The heated debate over a park in downtown Burlington continues

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) About 50 people filled Burlington City Hall for the Development Review Board meeting regarding a redesign plan for City Hall Park.

The plan involves several changes including added sidewalks, a new fountain and the removal of more than half the park’s trees.
Wednesday night's meeting covered the specifics of tree removal, shading and preserving the parks historical value.

Many voiced the importance of reducing the number of trees getting cut down and saving as many of the dying ones as possible. Others say that's not feasible.

"Why would you cut healthy trees when so many trees are struggling? They're in fair to poor condition. We would like to see maybe instead of cutting them, maybe those trees can be moved to another part of the park," said Donna Walters with "Keep the Park Green."

"By the time you start to see that outward decline on the top of the tree, it's too late. The vascular tissue of the tree has been compressed. We can go in there and remove the roots, but it doesn't bounce back," V.J. Comai, the city arborist.

The board is expected to make a decision on the redevelopment multimillion-dollar plan Monday.

If passed, city officials say they expect construction to begin next year.