Moran Redevelopment Public Forum
December 15th 2004
Contois Auditorium – 5PM-7PM
- Listing of comments made by those wishing to speak to the YMCA board members and the council
(Most of whom were in the audience) Ian Carlton presided over the forum.
- Moran is too ugly, the project is moving too fast, there could be problems with traffic; what is the seasonal potential of the property; 99 year lease is too long; city should instead convert it or tear down the building and make a pavillion of the area, and have the sailing center moved to the King St. docking area.
- Place the project on the ballot in march as there are no clear figures on how the YMCA will raise the money.
- Councilors saying they discussed the circus issue more than they have the Moran project, so it should appear on the ballot in March; concerns about the structural integrity of the building; feels there is nothing wrong with the YMCA as an organization; also some councilors are not in favor of placing the project on the ballot, they feel that the councilors who feel that way may think that they are smarter than the citizens of Burlington, or that the citizens are ‘stupid’, or that they take their job as councilors as making the decisions for their constituents alone.
- Mother of a 4yr old disabled child currently has extreme difficulties just getting to use the pool to be with his friends because of the current layout of the YMCA on college street and also uses the childcare facilities, the new location would be handicapped accessable and double the childcare facilities.
- Moran building is not safe as it currently is, the project would enhance the use of the Moran building, as there is not enough Waterfront access
- YMCA give Burlington a community sense, it will enhance Moran building, and this city council vote is only the first step of a long process of the project
- Tim Watson of Colchester (current YMCA member) The current YMCA facilities are not up to par with other fitness centers in the area, but the employees and volunteers of the YMCA are superior; the people who have mentioned the traffic problem are just “narrow-minded, afraid, and selfish”
- Steve Allen (Burlington Parks & Rec. and YMCA member) Burlington needs more recreational facilities and the issues should be determined later
- Peter Dartman (Non-burlington resident, Y board member & potential donor) Burlington residents, city goverment, YMCA, and donors must be in agreement about the project; discounts will be offered to Burlington residents; moran building has been branded as a controversial project
- If the Y is threatening to leave Burlington, why should we approve their proposal; The YMCA should have more of a community centered base, ie setting up smaller centers in different areas of the city
- Larry (Family Y membership & doesn’t want a city vote) works out at the YMCA & then picks up his kids there afterward, would like the YMCA to stay in Burlington; the rebuilding of Lake street is already stressing enough, and is there a cost to the taxpayers?
- Jim (Ward 4 community gardener) would like to see the YMCA adapt more greenspace for their project, ie community gardens as there isn’t enough space for the existing ones at the moment
- The YMCA in Moran would make the waterfront more active all year round, and the city council vote is only the first step in a long process
- Andy (from Charlotte, Pres. of Housing VT) Thinks the estimate of cost is too low
- Fred Hill: Unsure what the council’s vote will do for the project; the YMCA isn’t for public benefit; a 99year lease is not right for only $100; also feels process is moving too fast
- David Zuckerman: NPA’s were discussing the project earlier this summer; his understanding is that there will be no tax increases fromt he project
- Martha: would like a delay on the council vote in order for more ideas about the property, such as senior housing
- Jean O’Sullivan (Councilor ward 7) Shuttle services and others are being addrssed in committees; by having the Y at Moran it would make the waterfront safer in winter; there will be no public funds used; city is currently paying $58,000 per year to pay off the $525,000 debt
- Donna (Y member) the congestion of traffic is still not being addressed by the shuttles, would cancel her membership if the YMCA moved to Moran, as she would not take a shuttle herself
- Alan Sousie (ward 7 not a YMCA member) Hopes project isn’t moving too fast; the southern connector is still scheduled to go forward, leading to more traffic on battery street, making more traffic concerns aside from the Y; the YMCA should give the city the cost of the debt, as well as the cost to demolish the building; feels that the project will cost more than $10 million; will not be a Y member, and feels that the building should give others who are not members access to the building
- Joan: everyone in Burlington will use the new YMCA, not just members of the YMCA
Forum adjourned 6:57PM by Ian Carlton
(Still several that wanted to speak, but did not have the chance to)