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YCQM Nov. 17, 2019

(WCAX)
Published: Nov. 17, 2019 at 3:26 PM EST
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>> Darren: GOOD MORNING,

EVERYONE.

I'M DARREN PERRON.

RIGHT NOW ON CHANNEL 3'S "YOU

CAN QUOTE ME," IMPEACHMENT

INQUIRY.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER WELCH

DELIVERS A ONE LINER DURING THE

PUBLIC HEARING.

WE TALK TO THE CONGRESSMAN ABOUT

THE PROCESS IN A ONE-ON-ONE

INTERVIEW AND GET REACTION FROM

NORTH COUNTRY CONGRESSWOMAN

ELISE STEFANIK.

>>> UNSTABLE SLOPES.

IS A LANDSLIDE IN BURLINGTON

PUTTING PROPERTIES AT RISK?

WE TALK TO A GEOLOGIST ABOUT THE

POTENTIAL THREAT.

>>> AND THE NEW CITY PLACE

PLANS.

THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS

MORNING.

THE STALLED CITY PLACE PROJECT

IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN

BURLINGTON WILL NOW LOOK

DIFFERENTLY THAN ORIGINALLY

PROPOSED.

IT WAS GOING TO BE 14 STORIES.

NOW THE DEVELOPER SAYS IT WILL

BE TEN STORIES.

IT WILL STILL BE A MIX OF

SHOPPING AND RESIDENTIAL UNITS.

THE CITY HOPES NOW THE PROJECT

WILL GET DONE FASTER SINCE THE

PROJECT HAS BEEN SCALED BACK.

AND FOR AN UPDATE ON THE

PROJECT, I'M JOINED NOW BY

BURLINGTON MAYOR MIRO

WEINBERGER.

GOOD MORNING TO YOU.

>> Weinberger: MORNING, DARREN,

THANKS FOR HAVING ME IN.

>> Darren: THANKS FOR BEING

HERE.

THIS PROJECT OBVIOUSLY WAY

BEHIND SCHEDULE.

PART OF THE PHASE ONE OF THIS

PROJECT WAS SET TO OPEN IN

JANUARY.

OBVIOUSLY WAY OFF SCHEDULE FROM

THAT.

WHEN IS WORK SCHEDULED TO

RESUME?

>> Weinberger: WELL, THERE'S NOT

A PRECISE SCHEDULE.

WHAT THE DEVELOPER HAS SAID THAT

SEEMS POTENTIALLY REALISTIC TO

ME IS THEY WILL START THE

PERMITTING FOR REALLY TWO

PROJECTS.

THEY WILL PERMIT THE REPURPOSING

OF THE OLD MACY'S BUILDING WILL

BE A SEPARATE PERMIT THAN A NEW

PERMIT FOR THE CENTRAL BLOCK,

THE MALL THAT WAS TAKEN DOWN.

WE ARE ANTICIPATING THAT THEY

WILL BEGIN THAT FORMAL

PERMITTING PROCESS SOMETIME IN

THE FIRST QUARTER, EARLY SECOND

QUARTER OF 2020 AND IF THAT GOES

SMOOTHLY, THEY COULD BE IN

CONSTRUCTION SOMETIME IN 2020 IS

WHAT THEY'VE SAID.

THERE ARE ALSO THINGS THAT CAN

CAUSE THAT TO BE DELAYED.

I THINK AS VERMONTERS KNOW, THE

WAY OUR SYSTEM WORKS, IF THERE'S

CONTROVERSY AROUND THE ATTEMPTED

PERMITS, IT CERTAINLY POSSIBLE

THAT IT COULD TAKE TOMORROW

BEYOND THAT BEFORE THEY HAVE THE

FULL GO-AHEAD TOO GO FORWARD.

>> Darren: THIS IS A PRETTY

SIGNIFICANTLY SCALED BACK

VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL

PROPOSAL.

WHAT DID BURLINGTON LOSE BY

GOING WITH THIS SMALLER SCALE?

>> YEAH.

WELL, STILL A VERY SUBSTANTIAL

PROJECT, ABSOLUTELY A

TRANSFORMATION OF THAT PART OF

DOWN THAT WOULD MEET ALL THE

ORIGINAL GOALS OF THE CITY.

WE'RE STILL GETTING BACK THE

STREETS THAT WERE LOST DURING

URBAN RENEWAL THAT RECONNECTED

PINE STREET AND ST. PAUL STREET.

THERE'S STILL HUNDREDS, JUST

ABOUT AS MANY HOMES AS WERE EVER

ENVISIONED, ABOUT 300 HOMES.

THERE'S STILL A SUBSTANTIAL

AMOUNT OF GROUND FLOOR RETAIL.

THE BIGGEST CHANGE IS WITH

RESPECT TO OFFICE SPACE.

WHEREAS THERE HAS BEEN IN THE

ORIGINAL PLAN BEEN A TOWER

ESSENTIALLY THAT WAS GOING TO BE

ENTIRELY DEDICATED TO OFFICE,

THAT'S WHERE THE PROJECT WILL

HIT ITS BIGGEST FINANCIAL

CHALLENGE.

