AGENDA: Nov. 17, 2009

Miller Center, 130 Gosse Court.
Facilitator: Greg Jenkins , Ward 7; Note-taker, Marga Kempner, Ward 4. 

Wards 4 & 7 NPA Meeting 11/17/2009

6:45 Welcome and Sign-In

7:00 Introductions, ANNOUNCEMENTS, Ground Rules, Agenda
Anyone who would like to make an announcement can do so at this time.

7:15 NPA Business – Oct 09. minutes. *Copied below the agenda.

7:20 Reports from Elected and Appointed Officials (Councilors, Legislators, Commissioners, Board Members, Steering Committee sub-committee, Task Force members, Working Groups, etc. )

7:30 Open Forum for Residents - Brief statements of neighborhood/city interest or concern.

8:00 Program: PARKS DIRECTOR, Mari Steinbach – Welcome, Gary Rogers; Introduction: Mayor Kiss; followed by a few words from the Director about her interests, professional experience, philosophy of urban parks and recreation.  Park/Rec-related programs and groups active in the North End, goals and acitvities, followed by presentations by Local Motion, and Your Healthy City Youth Farm. Q&A.

8:50 Reflections: Statements of thoughts/ideas that came up during the meeting.

Oct 20, 2009 Wards 4 and 7 Neighborhood Planning Assembly
Resolution, Master Plan for Leddy Park, attached.

Senada Sokocevic, Facilitator, welcomed everyone to the NPA, and reminded people to sign-in. Senada reviewed the Ground Rules, and the Agenda. People introduced themselves, and named the street they live on.


Minutes of the September 15, 2009 Assembly were approved. Phil LaVigne motion; Chuck Seleen, second. Unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION: Master Plan for Leddy Park: Carole LaVigne motion; Larry Solt, second. Lea Terhune read the Resolution. The resolution was introduced on Sept. 22, 2009, and posted on Front Porch Forum. The resolution was unanimously supported. It will be presented to the Mayor, City Council, the Parks Commission, and all other NPAs. Jenny Davis will take care of that. If we so desire, we can be there when it is presented and speak to it if we want to. The Council and the Parks Commission are pretty busy right now, so we will hold off on that for now.


Kurt Wright, legislative rep. Big issues coming up in the next session of the legislature will be the economy, and whether to re-license VT Yankee. Lea Terhune asked if Burlington’s will designate growth centers to be covered by the housing bill that passed last year. Burlington’s Neighborhood Activity Centers are not designated as growth centers, and Kurt said he would look into that. Janet Patterson had questions about the closing of the Crown Point Bridge, which will impact people who work in Vermont and in Burlington. Kurt said he is aware that it is a huge issue, and he will be watching it closely. There was a proposal for a floating bridge, and a temporary ferry, and people have asked Kurt to check on it. Phil Lavigne asked Kurt how he feels about VT Yankee. He said he will start out with a n open mind and wait to see the power purchase agreement, and will hear all the evidence. He leans toward re-licensure, and knows IBM and others say it will have a huge impact on VT, but Kurt will be open to listening to the discussion and would not support re-licensure if it is not safe.

Greg Jenkins , serving on the school budget task force, reported on the School Budget Task Force. A group that calls itself the Rogue committee, got together many evenings and drafted 12 suggestions that could be done to help with the process. Jeanne Collins’ response was very positive, looking at consolidation of buildings and services, getting DPW and Parks Dept involved in plowing, anything to prevent duplication of services. The School Board seems really willing to work hard, and they know they can’t come back with a double-digit tax increase. At the next meeting they will get feedback from teachers, and Greg expects the committee to continue its work. Larry Solt asked if there were any students or teachers on the committee, and Greg thought not, because it was people who had served on the Mayor’s Budget Task Force. Greg is more enthusiastic about the committees work now because they have been heard. Suggestions included consolidation of schools, projected cost savings on down the road – like building new schools now would be expensive, but may have long term savings. 51% of teachers are art top tier, and how can we get more turn over, new teachers with fresh ideas. Looking at ways to get the capital improvement budget up to where it needs to be so things don’t keep falling apart. Phil mentioned inviting our newly elected school board member to future NPA meetings. Marga Kempner praised experienced teachers, and Greg said he thought that 20% turnover would be healthy because teachers retire and you need a mix of both young and old. Jenny Davis asked if changes would impact the upcoming budget, and Greg said it’s too late for that. Larry said they have until January to finalize the budget, but Greg thought it was too late. Lea Terhune asked about budget over-runs, for example, the magnet schools budget. Greg said the committee is asking for open budget review, on a monthly basis.

Bob Herendeen, member of the electric commission, said BED Commission has a financial statement every month, which is reviewed by the commission every month. He says BED has to purchase power, and the costs of transmission are high and not controlled by BED. BED’s rates are lower than area rates.


Steve Norman is working on a CDBG grant for NPA 2/3 and 4/7 to pay for the cost of a crane and operator Washington Street and Manhattan Drive where a body shop and garage tossed cars over the bank and there’s scrap metal accumulated there. It will be taken out by Demag at a reduced rate, and dumpsters will remove it for free. 10 months of the year we don’t have to look at it, and every year Steve submits it to the Free Press as an idea for Green Up Day but no one ever got back to him. He will announce the grant application on Front Porch Forum, and recruit volunteers to work with shovels and pry bars to loosen the scrap so the crane can get access to it. Steve hopes everyone will come to the next meeting and vote yes.

