As a 35-year resident of Montpelier and now a member of the City Council, I urge Montpelier voters to support Article 1, the bond for the parking garage. It will be good for downtown and good for the city as a whole.
The hotel and parking garage together will address crucial city needs: parking and economic development. The hotel will attract thousands of visitors to Montpelier every year, and they will spend money in our downtown stores and restaurants. The increased economic vitality that a downtown hotel will bring is exactly why our economic development plan ranks a new hotel as the top priority for downtown. When the hotel is built we will see increased downtown activity, more people enjoying our community, and more employment for Montpelier residents.
Finally, the parking garage will meet the need for parking that people have been talking about for decades. Parking is one of the biggest complaints that everyone has about Montpelier. The lack of parking keeps people away from our local businesses and clogs our residential streets. The parking garage will benefit not just downtown but the neighborhoods just outside of the downtown area, where every day the streets are lined with the cars of people who work in town but can’t find a place to park.
The time is now. If we miss this opportunity, the next hotel will likely be in Berlin, and Montpelier will lose the business, jobs and revenue it will bring. Vote 'yes' on Article 1.