THEY WERE UNABLE TO LEASE THAT

UP FULLY, SO WHAT THEY ARE

PLANNING NOW IS A SIGNIFICANT

CHANGE AS THEY ARE REPURPOSING,

PROPOSING REPURPOSING THE FORMER

MACY'S BUILDING AS AN OFFICE

BUILDING THAT WOULD HOUSE THE

UVM MEDICAL CENTER, WHICH HAS A

LEASE WITH THE PROJECT, AND

MAYBE SOME OTHER OFFICE USE IN

THAT BUILDING.

AND THERE REALLY WOULD NOT BE

ANY OFFICE SPACE IN THE CENTRAL

BLOCK.

INSTEAD, IN ITS PLACE OR

PARTIALLY IN ITS PLACE WOULD BE

A SUBSTANTIAL HOTEL.

THEY HAVE PROPOSED AT LEAST AT

THIS POINT WHAT WOULD BE, I

THINK THE SECOND LARGEST HOTEL

FOR THE CITY.

THOSE ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES.

>> Darren: THE SHORTER TOWERS

THAT ARE NOW GOING TO BE THERE,

A LOT OF FOLKS ARE SAYING, WELL,

THIS IS ACTUALLY A BETTER FIT

FOR BURLINGTON.

DO YOU AGREE THAT SCALING DOWN

THE SIZE OF THOSE TOWERS MAKES

MORE SENSE?

>> Weinberger: YOU KNOW, I

THOUGHT THE FIRST PLAN WAS

GREAT.

I THINK THIS PLAN IS GREAT.

I THINK EITHER ONE ACCOMPLISHES

WHAT WE HAD HOPED TO AS THE

CITY.

THE TRANSFORM PART OF THE

DOWNTOWN INTO A VIBRANT MIXED

USE NEIGHBORHOOD, CREATES

HUNDREDS OF DOWNTOWN HOMES AND

JOBS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF

NEW TAX REVENUE FOR THE CITY AND

THE STATE.

I'M HAPPY WITH EITHER VERSION OF

IT GOING FORWARD.

I JUST WANT IT TO MOVE FORWARD

AND MOVE FORWARD AS QUICKLY AS

POSSIBLE.

THE DELAY IS -- WAS NOT THE WAY

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN AND WE

WANT IT TO BE AS SHORT AS

POSSIBLE.

>> Darren: BECAUSE AS YOU KNOW,

THERE'S A HUGE HOLE IN THE

MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON

RIGHT NOW.

SOME FOLKS HAVE TOLD US WHO OWN

BUSINESSES, IT IS IMPACTING

THEIR BOTTOM LINE.

SOME BUSINESSES HAVE EVEN SCALED

BACK THEIR HOURS, PARTICULARLY

ALONG BANK STREET.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE

BUSINESS OWNERS AND IS THE CITY

DOING ANYTHING TO HELP THEM?

>> Weinberger: YEAH, I DO THINK

THERE'S SOME SPECIFIC BUSINESSES

THAT HAVE CLEARLY FELT SOME

IMPACT FROM THE CONSTRUCTION

AND, YOU KNOW, FROM THE

CONSTRUCTION, WHEN THERE WAS

CONSTRUCTION ON THE SIGHT AND

NOW FROM THE DELAY.

CERTAINLY I TRY TO USE THOSE AS

MUCH AS I CAN IN RECOGNITION OF

THAT, PLUS ONE OF OUR GREAT

RESTAURANTS.

WE ARE DOING A NUMBER OF THINGS

TO TRY TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT ON

THOSE AFFECTED, BUSINESSES.

WE GOT BROOKFIELD TO PUT BACK

SOME PARKING AND MOVE THE

BARRIERS THAT WE RESTORED SOME

PEDESTRIAN RIGHT-OF-WAY A BANK

STREET AND CHERRY STREET.

WE HAVE USED ADDITIONAL MONEYS

WE SECURED FROM BROOKFIELD TO

BEAUTIFY THE AREA.

THERE'S SOME NICE MURALS UP ON

BOTH CHERRY STREET AND BANK

STREET NOW, KIND OF AN ARTIST

EVENT THAT CREATED THOSE AND

WE'RE USING OTHER BROOKFIELD

DOLLARS TO GET THE WORD OUT THAT

BURLINGTON IS VERY MUCH OPEN FOR

BUSINESS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

THE SHOPS ARE COMPLETELY FULL ON

CHURCH STREET.

THERE'S PLENTY OF PARKING

AVAILABLE IN DOWNTOWN

BURLINGTON.

WE'RE USING THAT BROOKFIELD

MONEY TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT,

MAKE SURE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO

THINK OF BURLINGTON AS A PLACE

TO DO THEIR HOLIDAY SHOPPING.

I DO, DARREN, JUST WANT TO STEP

UP FOR A LEVEL AND PUT THIS IN

PERSPECTIVE.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR

EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN

WHILE WE ARE GOING THROUGH THIS

TRANSITIONARY PERIOD, WHICH IS

GOING TO BE LONGER THAN WE HOPED

IT WOULD BE, DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON

REMAINS BASICALLY AS STRONG AS

IT'S EVER BEEN.

