City Seeks About $7.5M from CongressThe city of Montpelier has applied for roughly $7.5 million in congressional earmarks. According to a Brookings Institution article by John Hudak from March 2021, the practice of municipalities directly requesting earmarks had been banned since 2011 because it had been seen as an opportunity for corruption. Earmarks allow legislators to target budget dollars for specific projects in his or her district. However, the 2021 Congress reinstated the practice with safeguards to prevent corruption. The new earmarks system allows for direct applications to a state’s delegation. Montpelier recently submitted an application to Sen. Bernie Sanders for approximately $4.5 million for district heat expansion and to reduce the price for existing customers, as well as reducing fossil fuel emissions. Additionally, Montpelier submitted an application to Sen. Peter Welch for $3 million to initiate the water pipe replacement plan. City Manager William Fraser’s weekly report of March 17 also noted the city is considering an application to Rep. Becca Balint for housing — related to the Country Club Road project — pending more details about the project.
‘World Cow’ Coming to State StreetD.J. Barry plans on bringing his World Cow organization to the 8 State Street storefront location left by AroMed when AroMed moved to Main Street recently. The online World Cow shop sells items decorated with a Holstein cow design from a website worldcow.earth. Items include stickers, mugs, and apparel. The company has partnered with other organizations to help distribute food, stationary, and clothing to people in poverty, according to the website. Barry sent an email to the Montpelier Design Review board on Feb. 16 that he had just gotten the money to launch the new brick-and-mortar venture.
Police Undergo Mental Health TrainingBarre City and Montpelier police recently participated in a training on dealing with calls involving mental health crises. These can happen within a home, at school, or in a public place. Regardless of the location, “it is critical that the first responders are trained in mental health issues, in mental health law, and in working together to resolve any crisis,” according to a recent MPD Facebook post. Using the Team Two Vermont training curriculum, law enforcement officers participated in the training to review mental health statutes and get a refresher on mental health training. The police work with Washington County Mental Health Services when such situations arise.
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