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.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>