WE'RE AT HISTORIC HIGHS IN TERMS

OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE

VISITING, EATING, STAYING IN

DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON.

WE'RE NEAR HISTORIC HIGHS WITH

RESPECT TO SALES TAXES AND THE

NUMBER OF GOODS THAT ARE BEING

SOLD IN DOWNTOWN.

WE HAVE A NEW CHURCH STREET

MARKETPLACE DIRECTOR THAT

ANNOUNCED JUST YESTERDAY AND I

THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR

EVERYONE TO KNOW, CHURCH STREET

IS VERY MUCH ALIVE AND STRONG,

DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON IS STRONG.

>> Darren: YOU MENTIONED UVM

MEDICAL CENTER.

THERE ARE SOME TENANTS ALREADY

LINED UP.

ARE ANY OF THOSE FOLKS PULLING

OUT AT THIS POINT WITH THIS NEW

PROJECT PROPOSAL OR BECAUSE OF

THE DELAY?

>> Weinberger: YOU KNOW, RETAIL

TENANTS ARE -- SO THE RETAIL

TENANTS AND COMMERCIAL TENANTS,

THE UVMC IS STILL IN AGREEMENT

WITH THE DEVELOPERS.

THE DEVELOPERS HAVE SOME SERIOUS

WORK TO DO QUICKLY TO KEEP THAT

AGREEMENT IN PLACE.

THE HOSPITAL HAS PRESSURES ABOUT

WHEN VARIOUS SPACES THEY HAVE

LEASED, YOU KNOW, EXPIRE AND

BROOKFIELD IS GOING TO NEED TO

PERFORM IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS

AHEAD TO KEEP THAT LEASE.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THEY

DO THAT.

IT'S CERTAINLY A MAJOR GOAL OF

MINE TO KEEP THOSE HOSPITAL,

GOOD HOSPITAL JOBS IN DOWNTOWN

BURLINGTON.

THE RETAIL IS OFTEN SOMETHING

THAT REALLY CAN'T GET FULLY

LEASED UP UNTIL PROJECTS GET

CLOSER TO OPENING AND THERE HAD

NOT REALLY, BEYOND UVMC LEASE,

THERE HAD NOT BEEN OTHER LEASES

ANNOUNCED.

I DO THINK ONCE THEY HAVE A

SCHEDULE, THEY HAVE THE NEW

PERMITS IN PLACE, THEN YOU'LL

PERHAPS SEE THEM START TO ROLL

OUT MORE NEWS ABOUT LEASES.

>> Darren: TAKE US BACK.

WHAT WENT WRONG HERE?

>> Weinberger: YEAH.

WELL, I THINK A COUPLE THINGS

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AS I -- YOU

KNOW, AND TO SOME DEGREE, THE

CITY IS ON THE OUTSIDE LIKE

EVERYONE WATCHING TO A CERTAIN

DEGREE WHAT THE DEVELOPER DOES

HERE.

THE CITY DELIVERED ON ITS PIECES

OF THIS, OF COURSE.

WE MADE THE ZONING CHANGE THAT

WE WERE COMMITTED TO DOING.

WE WENT TO THE VOTERS AND THEY

APPROVED THE TAX INCREMENT

FINANCING IN PUBLIC

INFRASTRUCTURE.

WE ARE IN THE PART OF THE

AGREEMENT NOW WHERE IT IS THE

DEVELOPER'S JOB TO DELIVER.

THEY CLEARLY HAD TROUBLE LEASING

UP THE OFFICE SPACE AND THAT

CAUSED A RECONSIDERATION OF SOME

OF THE PROGRAMMING AND DECISIONS

THEY HAD MADE.

I THINK A LOT OF THE DELAY OVER

THE LAST YEAR AS WE UNDERSTAND

IT IS DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE

ORIGINAL DEVELOPER WHO STILL

HAS -- HE'S NO LONGER THE

DAY-TO-DAY DEVELOPER, THE PERSON

GETTING THE WORK DONE, BUT DOES

SILL HAVE AUTHORITY OVER CERTAIN

DECISIONS AND THERE WAS A

DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN DON AND

BROOKFIELD THAT WAS ONLY

RESOLVED RELATIVELY RECENTLY.

I'M HAPPY TO SAY IT WAS REPORTED

TO US AND REPORTED PUBLICLY AT

THE END OF OCTOBER THAT THOSE

DISAGREEMENTS WERE FULLY

RESOLVED AND THE PROJECT HAS

BEEN MOVING FORWARD AS YOU WOULD

EXPECT THE PROJECT TO IN THE

WEEKS SINCE.

I'M HOPEFUL THAT THEY'VE GOTTEN

THROUGH THAT, THEY'VE BEGUN TO

TURN THIS AROUND, BEGUN TO

REBUILD CONFIDENCE IN THE CITY,

THE CITY COUNCIL, AND HOPEFULLY

THE PUBLIC.

