A rendering of the proposed reconstruction of Winooski's Main Street
Onion City voters approved a $23 million bond for a major facelift of the city's Main Street on Tuesday by a healthy margin of 311 to 185.
The vote will allow the Winooski City Council to explore funding sources, including state and federal grants, as well as a 1 percent local options tax on rooms, meals and alcohol. An increase in municipal taxes and water rates could also fund the work.
After the votes were counted Tuesday evening, Mayor Seth Leonard took to Twitter.
Official numbers for Main Street Revitalization vote.....63% approval! Thank you #Winooski community for your support!!!
Other public officials also expressed gratitude to voters.
"The City of Winooski would like to thank our community for their level of engagement and interest in this project," city manager Jessie Baker wrote in a public statement Tuesday night. "We are humbled by the multitude of residents, businesses, and visitors who participated in the conversation during the preliminary design process and wish to extend our gratitude for your participation."
The work is intended to improve the heavily trafficked northern section of Main Street, with the goal of making it more pedestrian-friendly and attractive. Power lines would be buried, sidewalks widened, and water and sewer infrastructure would be improved. The project would involve just three-quarters of a mile despite the hefty price tag — from about the railroad bridge north of the Winooski traffic circle to Tigan Street, just before Exit 16 of Interstate 89.
The project will be discussed at the next Winooski City Council meeting
on May 21.