Home Heard on the Street Heard on the Street, June 7, 2023

Heard on the Street, June 7, 2023


Barre City Eyes B.O.R. Ice Arena for Emergency Shelter

Bracing for a significant number of people being cast out of the motel homeless program starting June 1, Barre City appears to be thinking outside the box. City Manager Nicolas Storellicastro recently reviewed the letter proposing using the B.O.R. ice skating rink as an emergency shelter. The proposal was submitted by Barre City to the state, according to May 30 meeting minutes. A rate of $75 per person per day was suggested based on rates the state had been giving the motel program. Further, those present discussed public camping currently going on in Barre City, and interactions among campers and public safety personnel. A member of the Homelessness Task Force suggested centralizing camping to one location so there can be services. Additionally, it was said Montpelier may create two emergency shelters that would open up 80 beds.

Barre Faces Transit Troubles

Jesse Rosado recently voiced concern that there’s been no progress toward restoring the Green Mountain Transit commuter routes to Barre. Speaking to the city council May 30, he said these are ride-to-work routes, and commuting along the routes to Waterbury, Burlington, Northfield, Route 100, and Route 2 is no longer possible because of service changes. He urged council members to contact Green Mountain Transit to persuade them to restore schedules.

Roxbury Junk Ordinance Squeaks Back In

Who pays for clean up? Who is going to drive around judging yards and issuing tickets? Those were some of the questions lobbed at Roxbury’s selectboard pre-town meeting this year to discuss a proposed “junk ordinance” that has taken three times to pass and has caused acrimony in town. Selectmen originally adopted the ordinance in December 2022, but voters “disapproved” it on Town Meeting Day by nine votes, 148–157. However, it was revisited on May 31. This time voters restored the ordinance by two votes, with 77 voting to keep it “disapproved” and 79 voting to re-adopt it. “The ordinance is in place,” clarified Town Clerk Tammy Legacy after the third vote. 

Those who support the ordinance said it is a means for townspeople to establish group “values” for the look and use of properties in town. Those against it listed a wide array of concerns, including one woman who feared the selectboard would fine her $100 a day because she has flowers growing in an old metal pot on her lawn. The ordinance specifically defines “junk” as old metal and other “nonferrous” materials such as rope, rags (clotheslines?), “batteries, glass, rubber, debris, waste, trash, or any discarded, dismantled, wrecked, scrapped, or ruined motor vehicle or parts thereof.”

—compiled by Carla Occaso