Revitalizing Winooski’s Main Street, special bond vote nears

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A facelift could soon be coming to the city of Winooski, but not without resident’s approval.     The city hosted a community dinner Tuesday ahead of a special bond vote on May 8th.

The project would be a complete overhaul of the city’s Main Street corridor. The goal is to make it a place and not just a pass-through.

“New water lines, waste water lines, storm water lines, improved sidewalks, street trees and burying utility lines,” said Jessie Baker, Winooski City Manager.

Right now the Onion City is figuring out how the $23 million overhaul will be funded.

Baker said, “The reason we are going to a special bond vote now is to put together the best financing package for the community.”

With a ‘yes’ vote, the city will be able to move forward in applying for federal and state funding. Baker says the city would a final funding package would then be presented to the city council this summer.

The project area is between the rail bridge and the city line near Exit 16.

“I think it’s great, I think it will be great to bring more business up this way, I think it will be great for the community,” said Christian Dubrul, owns Old Soul Barbershop.

Dubrul has been in business for nearly two years and called it a great spot, “It’s been great since we opened up here… There is a ton of traffic that drives by here.”

Around 15,000 cars a day to be exact and Dubrul thinks the project would attract even more.

There are some concerns, including the exact impact on Winooski taxpayers, which at this time isn’t known.

“Of course it is a big price tag so people are concerned about the impacts to property tax rates as well as water and waste water rates,” said Baker.

Some business owners are also concerned about how disruptive construction would be.

Dubrul said, “I think in the long run you got to do what’s good for business and in the long run I think it will be positive.”

Should the city move forward, Baker says there is a year left of engineering and design. Once shovels hit the ground, construction is expected to last 2 ½ years.

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