownership of  bridge No. 64 is split 50–50 between the state of Vermont and the city of Montpelier, according to the VTrans website. An adjacent, temporary 2-way bridge will be erected during the construction.

—Compiled by Carla Occaso