Burlington Railroad Enterprise Project sent to City Council

(WCAX)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 12:34 AM EDT
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A plan to build a brand new street in Burlington to better connect downtown to the waterfront is moving forward.

The Burlington Transportation Committee Tuesday approved the Railroad Enterprise Project. The nearly $22 million plan will be funded by city, state and federal money. But there are still questions about cost-sharing and whether taxpayers will be impacted.

Burlington Public Works Director Chapin Spencer says the state wrote the city a letter giving them two options. If the city wants to start the project now, the city would need to pay 20% of the local match. If the city waits until after the Champlain Parkway is constructed, the city would only pay 10%. That’s an option the City Council will have to weigh at their meeting next month.

They will also need to decide how to reduce the impact of the cost on taxpayers, and where exactly the city's share of money to pay for the project comes from.

"The city has an annual capital plan and part of what we need to work on with the councilors is understand the relative priorities they have so we can program the money in the best way possible to return the best value for city residents," Spencer said.

The proposal now heads to the full City Council for possible approval in mid-June. Spencer says construction likely won’t start for another four to five years.

He says the city will seek public feedback during that time.