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Council Resolves to Support LGBTQ+ Pride

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Photo by Carla Occaso.
Montpelier City Council approved a request to display the “Pride Flag”’ at city hall. Further, they resolved to support LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and plus) pride month at the city council meeting May 24. The flag is being flown beginning June 1 in front of city hall in accordance with the city’s flag policy. It will be flown until June 30.

City council also agreed to a resolution supporting LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which notes the mayor and city council “of the City of Montpelier welcomes and encourages diversity and inclusion within our community; and WHEREAS, June 28, 2023, marks the 54nd anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City, which sparked the gay rights movement, and is the nationwide month to recognize the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning, and Plus (LGBTQ+) community.” The resolution acknowledges that while the LGBTQ+ community has made progress toward acceptance and equality, they continue to face discrimination and violence. Also, youths in particular are more likely to experience bullying at school, to suffer from depression, and to struggle with substance abuse. They are also more vulnerable to attempting suicide. Therefore the city promotes supporting this community.

Next the council approved minutes from May 10 and May 16, and then approved liquor licenses for Woodbelly Pizza ( first class liquor license and third class liquor license, and a license for outside consumption). 

The council went on to address payroll, and then on to approving street closures for the summer. The following events applied for street closures: Union Elementary School Field Days (June 7), Montpelier High School Alumnx Roundup (July 14), United Motorcyclist Toy Run (August 12), and the Taste of Montpelier Festival (Sept. 9). The Langdon Street event, requested by Montpelier Alive, proposes a block party fundraiser celebrating Montpelier High School Alumnx supporting Montpelier Roxbury Partners in Education. The event is scheduled to happen on July 14 and offers food, music, and a possible beer garden. It is planned for all ages. The request is for Langdon Street to close at 2 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The council apparently approved all applications.

They then went on to discuss the strategic plan overview, and Downstreet Housing, Community Development’s Green Mountain home repair program, and the Casella/leachate treatment issue. Casella Waste Systems staff members gave a presentation and requested to extend the deadline for leachate treatment at the Coventry landfill. The current deadline is July 1. An opportunity for public comment and council discussion was offered. The city of Montpelier is currently taking one truck load of leachate per day, or approximately 8,100 gallons. This equates to approximately $120,000 per year in revenue. 

Also, Alex Halasz was appointed to the Development Review Board and Page Guertin was appointed to the Homelessness Task Force.

During the Country Club Road update, it was noted that the spring community engagement sessions generated feedback on proposed site plans and identified priority goals for the property. Analysis of feedback showed that overall, most people who gave input want the most living quarters possible to be created in this space. In a memo from Stephanie Clarke from White + Burke real estate advisors, a 22-page report to the council offered three plans (Concept A, B, and C) for the property, ranging in costs from $15 million to over $18 million. The costs mostly relate to infrastructure such as water and sewer. Concept A calls for 292 total units with 196 multi-family dwellings, 96 town homes, a community garden, recreation area, connection to the bike path, and a neighborhood gathering space. Concept B calls for 264 living units, with 196 multi-family dwellings, 64 townhomes, and eight single family homes. Concept C calls for 184 units total with 132 multi-family units and 52 townhomes. The report showed feedback that 48% likes concept A the best, while 14% opted for concept B and 25% want concept C. City council voted unanimously to move forward on the project.

Also, the Montpelier Water Resource Recovery Facility gave a project overview and details about the final design contract. The Department of Public Works recommended the city council receive a presentation from DPW and Brown and Caldwell Engineering on the biosolids drying, odor control, and clarifier upgrade project. It asked council to authorize the city manager or his designee to execute the contract and associated documents. 

In other matters, the council discussed night paving, the city council retreat, and the infrastructure committee report. Following the mayor’s report, the city clerk’s report, and the city manager’s report, they voted to adjourn at 10:17 p.m.

It should be noted that at the beginning of the meeting, Peter Kelman spoke on his dissatisfaction with public recognition, technical issues, and the lack of discussion on a consent agenda item. Also, Clarence Whelan spoke on a motorcycle parade scheduling conflict. 

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