It's something many Burlington area residents have probably heard before -- a promise to fix the aging Moran power plant that's been dormant for 25 years -- something the public has never been able to collectively agree upon.
"The opportunity for saving the building may have been lost -- this is perhaps its last chance," said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. That's because funding to fix up the power plant is only available for a short period of time. Weinberger wants to use Tax Increment Financing, public funding that cities can use to subsidize community improvement projects. But a decision must be made by 2014 or Burlington loses the money.
"At least $5 million of TIF funding to invest in the waterfront district in the coming years. We have at least $10 million to invest in the downtown in the coming years," Weinberger said.
"I'm pleased to see the process that's emerged from this. I think it's better than what I was envisioning initially," said former mayoral candidate Rep. Kurt Wright (R-Burlington).
Wright said he is concerned about the short time-frame. People can start submitting proposals February 4th. Ideas will only be accepted through the end of March. "The downside is, its so tight. Do people have time to put together real proposals if they don't already have one in the works?" he said.
The Mayor said he'll appoint a public investment team made up of individuals with finance and development backgrounds. Those individuals will created packaged proposals that will appear on the March 2014 ballot. These ballot items could contain dozens of ideas in one proposal, including plans for what to do with the Moran plant, how to redevelop the waterfront -- among other ideas is a plan to turn parking spaces into miniature parks along the lake.
"The tricky part of that for a voter is what if they like 3-4 things a lot but hate one or two things," Wright said.
The public investment team will be instructed to choose ideas that advance existing plans, increase city revenue and expand waterfront access for public use. "If we act collaboratively and purposefully the city will execute this action plan without impacting municipal property tax rates while creating a more livable city," Weinberger said.
Weinberger said he's reluctant to put any of his own priorities out there right now and that it's public land and the people need to speak up and decide what to do with it.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:52:17 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>