More information on the September 15 bond vote items.

Example of current Main Street sidewalk, which would be improved.
Example of current Main Street sidewalk, which would be improved.

City Bond Vote Items on the September 15, 2015 Ballot

By: Dominic Cloud, St. Albans City Manager

“Daddy, was that mountain biking?”

So said my four year old son after a recent bike trip on the City’s sidewalk network. It was a fair question given some of the peaks and valleys we encountered, and it highlighted the need to address the sidewalks beyond the reconstructed downtown. On Tuesday, September 15 voters will have the chance to do just that in a Special Election at City Hall.

We are calling a Special Election seeking voter approval for three projects. Two are sidewalk and curb projects that need to be completed in advance of a State paving project. The third is a drinking water project at the Fairfax Reservoir.

Article One asks voters to approve a $2.5 million bond for Fairfield Street. These funds will be used to reconstruct sidewalks, curbs, and catch basins on the surface of the street, as well as the water, wastewater, and storm water lines underneath the street. Motorists will recall the roller coaster that Fairfield turns into in late winter with the frost heaves. Walkers will recall how the water runs into driveways and down the sidewalks because the curbs have been covered with pavement over the years. And all of us remember the water breaks we had last year due to aging water lines. This project addresses all of these priorities and will never be less expensive due to the support from the State of Vermont.

Article Two asks voters to approve a $1.2 million bond for curbs and sidewalks on Lake Street, and North and South Main Streets. These streets do not need the same amount of underground utility work as Fairfield Street, however the curbs and sidewalks are in rough shape. After a rain storm, the sidewalk on North Main Street is often under water. Outside of the Streetscape areas, the sidewalks on Lake and Main Streets are over thirty years old – and it shows. They have lasted beyond their useful life, and it is time to reconstruct them so they last another thirty years. Again, the State is covering the paving portion so it will never be more cost effective to address the curb and sidewalks than right now.

Article Three asks voters to replace a water filter at the Fairfax Reservoir. Like the sidewalks, the filter is beyond its useful life. The Fairfax Water Treatment plant is our most cost effective water treatment plant and we need to replace this filter in order for the plant to operate at peak capacity.

All three infrastructure projects are critically important to our quality of life. Clean drinking water is an essential government service. Sidewalks are the infrastructure that links our homes, jobs, schools, and businesses together to form a community.

Absentee ballots are already available in the City Clerk’s office and the polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 15. A public hearing on the projects will be held on Tuesday, September 8 at 6:30 pm at City Hall.

Let your voice be heard.

 

City polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at City Hall, 100 No. Main St. on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, for the bond vote. Regardless of ongoing renovations, City Hall will be made fully accessible for the vote.

Absentee ballots are also available at the City Clerk’s office at City Hall, open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

For more information, please contact Kristen Smith at 802-524-1500 x253.

Official website of the City of Saint Albans, Vermont | (802) 524-1500 |