THEY GOT A WAYS TO GO WITH THAT

STILL, BUT IT DOES FEEL LIKE

IT'S MOVING IN THE RIGHT

DIRECTION TO ME NOW.

>> Darren: CAN YOU GUARANTEE TO

VOTERS THAT THIS PROJECT WILL

MOVE FORWARD?

>> Weinberger: I CAN'T GUARANTEE

IT.

THAT'S THE NATURE OF A PROJECT

LIKE THIS WHERE WE'RE COUNTING

ON A THIRD PARTY, OUTSIDE PARTY

TO DEVELOP THEIR PROPERTY.

WHAT I CAN GUARANTEE TO PEOPLE

IS THAT WE HAVE STRUCTURED THIS

AGREEMENT SO THE CITY THE

FINANCIALLY PROTECT, SO THEIR

DOLLARS ARE NOT AT RISK, AND WE

HAVE ACTUALLY PUT IN PLACE

THINGS IN THE ORDINANCE NOW, IN

THE LAW, WHERE WE WILL GET THOSE

STREETS BACK.

WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHEN THEY

WILL BE DONE, BUT WE ARE PRETTY

CLOSE, AS MUCH AS WE CAN

GUARANTEE IT, WE'LL GET THAT

IMPORTANT PART OF THE STREET

GRID RESTORED, AND I THINK

BECAUSE -- AND THIS IS KIND OF,

DARREN, FROM AN OUTSIDE

PERSPECTIVE, BECAUSE WE LET THE

DEVELOPER GO FORWARD AND TAKE

THE BUILDING DOWN, THERE'S NO

GOING BACK.

WE'RE CLOSER TO THE MIXED USE

VIBRANT NEIGHBORHOOD WITH HOMES

AND JOBS AND THE RESTORED

STREETS THAN WE'VE EVER BEEN.

IF WE HAD NOT ALLOWED THEM TO DO

THAT WHEN THEY WANTED TO DO IT,

AT THEIR EXPENSE, I'LL POINT

OUT, WE COULD BE IN A SITUATION

NOW WHERE THE PROJECT JUST KIND

OF IS MUDDLING ALONG AND THEY --

THE DEVELOPERS RECONSIDERED AND

WENT BACK TO HAVING THE SAME NOT

WELL PERFORMING MALL BUILDING.

I'M GLAD THAT'S WHERE WE ARE.

WE ARE GOING FORWARD AND IT IS

CLEARLY TAKING A LITTLE LONGER

THAN WE HOPED IT WOULD.

I'M HOPEFUL 2020 WILL BE THE

YEAR THEY GET THROUGH THAT ONCE

AND FOR ALL AND WE SEE ONLY

STEADY PROGRESS FROM HERE TO THE

END.

I DO BELIEVE WE'LL ALL LOOK BACK

ON THIS PERIOD AS A TRANSITION,

A TRANSFORMATION THE CITY NEEDED

TO GO THROUGH AND WE'LL BE

STRONGER FOR ULTIMATELY.

WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH

NEW TAX REVENUE THIS REDESIGN

PROJECT WILL GENERATE.

THAT'S BEING CALCULATED RIGHT

NOW AND WE WILL HAVE UPDATED

PROJECTIONS FOR THAT, I EXPECT

FAIRLY SOON.

IT IS, I THINK, LIKELY IT MAY

NOT BE QUITE AS MUCH AS WAS

INITIALLY PROJECTED.

WE ANTICIPATED THAT POSSIBILITY

WHEN WE WENT TO THE VOTERS AND

WE WERE CLEAR WHAT OUR

PRIORITIES WOULD BE IF WE HAD TO

SCALE BACK THE AMOUNT OF PUBLIC

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT THAT

WOULD BE NECESSARY, SO WE HAVE A

PLAN FOR THAT AND WE'LL KNOW IN

THE WEEKS AHEAD IF THERE IS SOME

KIND OF CHANGE TO THAT THAT'S

GOING TO BE NECESSARY.

>> Darren: THE ORIGINAL PRICE

TAG ON THIS WAS $225 MILLION.

DO WE KNOW WHAT THIS NEW

SCALED-BACK VERSION WILL COST?

>> Weinberger: THE DEVELOPERS

HAVE NOT YET PUT OUT A NEW

ESTIMATE.

I THINK IT'S NOT THAT THEY'RE

HIDING ANYTHING FROM US.

IT'S THAT, AS YOU CAN SEE FROM

THE CONCEPTUAL DESIGNS THAT

THEY'VE SHOWN, THEY'RE STILL

FAIRLY PRELIMINARY.

THEY WERE LOOKING FOR SOME

INITIAL READ FROM THE COUNCIL

AND THE PUBLIC ABOUT THIS

DIRECTION BEFORE GOING FURTHER.

THEY'RE TRYING TO DO WHAT WE'VE

DEMANDED THAT THEY DO, REALLY,

WHICH IS KEEP US INFORMED ABOUT

THEIR PROGRESS AS THAT PLAN GETS

REFINED AND THERE WILL BE

UPDATES TO THOSE FIGURES, BUT

WE'RE JUST NOT THERE YET.

