Barre City Initatives


A disclaimer – I worked the door today, so may have missed some of the finer points of the meeting.


President Claire attempted to get us to pick up the tempo of the song by clapping loudly, and in a purely subversive move, I sang as a slower tempo, about ½ a beat behind everyone else.  Roy offered a wonderful grace, asking God to send us more nice weather. (as I’m writing these notes, it’s snowing outside, so Roy doesn’t have much pull with the Big Guy).


Dick proposed a fine of 1+9 on President Claire for clapping along with the song “like a singalong or a rock concert”.  Jack attempted to amend the fine to include Dick for starting the song “so high only a soprano could sing it”.  Jack was declared in violation of the 5 minute rule, so the amendment was not allowed.  P. Claire said she like to have the song be upbeat, and Carol said the song deserves to be sung at a tempo that is in keeping with its solemnity.  The fine passed.


Bertil said this month marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, with the first shot on Fort Sumter happening on April 12, 1861.  He said it was the costliest war in American history, with 620,000 being killed.  He offered a quote from William Faulkner, “The past is never dead, it’s not even past.”


Jack said a large group of Irish participated in the war.


Roy gave the following updates/reports:

  • Tomorrow evening he & Karen are hosting a screening of “The Final Inch” at the library.  The film is about the continuing efforts at polio eradication.
  • A reminder of the Pushing Out Polio event at the Capitol Plaza on 4/12.  Roy has tickets.
  • As of today there are 69 booths reserved for the Expo.  Roy said he expects that number to end up around 80.  He passed around the signup sheet for the Expo, and will circulate the list among those who aren’t here today.  Set up will be Sunday, 4/17 at 8:00 AM.


Elizabeth said all the club charities giving checks have been cut, leaving a contingency total of $138.25.  As was approved by the Club a few weeks ago, the contingency funds are being donated to Homeshare.


Jim attended the Leadership Conference this past weekend, and will report on it at a future meeting.


Karen gave a Happy Dollar for last weekend’s Spring Fling fundraiser at the library.


Prez Claire tried to get the program started, but after Sue cleared her throat so loudly she practically made herself hoarse, P. Claire invited her to give the secretary’s report.  Sue (& the rest of us) welcomed honorary member Homer Fitts.  We celebrated April birthdays and club anniversaries:

Birthdays                                             Anniversaries

Tom Babic                                           Carol Dawes

Butch Churchill                                  Michael Knight

Tess Taylor                                          Kevin O’Hara

Dee Rollins                                          Amber Vecchiarelli

Ron Parnigoni                                    Kim Woolaver


Now that Sue had discharged her duties so ably, we moved on to our speaker – Barre City Manager Steve Mackenzie.  Carol introduced Steve, reading off information she garnered from Google (though some of it didn’t relate to this “Steve Mackenzie”).


Steve said he felt right at home at Rotary, as the uncontrolled chaos reminded him of Council meetings.  He gave us a short update on the “Big Dig” (North Main Street Reconstruction Project), saying the bid advertising is going out today, and the work should begin in late June/early July.


Steve then talked about “quality of life” projects and programs in the City, including the following:

·         <![endif]>Charles Semprebon bequest funds:

§  <![endif]>Bike Fund – The Bike Committee is working on two sections of the path:

o   <![endif]>From Prospect Street south to the Barre Town Elementary School, and

o   <![endif]>From Granite Street north to the Vermont Granite Museum.

o   <![endif]>The middle section of the path is part of the proposed development of Merchant’s Row.

§  <![endif]>Semprebon Fund – committee has reviewed more than 80 project proposals.

·         <![endif]>Transitional services assessment being done by Agency of Human Services to look at the current mix of services provided to those coming out of incarceration and/or under supervision of DOC, and to identify the gaps and overlaps.

·         <![endif]>A Dog Park has been established off the bike path in the area of the municipal pool in response to concerns about people walking their dogs in the City cemeteries.

·         <![endif]>Magic Wheel Community Bike Shop at the ReStore is coordinating the first annual (hopefully) bike and fitness festival for late May, which will include amateur and professional level bike racing in downtown Barre on May 22nd.

·         <![endif]>More aggressive enforcement of City ordinances, especially those dealing with trash accumulations, abandoned buildings and squatters.  Steve said the responsible parties will be held accountable.

·         <![endif]>Economic Development Initiatives include:

§  <![endif]>Purchase and rehabilitation of a 4 unit apartment building on Laurel Street, paid through a Neighborhood Stabilization Grant.

§  <![endif]>Purchase of the former Brooks Drugs/Coins & Hobbies site, and demolition of the buildings to allow for development of the site.

§  <![endif]>Recently received a Municipal Planning Grant to develop preliminary ideas for the area bounded by North main Street/Summer Street/Elm Street/the Courthouse.


Roy offered a Happy Dollar that was tied to Steve’s use of the word “squatting”.  Yes, you should let your mind go to the dark places…


Steve Lambert (not Mackenzie) held the winning raffle ticket, but not so lucky with the marbles.