Eminent Domain Public Hearing Tomorrow, Oct. 28
by Carla Occaso
MONTPELIER — A plea recently written and circulated by Mowatt Revocable Trust representative Jay J. White asks the public to come to a public meeting October 28 to preserve his 12 Main Street property. The beer, wine, cigarette, lottery ticket and snack store, Montpelier Discount Beverage, has been targeted by Montpelier City Council to be torn down in order to make way for a bike path, according to Mayor John Hollar in a September 8 interview with The Bridge.
“The council voted to go forward with it (condemnation proceedings), but that would be different than actually approving it. We agreed to go forward with it,” Hollar said September 8. He said the current building blocks the safest route for the planned bike path, which is part of the One Taylor Street Transit Center project. The path on the drawing board would connect the proposed Transit Center located out behind the Capitol Plaza Hotel to the rest of town by going over a bridge behind Shaw’s and then crossing Main Street at the intersection of Main and Barre Street, to a spot farther along Barre Street where it would pick up the existing bike path heading east out behind the Rec Center. The one-story building housing Montpelier Discount Beverage sits in the middle of this proposed route and would need to be removed to complete construction as envisioned by City Council.
However, there are other possible options, both Hollar and White suggested. The building could be relocated, but how many stories it would have to be, how much that would cost and who would pay for it has caused a standoff.
“The City has several options that will both preserve the business that operates at 12 Main Street and allow the construction of the bike path, but has chosen to pursue using eminent domain in order to take the property. Councilors have not yet voted to condemn the property, but will vote after this hearing,” White stated in his letter.
The public hearing is set for Wednesday, October 28, in Montpelier City Council Chambers at 39 Main Street (City Hall). The hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.