THEY'RE NOT THERE YET.

>> Darren: MAYOR, THANK YOU FOR

JOINING US.

>> Weinberger: VERY GOOD TO BE

WITH YOU, DARREN.

THANKS FOR COVERING THIS EARLY

AND LOOK FORWARD TO BEING BACK

WITH YOU SOMETIME SOON.

>> Darren: THANK YOU.

NEXT, WHAT CONGRESSMAN PETER

WELCH AND CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE

STEFANIK ARE SAYING ABOUT THE

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, AND LATER,

ARE PROPERTIES IN PERIL?

>> Cat: A LANDSLIDE FROM THE

HALLOWEEN STORM CLOSES

RECREATIONAL TRAILS ALONG THE

WINOOSKI RIVER.

I'M CAT VIGLIENZONI AND COMING

UP, I ASK THE CITY ABOUT THE

SAFETY OF THE BUILDINGS RIGHT UP

THERE ON RIVERSIDE AVENUE.

>>> NOW, THERE IS ONE WITNESS.

ONE WITNESS THAT THEY WON'T

BRING IN FRONT OF US, THEY WON'T

BRING IN FRONT OF THE AMERICAN

PEOPLE, AND THAT'S THE GUY WHO

STARTED IT ALL.

>> I'D BE GLAD TO HAVE THE

PERSON WHO STARTED IT ALL COME

IN AND TESTIFY.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS WELCOME TO

TAKE A SEAT RIGHT THERE.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> Darren: THAT WAS THE

ONE-LINER FROM CONGRESSMAN WELCH

THAT MADE NATIONAL HEADLINES.

AFTER DAY ONE OF THE HISTORIC

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, HE SNAPPED

BACK AT REPUBLICAN

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN OF

OHIO WHO SUGGESTED DEMOCRATS

WEREN'T ALLOWING THE COMMITTEE

TO QUESTION THE PERSON WHO

STARTED IT ALL, MEANING THE

WHISTLE-BLOWER.

OUR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

KYLE MIDURA TALK TO CONGRESSMAN

WELCH ABOUT HIS KEY ROLE IN THE

HEARINGS AND WHAT HE'S LEARNED

SO FAR.

>> Kyle: REPRESENTATIVE WELCH,

THANK YOU FOR MAKING TIME FOR US

TODAY.

YOU HEARD THE TESTIMONY BEFORE

FROM BOTH OF THESE DIFFERENT

ACTORS.

>> Welch: RIGHT.

>> Kyle: WHAT STOOD OUT TODAY,

ANYTHING DIFFERENT?

>> Welch: THERE WAS AN

ADDITIONAL PIECE OF INFORMATION

VERY SIGNIFICANT, AMBASSADOR

TAYLOR SPOKE ABOUT THE PRESIDENT

CALLING MR. SONDLAND IN UKRAINE

ON THE 26th OF JULY, THE DAY

AFTER THE INFAMOUS CALL, WANTING

TO KNOW VERY URGENTLY WHERE ARE

WE ON THE INVESTIGATION.

>> Kyle: YOU SAID FOR A WHILE

NOW YOU WERE READY TO IMPEACH

AND REMOVE THIS PRESIDENT.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AT THIS POINT AS

THE MOST DAMAGING EVIDENCE?

>> Welch: YOU KNOW, FIRST OF

ALL, NONE OF US ARE EAGER TO DO

THIS.

THIS IS A VERY DIVISIVE MATTER

AND THE EVIDENCE THAT THE

PRESIDENT WAS USING A FOREIGN

ACT TO -- IN AN EFFORT TO GET

UKRAINE TO DO AN INVESTIGATION

TO HELP HIM IN THE 2020

CAMPAIGN, THAT'S VERY, VERY

SERIOUS.

>> Kyle: REALLY, ABOUT FOUR

POINT.

YOU BOIL DOWN THE REPUBLICAN

DEFENSE OF THE PRESIDENT AT THIS

POINT.

THEY ARE THAT THE ROUGH

TRANSCRIPT SHOWS NO PRESSURE,

THEY ARGUE BOTH PRESIDENTS DENY

THERE WAS ANY PRESSURE EXERTED,

THEY SAY UKRAINIAN

INVESTIGATIONS NEVER CAME

THROUGH AND THE AID WAS RELEASED

ANYWAY, AND FINALLY, THEY SAY

UKRAINE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THE AID

WAS BEING WITHHELD WHEN THE JULY

25th PHONE CALL TOOK PLACE.

DO ANY OF THOSE POINTS EXONERATE

THE PRESIDENT IN YOUR MIND?

>> Welch: THEY DON'T AND I THINK

THEY'RE FAIRLY THIN.

THE BOTTOM LINE HERE, NUMBER

ONE, THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY WAS

LINKING THE MEETING IN THE WHITE

HOUSE WITH THE UKRAINIANS AND

THE RELEASE OF THE AID TO

GETTING HIS WAY.

>> Kyle: ULTIMATELY, DO YOU

THINK THESE HEARINGS SWAY ANYONE

HERE IN CONGRESS, SWAY ANYONE IN

THE AMERICAN PUBLIC?

