Support grows for new Vergennes truck route

VERGENNES — The Vergennes City Council on June 11 heard from City Manager Matt Chabot that he and Mayor Jeff Fritz had met with Waltham and Addison selectboards to seek support for the proposed new road through northern Vergennes that would reroute most through truck traffic around downtown. Waltham’s selectboards endorsed the plan, he said, as had earlier the New Haven and Ferrisburgh’s selectboards.
Later in the week Chabot said Addison was noncommittal, and that the Addison County Regional Planning Commission voted to support the plan, with Panton backing the truck route in a vote cast in the regional planning commission’s Transportation Advisory Commission. Officials said with regional support the Agency of Transportation could build the truck route within 10 years.
“I’m feeling very optimistic,” Chabot said.
In other action at the meeting, the council”
•Thanked Martha DeGraaf for her years of organizing the Youth Fishing Derby. This year’s annual summer derby was canceled due to the risks posed by high waters in the Otter Creek basin.
•Re-appointed Peter Garon as zoning administrator for another three years at the recommendation of the Vergennes Planning Commission. Commission Chairman Shannon Haggett said, “Working with Peter has been great over the past year.” The council also appointed Laura Mack to the Bixby Library Board of Trustees at the recommendation of that board.
•Heard from Chabot that flow metering of the city sewer system done this spring at five locations failed to pinpoint sources of infiltration that have caused persistent overflows at the Macdonough Drive pump station. “We’re struggling to find where the issue is coming from,” he said.
A $153,000 state loan that will soon become final funded that work and will help pay for more study of the ongoing problem. That loan will not have to be repaid until a “larger fix” is discovered and put into action in the future, Chabot said.
•Agreed to seek two grants. One is for $250,000 and will require a $50,000 local match. It would extend the sidewalk on the north side of Main Street from Macdonough Drive to the Otter Creek bridge and a stairway there that leads down to the Otter Creek basin. Chabot said that project might not be done immediately. The city will also seek $1,130 to install signs directing the way down to the basin from Main Street, a grant that would require a $1,130 match.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected]

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