Vermont’s oldest sportsmen’s organization has challenged the Legislature’s approval of the proposed charter changes approved at the March City Meeting.
A community organization told the City Council Monday, April 15 about its plan to renovate tax-delinquent Winooski homes and rent them to new American families.
The Vermont Children’s Foundation said its plan would turn delinquent properties into full-value property taxpayers, and would “boost neighborhood values with tasteful renovations,” according to a presentation by spokesperson Cyrus Patten.
Here’s how VCF’s plan would work: the city would acquire the tax lien at auction, and hold the property for a year while VCF plans renovation. The city would then turn the property over to VCF for cost. VCF would renovate the home and begin the family support program, which would help new American families into an affordable, sustainable rental situation that could, possibly, lead to home ownership.
Proceeds would help fund VCF programs providing low-income children with therapeutic, wellness, and sporting activities not otherwise paid for.
The Council listened attentively to the preliminary presentation but took no action. Winooski is the first city to be approached with this proposal, and VCF plans to “start small,” Patten said.
Food shelf open this Saturday - The city food shelf will be open Saturday at 10 am, at the Winooski Methodist Church across from City Hall. Donations may be dropped off at Sally’s Flowers on Main Street. The third Saturday of the month is the scheduled day for distributions at the food shelf.
$1000 raised for scholarships - A Dollars for Scholars dance held last Saturday, April 14 raised $1000 for local scholarships, Councilor Seth Leonard reported.
School, city score big, five-year afterschool grant - the Winooski school and city together have won a $96,000 “21st century” federal grant that will enhance the city and schools’s afterschool programs, city official Ray Coffey reported. The grant provides $96,000 for K-12 for each of the next five years. Afterschool assistance has been identified as a major need for helping Winooski’s young new American population successfully adjust to their new lives.
Green Up Day - will be held Saturday, May 4, beginning at 9 am. For more details, contact Dan Conant and the City Environmental Board at Winooskieboard@gmail.com.
F-35 data manipulated? - Eileen Andreoli, an opponent of the F-35 deployment to the Vermont Air National Guard base, told the council about a recent Boston Globe article citing manipulation of data about the F-35, which may have a bearing on actual noise levels of flights over Winooski. More information can be seen at Vermont Digger, the state’s premier online newspaper. The article also includes information on Rep. George Cross’s unsuccessful anti-F-35 legislation.
Winooski seeks more airport input - Mayor Michael O’Brien reported that the City is interested in developing representation in the governance of the Burlington International Airport. Adding a city representative to the airport’s board would require a charter change by the City of Burlington, which owns the airport. At present only Burlington and S. Burlington have seats on the airport board. O’Brien reported there has been some discussion of either privatization or regionalization of Vermont’s largest airport. Privatization is rare and has a mixed track record, he noted.
At present the airport is looking for a new executive director and has recently hired a marketing director. As a subsidiary of the City of Burlington, its ability to borrow money is saddled with the City’s poor bond rating.
Public Works Director search down to final three - a pool of 37 applicants for the city’s Public Works Director position has been whittled down to three, City Manager Deac Decarreau said. Former director Steve Palmer left earlier this year to join a new business that trucks natural gas to business sites.
Youth want more protections from smoking - a video produced by Thane Asselin of Weaver Street was a key part of a presentation to the city council by several local teens about youth smoking. The video, which includes some scenes from Winooski, may soon be viewed at the website for the Winooski Coalition for a Safe and Prosperous Community, www.wcspc.org.
Asselin, a senior at Winooski High, has studied video editing at school for several years. “Children are easily manipulated, and to be constantly exposed to advertising is not something I would like to see in a small community like ours,” he told the council. Mayor O’Brien commended the young people saying, “if you recommendations to make to the council, please come in and we will listen.” WCSPC said results from a Winooski survey about youth smoking will be available soon.
Non-profits receive city funding - Eleven not for profit organizations received a total of $20,000 of donations from the City of Winooski for 2012, the council decided. Eighteen organizations submitted requests for $36,815. The council agreed that all of the organizations are, worthy, but that resources are limited and difficult decisions needed to be made.
Recipients included Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, $2000; Chittenden County Humane Society, $1000; Local Motion, $1000; St. Francis Xavier School, $1000; VT Cares, $500; VNA, $2000; VT Center for Independent Living, $500; Winooski Family Center, $5000; Women Helping Battered Women, $1000; Child Care Resource Center, $2000; and YMCA, $4000. Those denied funding included American Red Cross, COTS, GBIC, the Howard Center, Northern VT Resource, and the Winooski Valley Park District. All of the applicants had petitioned for funding earlier this year, emphasizing the services they provide to Winooski residents.
Winooski news round-up:
Prior to joining VSAC, Giles held positions in Washington, D.C., both on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. He staffed the House Committee on Science; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions during Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords' chairmanship; and the office of Congressman Frank Horton of New York State. He also worked as a public affairs consultant in private practice and for Cassidy & Associates.
Library storytime hours – Tuesdays, 10:30 Winooski Library next to the O'Brien Community Center. All preschoolers welcome. Parking available, activities include stories, songs, fingerplays, sometimes games and arts and crafts.