Home News and Features Heard on the Street, Apr. 5, 2023

Heard on the Street, Apr. 5, 2023


Montpelier Reappraisal Notices Coming Soon

Preliminary property reappraisal information should be mailed out to Montpelier property owners in early to mid-May, according to Montpelier Assessor Marty Lagerstedt. “We have made good progress,” he said. “Everyone in the community has been cooperative.” There will be an informational meeting with the contractor in mid-May,” Lagerstedt said, with grievances expected to begin in June.

Asked whether residential property appraisals will rise more than commercial properties, he said he did not have data on that yet, but his “gut feeling” was affirmative. “COVID hurt office demand,” he noted, whereas Montpelier homes remain “highly desirable.”

Goddard College Worker’s Strike Continues

Workers at Goddard College demonstrated in front of the Statehouse on Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of their ongoing strike to seek better working conditions. About 35 custodial, administrative, accounting, help desk, IT, and housekeeping workers walked off the job on March 24 at noon following a year of unsatisfactory negotiations over pay and working conditions. Negotiations are ongoing.

Montpelier Resident Proposes Fireworks Ban 

A resident has proposed the city of Montpelier ban commercial fireworks displays. The suggestion is tied to concerns about the sound and its effect on people and animals, per the city manager’s report issued March 31. Montpelier is known for special fireworks displays on some holidays — especially the Independence Day celebration each year. The matter is scheduled to be discussed at the city council meeting April 12. If the city council votes to pursue the ban, staff will draft an ordinance for a legal review.

Planning Underway for Independence Day Celebration 

Montpelier Alive is planning for this summer’s Independence Day celebration. The theme has not yet been decided, but the parade coordinator, Yasi Zeichner, is seeking suggestions at parade@montpelieralive.org. The application to participate in the Independence Day Parade is now open; the online application form can be found at  forms.gle/vBwyantDTiTwmhuA6. Full parade details and guidelines in PDF form can be found on the Montpelier Alive website soon. Applications must be submitted by June 9. Any questions can also be sent to parade@montpelieralive.org.

Restroom Committee Talks Toilets

The Montpelier Public Restroom Committee is actively discussing ways to provide more sanitary facilities to visitors and residents in town. In a recent meeting, members discussed possible restroom scenarios, including extending access to city hall restrooms; extending access to transit center restrooms (but this proposal was put on hold following a violent incident that occurred there); purchasing Portland Loo toilets (but the cost is prohibitive at $250,000 installed); and other types of facilities. Concerns include the amount of maintenance required to keep them clean. Portable toilets will be reinstalled behind city hall and the senior center. The committee also discussed publicizing existing restrooms and possibly putting up signs.

City Clerk to Present at Hacking Conference 

City Clerk John Odum will be attending the DEF CON conference in Las Vegas on August 10. Def Con — which stands for Defense Readiness Condition — is an annual hacker conference. Odum will give a talk about the top 10 election hacks to watch out for during the event. Def Con is an event held at Caesar’s Forum and is the world’s longest running hacking conference. The event runs from Aug. 10 to Aug. 13. 

Montpelier Police New-hires Undergo Training

The three most recent hires by Montpelier’s Police Department are currently halfway through their basic training at the Vermont Police Academy. Reports are they are doing well and are eager to rejoin the department in the coming months to begin their field training, according to a recent report.

Barre Parking Winter Ban Expires

Barre residents can now park on city streets and parking lots where parking is permitted. All other parking restrictions continue to apply.

—compiled by Carla Occaso with a contribution from Phil Dodd