>> Welch: THAT'S A PROFOUND

QUESTION.

WE'RE IN THIS QUESTION WHERE

EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO THEIR

OWN SET OF FACTS, AND OUR JOB,

THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO IS TRY

TO PRESENT IN AS CONFIDENT AND

CLEAR WAY AS POSSIBLE AND DO OUR

DUTY AND THEN IT WILL BE UP TO

INDIVIDUALS TO DECIDE WHAT THEY

BELIEVE AND WHAT THEY THINK IS

THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

>> Kyle: REPRESENTATIVE WELCH,

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

BACK TO YOU.

>> Darren: REPUBLICAN

CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK IS

ALSO A KEY PART OF THE HEARINGS.

EARLY INTO HER QUESTIONING,

STEFANIK CHALLENGED THE

CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRAT ADAM SCHIFF,

ABOUT WHETHER HE WOULD RESTRICT

THE WITNESSES' ANSWERS,

SUGGESTING HE DID THAT DURING

CLOSED DOOR DEPOSITIONS.

SCHIFF MAINTAINED HE WOULD ONLY

DO SO IF LAWMAKERS WERE TRYING

TO EXPOSE THE IDENTITY OF THE

WHISTLEBLOWER.

STEFANIK TOLD US TWO MAIN THINGS

PROVE THE PRESIDENT DID NOTHING

WRONG.

>> Stefanik: ONE, UKRAINE DID

RECEIVE THE AID, AND NUMBER TWO,

THERE WAS NO INVESTIGATION INTO

THE BIDENS.

AGAIN, THIS STARTED WITH THE

WHISTLEBLOWER'S COMPLAINT

ALLEGING THAT THERE WAS

POTENTIAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE

BIDENS, WHICH THERE WAS NOT.

>> Darren: THOSE HEARINGS RESUME

ON TUESDAY.

>>> UP NEXT, WE EXAMINE A

LANDSLIDE IN BURLINGTON.

DON'T GO AWAY.

>> Darren: SAFETY CONCERNS FROM

GEOLOGISTS ABOUT A BUSY

BURLINGTON STREET.

THIS IS A 3D RENDERING FROM

UVM'S SPATIAL ANALYSIS LAB OF

THE SLIDE OFF RIVERSIDE AVENUE.

IT HAPPENED AFTER THE HALLOWEEN

STORM AND IT COULD POTENTIALLY

PUT BUILDINGS AND PEOPLE IN

DANGER.

HERE'S CAT VIGLIENZONI.

>> Cat: IF YOU'RE A REGULAR

WALKER ON THE RIVER WALK TRAIL,

YOU'VE PROBABLY NOTICED THIS

SIGN TELLING YOU THE TRAIL IS

CLOSED.

THE REASON IS THIS LANDSLIDE

WHICH CAME DOWN FROM RIVERSIDE

AVENUE IN THE HALLOWEEN STORM.

>> THE FLOOD WATERS HAVE BEEN

HERE, YOU CAN SEE THE VEGETATION

KNOCKED DOWN IN THE DIRECTION

THE WATER WAS FLOWING.

>> Cat: UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

GEOLOGY PROFESSOR PAUL BIERMAN

TAKES THE RIVER WALK HOME FROM

WORK.

HE PICKS UP ON NATURE'S CUES

THAT YOU OR I MIGHT MISS, LIKE

TREES TILTING SIDEWAYS.

>> THAT'S PROBABLY THE BEST

INDICATION THAT THE SLOPES ARE

UNSTABLE.

>> Cat: IN APRIL, HE SAW

SOMETHING ELSE.

>> I SAW SOLE BIG CRACKS IN THE

GROUND IN ONE OF THE PARKING

LOTS I WAS WALKING THROUGH AND A

COUPLE OF CARS WITH WHEELS

HANGING OFF THE GROUNDS AND

THOUGHT SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE.

>> Cat: BY EARLY OCTOBER, THE

FISSURES WERE BIG ENOUGH THAT HE

WARPED THE CITY AND STATE THAT

SOMETHING WAS COMING.

>> I SAW THE TENSION CRACKS AND

THE STEEP SLOPE AND THE GRANULAR

MATERIAL DUMPED THERE AND I

THOUGHT BIG RAINSTORM, THIS IS

GOING TO COME DOWN.

>> Cat: AND THREE WEEKS LATER IT

DID.

AS CITY STREETS FLOODED

HALLOWEEN NIGHT, THE GROUND HERE

GAVE WAY, SENDING TONS OF

MATERIAL DOWN THE BANK.

>> YOU LOOK AT THIS RIGHT IN

FRONT OF US HERE, HERE'S ONE

DUMP TRUCK LOAD AND ANOTHER AND

ANOTHER AND ANOTHER UP TO THE

TOP THERE.

>> Cat: IT'S NOT THE LARGEST

SLIDE TO HAPPEN ON RIVERSIDE

AVENUE.

\M YOU LOAD 16 TONS, WHAT DO YOU

GET \M

>> Cat: IN 1955, THE ROAD WAS

WIPED OUT.

