Montpelier This Week: 200 resumes for Fraser to consider
Here’s what’s happening this week in the Capital City.
City Manager William Fraser is in the process of hiring a new assistant city manager. The previous one, Beverlee Pembroke Hill, retired in June.
But Hill didn’t stay away too long. She returned to work at City Hall on Aug. 1 as a part-time employee in the finance department.
To receive her pension, Hill had to be off the city’s payroll for one month, and so she took off the month of July.
Hill’s new job is accounting and collection clerk, and special assistant to the city manager. She’s expected to work less than full days Tuesday through Friday.
Long-time City Clerk Charlotte Hoyt also came out of retirement on Aug. 1. Hoyt is working Monday through Wednesday as an accounting clerk and city treasurer, also in the finance department.
Seeking to fill the assistant city manager position, Fraser has been accepting resumes for a couple of weeks. In his weekly report, he said he’s received 201 resumes.
Fraser plans to chisel that list of applicants down to a more manageable number by the end of August.
At that point, an advisory board will review the resumes and determine who will be brought in for interviews.
Fraser said he’s targeting mid-September for the first round of interviews, with a second round finishing up near Sept. 28.
“A job offer could be made shortly thereafter,” Fraser wrote, “which coincides with our early budget discussions and the report of the Budget Review Committee.”
The City Council’s budget committee is expected to issue its report on Sept. 17.
The nearly 20-member committee, and its various subcommittees, have been studiously meeting all summer, compiling data and studying Montpelier and other municipal budgets to tease out inefficiencies.
The City Council’s task for the committee reads, “The committee will be charged with comparing the costs and effectiveness on Montpelier’s municipal services with those provided by comparable communities. The committee is authorized to make any recommendations it believes are appropriate related to its charge. The committee is requested to supply a report to the City Council by Sept. 17th, 2012.”
If the committee meets its deadline, the City Council is expected to officially receive and discuss the committee’s report at the Sept. 26 council meeting.
In district energy project news, Fraser said that city staff are fastidiously working toward getting “a complete package” for the City Council’s Aug. 22 meeting.
At that meeting, the City Council is expected to vote “yes” or “no” on whether to continue with the district energy project.
A complete package would be one that allays the concerns of some city councilors regarding the potential financial risks the district energy project could entail.
“We have engaged Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. to perform an independent review of our financial assumptions in building the annual budget, developing rates and making projections of various energy pricing,” Fraser said in his weekly report.
William Steinhurst, of Montpelier, is the lead on this project, and Fraser said, he expects to have the report by the end of the week.
Also this week, the city’s design engineer, Hallam-ICS, is expected to have 80 percent of design cost estimates complete.
That’s the price tag for the city’s portion of district energy project — the array of underground thermal energy pipes.
While the Hallam-ICS numbers won’t be final, Fraser said, “This will give us the most up-to-date information about project costs versus available funding.”
Up to this point, Fraser said that all of the cost estimates for the distribution system have been very “similar and consistent.”
And Fraser said that formal customer agreements, along with financial analyses, have been sent to building owners who recently signed letters stating their intention to hook up to district energy for heat and hot water.
In other project news, Fraser said that the city has made a proposal to Allan Carr to acquire his land — the Carr Lot.
The Carr Lot is one of the last undeveloped parcels of land in downtown Montpelier — located east of Taylor Street, behind the Capitol Plaza Hotel.
Since at least 2002, city officials have been eyeing the location for development of a $20 million transit center that includes a bus hub, an extension of the Montpelier bike path and a park.
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