Janet Patterson talked about the Walking Group at the Miller Center. Residents of Senior Housing will be bussed over at least one day a week,

Jenny Davis announced a community social hour sponsored by Burlington Coalition for a Healthy Community.

Lea Terhune reminded everyone that there is a meeting downtown about Burlington Telecom, and we could talk about it. She wondered how people feel about it. Kurt Wright said the letter Lea mentioned was a resolution calling for the CAO to take a leave while an audit is done.

TAPE DAMAGE. Presentation, Lakeview Terrace History. Jane Sudor and Jim Inman.


…..Kirsten Merriman-Shapiro presented the updated plans for the Moran Plant. She described the sustainability in design that qualifies the project for LEED Silver designation. The next phase of design will include mechanicals. The city is proceeding in a prudent, methodical manner, and coming back to residents every step of the way. Kirsten said she is available to attend NPAs anytime to answer questions. Phil Lavigne asked if any of the money is loans, and Kirsten said most of it is grants. The $2 mil. loans will be funded through the tax incremental financing district, taxes that comes off of new development, like was used to build the fishing pier and reconstruction of Lake Street that made development in that area possible. Jenny Davis said that when she went to a presentation in the Moran building, it was very impressive to see the unique views that are hard to imagine if you’re not there. There are no other views in Burlington like it. The historic aspect of the building comes through when you are there. Jane Sudor asked if the city has asked CCTA to have bus service? Kirsten said there is a free shuttle to the Waterfront that the city pays for, and they can offer that, but CCTA will probably also provide service when there is something there to visit.  Phil LaVigne asked if people who live in that area are concerned about traffic? Kirsten said that more activity all seasons and longer into the evening will be an advantage, and traffic will be spread out evenly and will not be a problem. Bob Herendeen asked if the storage area by the sailing center was going to be a city expense?, Kirsten said it would be built by the sailing center. Bob asked about the artificial ice and the towers, energy costs? Kirsten said the ice rink operation is like a big walk-in freezer that is well insulated, and it takes the same energy as it takes to run a one person retail shop. So energy costs are low. Bob asked about the status of negotiation with Ice Factor. Kirsten said the economic shake up slowed things down, Ice Factor is still participating, but everyone decided to work slowly on financing in parallel tracks. By end of Jan/Feb there should be more financing details. Larry Solt asked what is happening to the stone blocks? Kirsten said they will be re-moved by Burlington City Arts. They have become magnets for graffiti and will be hard to clean up. Jenny Davis said the ice rink is in view of the cafĂ© and restaurant, which is nice for parents. She said zoning laws have many restrictions on waterfront, and the Moran Plant could not be built today – which is what Ice Factor likes so much about the site because they need a building with height. 60 ft walls will allow them to have national climbing championships here. Ice Factor sees this site as a good place to put their first site in North America. Jane Sudor asked if people who are involved are also helping build the structure. There are two non-profits, and Ice Factor is for-profit which will have a lease so the city can maintain control of the waterfront. The non-profits will contribute their share with capital campaigns, up front. All the tenants will have to fit up their own space, including the storage building for the sailing center. Someone asked when it is expected to open? The goal is to get permist in Jan/Feb/Mar, do the bidding the spring, and start construction in the summer. 18 months to 2 years. Lea Terhune said there will be more community scrutiny because of what has happened with Burlington Telecom, and she hopes, if there are any problems, Kirsten will be out front about it and let the community help resolve any problems openly. City Website Update.

9 PM Adjourn, and APPLAUSE for Senada.

WHEREAS we have a Master Plan for some city parks; and

WHEREAS there is no Master Plan for Leddy Park; and

WHEREAS the Leddy Park environment needs to be protected; and

WHEREAS disc golf proposed for Leddy Park took residents by surprise; and

WHEREAS a Master Plan would benefit both citizens who use the park, and proponents of new park uses, providing an inventory of both active and passive park activities, a clearly articulated vision of land use based on science-based environmental considerations and community preferences, and a definitive process for proposing compatible future uses;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ward 4 and 7 Neighborhood Planning Assemblies request the Parks Commission to develop a Master Plan that reflects both science-based considerations and the community vision for Leddy Park; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Master Plan for Leddy Park must be thoroughly vetted through a process that will include park users, abutting residential neighborhoods, and all wards' Neighborhood Planning Assemblies representing the greater Burlington community, all of whom are stakeholders in our city parks; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Parks Commission and the Parks Department will develop a proposed scope of work for the development of this Plan with strong public involvement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Parks Commission will be responsible for guiding the public process and for presenting the plan to all wards' Neighborhood Planning Assemblies, making necessary modifications to the proposal based on public comment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this process will include well-advertised public meetings where residents will feel welcome, included and encouraged to give comments and that such meetings will be held at times when many residents are able to attend, such as evening meetings and at least one meeting during the day for those who cannot attend evening meetings, and that there will be ample opportunity for online feedback and other avenues of communication so everyone who wishes to can be included.

OCTOBER 20, 2009

Wards 4 & 7 NPA Meeting 10/20/2009