IT WAS LATER REBUILT WITH FILL.

THAT 1955 SHIED WAS RIGHT NEXT

TO THE -- SLIDE WAS RIGHT NEXT

TO THE AREA THAT GAVE WAY DURING

THE HALLOWEEN STORMS.

>> THAT IMPLIES THIS AREA IS

CAPABLE OF GENERATING REALLY

LARGE LANDSLIDES, WHICH IF ONE

OF THOSE WOULD HAPPEN UNDER ONE

OF THESE BUILDINGS WOULD

CERTAINLY, IF PEOPLE WERE IN IT,

RESULT IN FATALITIES.

>> Cat: HE'S PARTICULARLY

CONCERNED WITH A YELLOW HOUSE

TEETERING ON THE EDGE.

>> WHEN YOU SEE GROUND CRACKS,

THAT'S AN INDICATION THAT A

LANDSLIDE IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

>> Cat: WE WEPT TO SPEAK WITH

RESIDENTS TO SEE IF THEY WERE

CONCERNED WITH THEIR SAFETY.

NO ONE ANSWERED WHEN THEY

KNOCKED.

WE WERE TOLD IT'S A RENTAL, BUT

BUSINESS OWNERS ON EITHER SIDE

SAY THEY'RE AWARE THE SLOPE IS

FAILING.

>> THIS BASICALLY HAD GONE, YOU

KNOW, UP TO ABOUT RIGHT HERE.

>> Cat: ED COUILLARD SAYS HE'S

BEEN TRYING TO PROTECT

BURLINGTON COLLISION CENTER'S

PROPERTY EVER SINCE HURRICANE

IRENE ERODED HIS TROY.

HE ALLOWED A TREE SERVICE

COMPANY TO PUT WOOD CHIPS AND

LOGS THERE.

HE SAID THE CITY AND STATE

RECENTLY VISITED HIM AND TOLD

HIM HE NEEDED ENGINEERS AND

PERMITS TO DO IT CORRECTLY.

HE SAYS IT'S FRUSTRATING.

>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY EXPECT

ME TO DO.

I'VE BEEN HERE 30 YEARS.

I DON'T WANT TO GO NOWHERE.

THIS IS LIVELIHOOD RIGHT HERE.

>> Cat: JUST THE STREET AT

HALL'S WELDING, HE'S NOT

CONCERNED.

>> I DON'T FEAR FOR THE

BUILDING.

I DON'T THINK BEHIND ME HAS

MOVED TO YEARS I'VE BEEN HERE.

>> Cat: EPPS HOPING FOR HELP

FROM THE CITY AND STATE SO HE

CAN STAY.

>> I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT

WALKING AWAY.

I MEAN, 30 YEARS HERE.

>> Cat: WE WEPT TO THE

BURLINGTON PUBLIC WORKS

DEPARTMENT TO SEE FEST GOING TO

HAVE TO.

>> IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE

EXPERTS RECOMMEND.

IT'S BEEN -- I WOULD SAY IT

COULD BE POTENTIALLY VERY

EXPENSIVE.

>> Cat: BILL WARD IS THE

DIRECTOR OF PERMITTING AND

INSPECTIONS.

HE SAYS THE CITY IS CONCERNED

ABOUT THE AREA AND THAT

ASSESSMENTS ARE PLANNED SOON TO

FIGURE OUT HOW STABLE THE GROUND

IS AROUND THESE PROPERTIES.

IN THE MEANTIME, THE CITY WANTS

LANDOWNERS TO LEAVE IT ALONE.

>> ANY ADDED WEIGHT COULD CREATE

A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM.

>> Cat: BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN

CONDEMNED ALONG RIVERSIDE AVENUE

BEFORE BECAUSE THEY WERE HANGING

OVER THE BANK.

WARD SAYS THE STATE OF THESE

DEPENDS ON WHAT ENGINEERS SAY.

IS THERE A CONCERN FOR THE HOME

AND THE SAFETY OF THE OCCUPANTS

INSIDE?

>> SURE, WHAT THE CITY WOULD

WANT IS SOME GEOTECHNICAL

ENGINEERING TO DETERMINE EXACTLY

WHAT THE ADDITIONAL RISKS ARE.

>> Cat: THE MAIN CONCERN FOR

RIVERSIDE AVENUE, IS IT THE ROAD

ITSELF?

>> I DON'T THINK SO, NOT AT THIS

POINT.

>> Cat: BIERMAN ISN'T SO SURE.

>> THIS IS WHAT WE TEACH

STUDENTS CAUSES LANDSLIDES.

>> Cat: HE SAYS HE WANTS TO SEE

A BIGGER DISCUSSION ABOUT THE

SAFETY OF BUILDINGS ON STEEP

SLOPE AND HE HAS A DIFFERENT

ROUTE HOME NOW.

>> Darren: CAT AND GEOLOGIST

PAUL BIERMAN JOIN ME NOW.

GOOD MORNING TO BOTH OF YOU.

CAT, YOU TALKED TO THE STATE.

