HEARD ON THE STREET: 4.21.16

Fraser’s Contract Extended Pending Council Vote

MONTPELIER — City Manager William Fraser is likely staying in town … for now.

“The council and Bill reached an agreement on Friday, April 15 for an extension of his contract for one year. The contract will be on the council’s agenda for ratification at our next meeting on April 27,” Hollar told The Bridge via email.

Fraser agreed. “I am confirming that we renewed the contract for another year,” Fraser told The Bridge by phone April 20. An agreement was reach at executive session. The terms are the same as the previous year’s contract. The city manager’s salary was listed as $104,515.00 in the most recent city budget posted online.

 

Two Proposals In For Rec Center

MONTPELIER — Food Hub? “Maker Space?” Mixed-use commercial? Rec Center? Time will tell.

The City of Montpelier received two proposals to purchase city-owned 55 Barre Street submitted April 15, according to a memorandum issued by City Manager William Fraser and Assistant City Manager Jessie Baker April 20. The proposals were in response to a request for proposal released by the city March 9.

The companies who entered proposals are Morningstar Properties under the signature of Steven Ribolini and Overlake Park LLC signed by Jesse Jacobs.

The memo states that neither proposal fully satisfies the request for proposal criteria, therefore “I have reviewed the responses and recommend that, as neither fully complies with the RFP requirements, we do not move forward with either proposal at this point,” the memo states.

Morningstar’s proposal is to pay $212,000 and turn the building into “mixed-use” space. Overlake Park’s proposal is to pay $375,000 and use it for three purposes, the first is labelled “confidential,” the second is “Maker Space” and the third is “Food Hub.”

The memo further states that the proposals “present great ideas,” but that “there are not businesses committed to the projects.” And, since both respondents are local property owners who have “exciting economic development concepts,” the city will further explore the ideas. In addition, the city needs to figure out how this would fit into the plan to develop a multi-generational recreation department.

 

Hel’s Kitchen Closing

MONTPELIER — Hel’s Kitchen, run by Helen Labun, will close April 30. The takeout restaurant went into business in August 2015 at the Salt Restaurant building on Barre Street. Labun, who has an agriculture and food systems degree, turned skills honed during “informal potluck gatherings at her home” into a “complicated study of new flavors,” according to an article on Labun by Marichel Vaught last fall. This week’s menu items for April 19 to 22 follow a Middle Eastern theme. Takeout items include chicken kofta (meatballs) with tahini-za’atar sauce, phyllo pastries with greens and orange blossom caramels. Website: Helskitchenvt.com.

 

Opera Fest Gala and Auction Announced

PLAINFIELD — Echo Valley Community Arts will be presenting Operafest VIII on Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. at The Plainfield Opera Houae in Plainfield, Vermont. Spring has arrived! This gala event will be a chance to dress up, listen to glorious voices, eat delicious food, take chances with a raffle or vie for an item in a silent auction! Featured singers include: John Andrew Fernandez, Lillian Broderick, Annalise Shelmandine, Kevin Ginter, Meghan McCormack, Marek Pyka and Brian Vandenberge with Eliza Thomas accompanist. Proceeds will go toward Echo Valley Community Arts’s fall production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte” which will run October 14 to 16 and 21 to 23 at The Plainfield Opera House. For more information on the opera go to echovalleycommunityarts.com.

 

Kiwanis Honors Scholars

BARRE — Kiwanis Club of Barre’s 35th annual Honors for Scholars Banquet. Honoring Spaulding High School seniors who are members of the Pro Merito Society. Pro Merito Society members are required to have an accumulative average of 3.0 or greater for seven semesters. Forty-one members of the Spaulding High School Class of 2016 are members of the Pro Merito Society.

The banquet was held at the Canadian Club in Barre Town on Monday, April 11. Guest speakers were Keith Paxman and Rich McSheffrey, Class of 1992 Spaulding H.S. graduates and co-owners of the Cornerstone Restaurant Group.

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