Feb 10, 2005 – YMCA/Moran Public Forum

7PM, J.J. Flynn Elementary School Gymnasium – Town Meeting: Keep the waterfront public

Meeting Called to order at 7:10PM – Delay because of snowfall
**Students from Rockpoint school in attendance observing (about 20 of them)

Opening Statements:

-Kurt Wright, Chittenden Rep. District 3-1 and Let the People Decide
Is the YMCA the best deal for the city?

-Scott Johnstone, YMCA Project Manager and Ward 4 Resident
Infrastructure needs of the city? the existing structure at Moran is not being used

-Maurice Mahoney, (previous 2 term councilor, a Justice of the Peace, and a teacher in Burlington)
YMCA has been in the red for 5 of the past 7 years; Scott verified everything on the fact sheet is correct

-Ken, Representing City of Burlington
It will mostly be paid by private fundraising; not providing it for tourists, but public; the bike path will be improved with infrastructure; council has yet to approve the agreement; YMCA still has to prove that it can be there for for the city

Public Forum:

-Steve Cherelli (Ward 7): Burlingotn taxpayers would be paying for the out of town members; how are the services value determined and will the YMCA proceed even it is voted down?
[Scott: it appears from their public forums that most Burlington residents do not want the YMCA]

-Sandy Barre: No exact answer from the mayor about what is in the YMCA for the citizens of Burlington

-Dale King: What are the most important environmental steps?
[Scott/Ken: The Moran is a brownfield redevelopment area, and the studies will be done after vote]

-Steve: What about better uses for the Moran site? What are the exact number of members from Burlington? and what if the YMCA would instead move to the KMart location on Shelburne Rd?
[Maurice: 3-4% of Burlington residents are members]
[Scott: Facilities are also used by non members of Burlington as well; the KMart site is not up for sale, and the owner of the site doesn’t want to sell]
[Kurt: They should have contingencies if the vote is not in the YMCA’s favor]

-Jeff Comstock (Ward 7): There should be a city parks and recreation facility there instead of the YMCA; Parks and recreation shoul be more active in the forums, and have a stronger voice

-Louise Andrews (Ward 4): Whole will own the Sailing center building? and will there be any taxes from the YMCA being at Moran?; those who do not have a backyard like her, greatly cherish the parks and waterfront Burlington currently has, and is not happy that there had to be a fight to get the referendum on the ballot
[Ken: The YMCA and LCSC would own the building, and they are both non-profit, so no tax revenue would come from the building]

-Ken Wolvington: Moran is an eyesore, so we should vote yes to not let it stay there another 20 years, most of the members at the YMCA now are blue collar, it would not be taking over the lake

-John (Ward 4 an YMCA employee): citizens should take the risk with the YMCA

-Brian O’Neil: (Colchester res. & former employee of Moran) Land at Moran is contaminated and there was no cleanup from the transformer dumps that took place there; when the lake levels rise, Moran will be flooded; there are Burlington Electric generators right next door to Moran, and they are very loud;
[Nick (CEDO): phase 2 ESA studies will be done soon, and those are paid an EPA grant]

-Beth (Aerobics instructor): disabled husband currently uses another gym because current YMCA isn’t ADA compliant

-Clif Cooper (ward 4): 100 years ago, pictures show there were old barges at Moran waterfront, with no open spaces there; a 30 year lease would be more logical, and appropriate; more clubs in Burlington, leading to more privitization of areas; The city is already in debt, and will pay an additional $3 Million for the infrastructure; did the City ask for other proposals besides the YMCA?

-Monica Forte (Rockpoint school student): How is a non-profit paying for the lease?

-Jen Ornsby (Rockpoint sch. student): Would a no vote stop the YMCA from going to Moran?

Meeting adjourned at 9PM

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