Montpelier officials started addressing potential consequences of a total solar eclipse expected April 8 at 3:25 p.m. According to Greatamericaneclipse.com, Montpelier will be in the path of totality for two minutes, when the sky will display “the beauty of the sun’s corona hanging in the suddenly darkened sky.” Waterbury has been discussing this since last summer when Revitalizing Waterbury Executive Director Karen Nevin brought eclipse glasses to the select board meeting to discuss what happened in other cities during the total eclipse of 2017. A Montpelier City Manager Jan. 19 report noted, “Experience in other communities shows that many people — in the thousands — will visit cities in the eclipse path.” Montpelier Alive and city staff are looking at safety, sanitation, viewing locations, etc.
Barre City Postpones Annual Meeting to May 14
The Barre City Council has moved its annual meeting from March 5 to May 14 to allow more time to tighten the budget and to factor in “potential legislative assistance for operations,” according to Jan. 9 meeting minutes. A motion to approve this carried on Jan. 9 and was ratified on Jan. 16.
Middlesex Budget Up 11% Due to Flood
The Middlesex town budget increased 11% according Jan. 16 selectboard minutes. If the flood never happened, it would be up 7.8%. Increases include 4% cost of living, and a 4.5% wage increase for staff. Another cause is only 75% of the $2.1 million in emergency road repairs are reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the report. Town officials don’t yet know if any of the balance would be reimbursed by the state budget.
Stump Dump Closure Irks Citizen
Tom Moore lamented the closure of Montpelier’s “stump dump” at the Jan. 10 City Council meeting. Moore said he needs the dump, but it has been closed, and claimed “the state” has been using it to dump “truckloads and truckloads” of materials. Department of Public Works director Kurt Motyka said it closed due to wetlands encroachment, and the city had been dumping catch basin and street sweeping waste, plus DPW doesn’t have staff to monitor the site. He added “In either case, we haven’t figured out if we are going to reopen it or close it permanently. Either way we have to hire an engineer to keep it out of the wetlands.” Yard waste can go to Casella at 378 East Montpelier Road.
Ondis Restaurant Open on Barre Street
Ondis, a new 20-seat food and drink spot, has been open for a month where Kismet once was, at 207 Barre Street in Montpelier. Open 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, the menu — at ondisvt.com — includes small dishes, three large plates, and one dessert, plus cocktails, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks. According to a Seven Days article, owners are Emma Sanford and Christopher Leighton, Montpelier residents who also own Apres, a cocktail lounge inside Mirror Mirror in Stowe. The Ondis website says reservations are not accepted, “we simply invite you to join.”
—compiled by Carla Occaso with a contribution from Phil Dodd