City aldermen adopt Water Tower Fund policy
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen at their April 23 meeting dealt with a number of issues.
At that meeting, members of the city council:
• Heard plans for a May 22 public forum that will explore several issues key to the future of the city’s downtown and parks (see story).
•Set a public informational meeting on their $1.45 million bond proposal for a new police station for Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in the city fire station (see story).
• Heard a plea from 8th-grade members of Vergennes Kids Against Tobacco to ban smoking near the city pool and on the city green (see story).
• Re-elected longtime council member Randy Ouellette as senior alderman.
• Heard from Bixby Memorial Library board member Christine Bradford that the financially strapped library would like the city to increase its contribution to $18.94 per capita, minus $5,000 for plowing and lawn care by city employees.
City Manager Mel Hawley said Bradford told aldermen that Ferrisburgh, Waltham and Panton had agreed to a similar increase, although Addison had not. Aldermen will decide during upcoming budget discussions whether to up the Bixby line item from $30,352 to $44,017.
• After months of discussion, adopted a policy on how this and future councils may use money in the city’s Water Tower Fund. That fund is fed by cell phone companies that pay to hang broadcast equipment on the city’s former water tower, which sits behind city hall. Currently, the fund nets about $100,000 a year.
Hawley said the new policy makes it clear aldermen may use the funds for capital improvements anywhere in the city, not just in the downtown area. The policy also makes it clear, Hawley said, that aldermen must approve all tower fund expenditures. Aldermen plan to use $100,000 from the Water Tower Fund to help pay for a new North Main Street police station if voters back their plan on May 14.
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