City Hall Reporters Notebook: Sprouting edition
Contractors hauled materials into the old Aubuchon Hardware space on West Street this week. While I have heard no word on a potential new tenant in that space, it’s clearly getting fixed up.
Between that, Small Dog Electronics having its grand opening next weekend, the work at Green Mountain Power’s energy innovation center moving along, and the second phase of the Creek Path going out to bid, it’s easy to get carried away with the springtime metaphors.
There’s just one little change I’m waiting for.
On one particularly sunny day, I was coming out of the Coffee Exchange with a wildberry smoothie (what?) and thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be the perfect afternoon to sit on a bench in Depot Park and soak up the sun while drinking this? Oh wait.”
Despite a half-dozen conversations with Mayor Christopher Louras since he pulled the benches out of the park last year, I never felt like I got a clear picture in my head of what he wants to see before putting them back.
What he is waiting on, Louras said Sunday, are commitments from people to spend time in the park, whether as part of organized activities or on an individual basis. From individuals, he said, he wants pledges to spend 10 minutes a day, three days a week, sitting in the park — something I would have happily done with that smoothie or, as I write this at noontime Sunday, the book I’m trying to finish — at lunchtime, mid-afternoon and late afternoon.
He said there was no set number of commitments he is waiting on before returning the benches.
“It’s not a quantitative exercise, more of a qualitative exercise, and I’ll know it when I see it kind of thing,” he said.
Those pledges can be made by calling his office or by email or Facebook. Consider this mine.
The Vermont Farmers Food Center holds its annual meeting at 5 tonight in the Fox Room at the Rutland Free Library. The meeting is open to the public.
Over in City Hall, a tax abatement committee meets at 5:30 tonight regarding a request from Cold River Framework.
Tuesday is the big pig roast fundraiser for the Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum. Wales Street will be closed off from 4 to 9 p.m., and slow-cooked swine will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Food is $5 and $5 beers will be available as well. Music and children’s activities round out the event.
Just up the road at City Hall, the General Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. to discuss updates to the employee handbook.
The Stafford All-Stars hold their spring concert from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The band is made up of students from the Stafford Technical Center’s jazz and contemporary music program. The concert at the Rutland High School theater is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, the Development Review Board meets at 6 p.m. to discuss applications to convert a single-family home on Crescent Street to an apartment, office and storage, and to adjust a setback on Church Street to allow for an attached garage.
It’s also the first Wednesday of the month, making it time for the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series. This month, Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff will discuss the development of sports journalism through the years. The talk starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Friday marks the reopening of the Chaffee Art Center on South Main Street, and the opening of this year’s student art show, which will be split between the main location and the new downtown gallery. The opening reception runs from 5 to 8 p.m.
Friday is also “Green-Up Downtown Day,” in which the Downtown Rutland Partnership hopes to spruce up downtown ahead of Vermont’s Green-Up Day.