Voters Decide: Raising Taxes for 'Montpelier Alive'

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 02/21 2014 05:42PM

Updated 02/21 2014 06:17PM

MONTPELIER, Vt.- A group in Montpelier hopes people will say yes to a tax that could improve the capital city's look. It's nothing new- something similar was passed last year and it generated a lot of money. The organization Montpelier Alive is working to transform the downtown area.

If you look around downtown Montpelier you've probably noticed the newest additions to the overall look of the city. The new banners, benches, and in the summer time- the new flower pots; it’s all thanks to Montpelier Alive.

“It also extends our program from just the state and main corner to throughout the designated downtown. So we were able to put more flowers where flowers hadn’t been before,” said Phayvanh Luekhamhan, Executive Director of Montpelier Alive.

The money for those projects came from a tax the community agreed to last year. Luekhamhan says the organization is again asking for it again, to continue Montpelier's make over.

“We'd be able to do more without stopping what we are doing already," said Luekhamhan.

Luekhamhan says the group's goal is to attract more visitors. But with limited funds the group can't get much done without a little help.

"For us to really draw more of that tourist traffic that we know exists here we need to create more marketing materials,” said Luekhamhan.

Even though the statehouse might be the biggest draw, Montpelier Alive is trying to encourage everyone to stick around and check out all downtown has to offer.

“If we can have the whole community of downtown chip in a little bit so then we can do that work- that's really going to take us to the next level,” said Luekhamhan.

But Luekhamhan says that next level depends on the public's approval of Article 11 which would raise the property taxes in the downtown district alone to help generate money for Montpelier Alive.

“What happens if we don’t receive the 75,000 dollars is we can't replace that trash can, we can't create more banners that decorate our downtown and we don't have a way to hire professionals that can really market the downtown and support the local businesses that are here. And our whole goal is to support the local economy here,” said Luekhamhan.

Voters head to the polls on town meeting day- March 4th - to make a final decision on this proposal. If you’d like more information about Montpelier Alive-click here.

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