MONTPELIER — The third in a series of four community participation events in the planning process for the 1 Taylor Street public-private development on the former Carr Lot will be held tomorrow evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and it has been moved from its original location to the Montpelier Senior Activity Center, at 58 Barre St.
The session is open to all, and will see the design team and developer discussing potential uses. There will also be a report from the developer on a commissioned hotel study, and a report from the city on an economic analysis of the three possible uses for the upper levels. Aside from a hotel, other suggested uses include housing and offices.
Montpelier has bought the site and some property surrounding it for the long-awaited multi-modal transit and welcome center.
Also noted in Friday’s report by City Manager William Fraser is the change of date for the fourth and final public participation event on the 1 Taylor Street project. Originally set for July 16, that fourth and final public forum has been rescheduled to July 30, also to take place at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center.
The date was pushed back two weeks to allow for preliminary design work to be unveiled at that session. The city council will make the ultimate decision on the choice for what the developer will be permitted to house in the upper floors of the building, and will hold a public hearing on the issue at its June 25 council meeting, city staff said last week.
Fraser noted that the public will have a chance to attend the public hearing later this month to “offer direct comments to the council about their preferences,” for the use of the upper floors of the 1 Taylor Street development.
Fraser said, “The council will make their decision (on the use of the upper floors) at their regular July 9th meeting. At that point, they will have the benefit of the three public work sessions, the economic data, the direct testimony and any other information they request,” he said.
“Following their decision, the fourth public work session will be held July 30th at the senior center,” said Fraser. “The purpose of the July 30th meeting will be to present initial designs and receive comment about them,” he said.
Also noted by Fraser in his weekly report, the city took part in a daylong emergency management training exercise designed to see whether the city could effectively move operations to other sites. Of the so-called Continuity of Operations Plan, Fraser said, “Today was the chance to learn how to improve it,” should there be a crisis requiring operations to be moved.
Friday marked the end of Barre Street being closed for the culvert replacement project at the east end of the street. Fraser noted in his weekly memo that additional work will continue, but the road is open again for through traffic.
Fraser also offered an update on the district heating project, noting, “Kingsbury is wrapping up final work related to the district heat construction efforts this month. Starting (today, Monday, June 9th), they will be working on Langdon Street,” he noted in his weekly memo. “During this period, it is not anticipated that the road will be closed; however, several parking spaces may be occupied and construction vehicles will be present.” He said that letters will go out to customers on the new district heat system this week about rates, which will be announced in July, and about connection costs and building work that will need to be accomplished this summer prior to its startup in October.
In other matters, Fraser noted in his Friday memo that “The Montpelier Community Justice Center and Washington County Mental Health Services are hosting a training opportunity for the City of Montpelier staff and relevant community partners to share ideas, explore partnerships and create coordinated solutions to the thorny question of what our community can do to be helpful, sensitive and welcoming to those who struggle to maintain mental health.” The training will take place June 27 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center
Other meetings in the city this week include: The Planning Commission, tonight, 5 p.m., in council chambers at City Hall; Montpelier Alive promotions committee, Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the city manager’s conference room; Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Memorial Room at city hall. Also, on Wednesday the capital improvements committee of the city council will meet at 5:15 p.m., prior to the regularly scheduled city council meeting at 6:30 p.m.
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