WHAT'S THE STATE SAYING ABOUT

THIS?

>> Cat: THE STATE SAYS BASICALLY

THAT THE GROUND CRACKS AT THE

TOP OF THE SLIDE INDICATE THAT

POTENTIALLY THERE COULD BE

ANOTHER LANDSLIDE COMING.

THEY ALSO SAID, THOUGH, THEY

WANT THE GEOTECHNICAL EXPERTS TO

DETERMINE IF THERE ARE

STRUCTURES AT RISK.

THEY THINK THERE'S STILL MORE

WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AT

THAT SITE.

>> Darren: PAUL, YOU'VE DONE

RESEARCH INTO GEOLOGICAL HISTORY

OF RIVERSIDE AVENUE IN THAT

AREA.

WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT?

>> Bierman: WE FIND FROM 1872,

1947, 1962, THE AREA IS TREE

COVERED AND STABLE.

ONCE PEOPLE GET INVOLVED IN

1962, 1965, YOU SEE EVIDENCE OF

FILLING AND SLIDING.

>> Cat: AND SO YOU HAVE BEEN

TELLING ME ABOUT OTHER LANDSLIDE

EXAMPLES, SPECIFICALLY ONE IN

JEFFERSONVILLE IN 1999.

THERE ARE ANY PARALLELS THAT YOU

SEE BETWEEN THAT SLIDE AND

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN BURLINGTON?

>> Bierman: SURE, I SEE THE

BIGGEST PARALLEL IS IT'S THE

SAME TYPE OF GEOLOGIC MATERIALS.

>> Cat: THERE WAS A HOUSE

CONDEMNED IN JEFFERSONVILLE.

>> Bierman: ABSOLUTELY, HANGING

RIGHT OVER THE EDGE.

>> Cat: IS THAT POTENTIALLY WHAT

WOULD HAPPEN IN BURLINGTON?

>> Bierman: AND YEAH IT WON'T BE

THE FIRST ON RIVERSIDE AVENUE.

THERE'S BEEN HOUSES AND

BUILDINGS CONDEMNED BECAUSE OF

THE SLIDES.

>> Darren: PAUL, WE HAVE A 3D

MAP THAT WE SHOWED AT THE TOP OF

THIS SEGMENT FROM UVM'S SPATIAL

ANALYSIS LAB.

WHAT DOES THIS TELL US?

FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON'T WORK

IN THIS AREA, WHAT ARE WE SEEING

HERE?

>> Bierman: SURE.

IT GIVES YOU WONDERFUL VISUALS

OF WHAT THE SLIDE LOOKED LIKE,

BUT FOR US AS GEO SCIENTISTS, IT

LETS US CALCULATE THINGS LIKE

THE VOLUME OF MATERIAL THAT

FAILED.

THE STATE HAS SHOWN LIDAR

IMAGERY THAT LETS US GET

TOPOGRAPHY BEFORE THE SLIDE IN

AT LEAST TWO DIFFERENT TIME

FRAMES AND WE CAN COMPARE IT AND

LEARN ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE

SLIDE AND ALSO THE POTENTIAL OF

THE MATERIAL THAT FAILED.

>> Cat: WHEN EXPERTS GO TO THAT

SIGHT, WHAT SORT OF THINGS WILL

THEY LOOK FOR TO TRY TO FIGURE

OUT IF THIS AREA IS GOING TO BE

SAFE?

>> Bierman: I THINK WE ALREADY

KNOW THE AREA IS RISKY AS

GEOLOGISTS, BUT GEOTECHNICAL

ENGINEERS BRING THEIR EXPERTISE

IN FOUNDATION STABILITY AND THAT

BEING UNDERMINED FOR HOUSES AND

BUSINESSES, AND WHAT DOES THAT

IMPLY.

>> Darren: YOU SAID SHORING UP

THE AREA MAY NOT BE THE BEST

OPTION.

WHAT THEN?

>> Bierman: STUDYING THESE,

WE'RE BETTER OFF LETTING HILL

SLOPES BE HILL SLOPES AND TRY TO

GET PEOPLE OUT OF HARM'S WAY.

THE SLOPES ARE PARTICULAR

UNSTABLE BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF

FILL DUMPED IN OVER THE LAST 50,

60, 70 YEARS THERE, SO IT MAY

TURN OUT TO BE A WHOLE LOT

CHEAPER AND MORE EFFICIENT AND

SAFER TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO

RELOCATE THE EXISTING BUSINESSES

AWAY FROM THE AREA, PUT THE

TREES BACK ON, GET THE PARKING

AREAS OFF, TURN IT BACK TO GREEN

SPACE AND LET IT BE RATHER THAN

DEAL WITH VERY EXPENSIVE

REMEDIATIONS TO THE SLOPE.

>> Darren: THANK YOU FOR THAT,

PAUL.

CAT, THANKS FOR YOUR

INVESTIGATION INTO THIS.

THANK YOU ALL FOR WATCHING.

THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT ON THE

WEEKEND.

HAVE A GREAT DAY, HE HAVE BEEN,

AND WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.

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