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)

Burlington City Council Work Session for Moran & Meeting

December 6th, 2004
Work session on YMCA/Moran development
City Hall 5:30PM

  • VT legislature has the authority to change what the public uses of the waterfront are (ie a hotel still isn’t clarified)
  • Transportation and parking plan is still not resolved
  • Bushor proposes a dedicated YMCA bus; CCTA not determined to do that
  • Public is not informed completely of the development, and there is no word from the current YMCA members of the approval or disapproval of the project (Molly, a YMCA board member, says would like the city to help with the prefunding money)
  • Where will the money for the infrastructure come from? (page seven of the Master document)
  • 3/4 miles down the bikepath there will be a $6 million aquatic center already in the works
  • YMCA has a high turnoer rate for their board members
  • The rehabilitation cost of the project will be $9-10million to improve the existing building on college street, and even after if they did that, there would still be problems; they already spread out for their childcare programs
  • Russ Ellis: what if the YMCA will no longer need the Moran area, as 100years is a long time? The Development agreement doesn’t address this, it will be addressed in the lease
  • Jean: believes she carries the voice of her constituients, and should go ahead without worrying about the details
  • What happens if the $3million for research isn’t available? Out of time for discussion, will br brought up again at the next session

City Council Meeting
Contois Auditorium 7PM

  • UVM taking over University place: privatization of food vendors (nothing is offered in exchange for the area, it has been moved to committee for discussion).

Public Forum on the YMCA/Moran project comments

  • Lake street traffic congestion
  • Other recreation funds diverted for moran (ie Leddy, Memorial auditorium, a New north end youth center, as there are half of the city’s youth served there, currently fighting for land at the armory (no answer given by mayor/CEDO)
  • 54% of Burlington youth feel they don’t matter within the city of Burlington
  • Public in the dark about the proposal, perhaps an advisory question should be on the ballot
  • Alan Sousie:
    • Is the project desirable to town as a whole?
    • The city currently owes $425,000, so why should they only get 5% back?
    • The YMCA is non-profit, therefore no taxable income would become of the project. The city would contribute $2.5 million towards the project… who will be responsible for the long term costs?
    • Are there other options for the existing land?
    • Who determined that the other options are not viable?
    • The Parks & Rec. need money, so why is $ being spent on Moran?
    • What is the plan for the current Y building if they move to waterfront?
    • A good deal of the childcare in Burlington is supported by YMCA.
    • Persons with disabilities do not have access to the features of the YMCA.
  • Hinda Miller: (all of the council members focus their attention to her)
    • There is no formal business plan for the project
    • Where is the real appropriated budget?
    • $8 million for the project seems too low.
    • How the city will finance the infrastructure?
    • Transportation and the contingencies, but no budget?
    • The public should have their voices heard.

Burlington City Council Work Session for Moran & Meeting

November 22nd, 2004
Work session on YMCA/Moran development
City Hall 5:30PM

  • President Montroll calls the session to order.
  • Montroll asks the council if they would like to continue or backdown?

Councilor’s questions:

  • How the city and YMCA’s religious non-descrimination clause… is that an issue? Joe, the president of the YMCA board says no – majority of members are women.
  • Clavelle sees project as a win-win situation
  • Carlton: Why the moran plant for relocation? Wishes citizens would be more vocal The YMCA has outgrown the existing building, no other is as good as the Moran location
  • Blais: If approved, what is the next step in development? The YMCA will place the existing property at college street for sale, and they estimate it will cost them more than $10million for the project, they would like the council’s enthusiastic approval for the project
  • Ellis: Who exactly is the ‘party’ mentioned in the development agreement? The city council and the Parks & Rec. Dept delegate the Moran property.
  • Who is a Burlington resident? (ie are students residents?) Any person that is able to vote within Burlington.
  • Membership fees? Based on scholarship, no one is turned away from them even if they are unable to pay the fees.
  • What happens if there is an extra cost or problem? It will be on the YMCA’s dollar. The YMCA board members mention their fundraising black-out dates of September to November because of the United way partnership.
  • City of Burlington currently owes $425,000 on Moran; estimated value is at $2.5million. An estimated $526,000 to tear the building down.

Work session adjourned – scheduling another work session for December 6th, 2004

City Council Meeting
Contois Auditorium 7PM

Agenda for meeting:

  • Progress review presentation of City market, Onion River co-op
  • Public forum
  • Consent agenda: Taxing owner-occupied duplexes under act 68
  • Winter operations presentation of Public works dept

Public Forum on the YMCA/Moran project comments

  • Adam Stone and Davin (UVM & Johnson state’s Student Government Association)
  • Adam: Personal freedoms of the students are ignored; seen as immature; no represenation of the students in the city government
  • Davin: There is a lack of community within Burlington; council isn’t getting the student’s view of things about the city (Council didn’t really listen; no response given)

Consent agenda:

  • (Curley)Taxing owner-occupied duplexes under act 68: the tax would increase in the non residential more than the commercial & would affect Northgate differently than other properties (passed 13 to 1: Bushor opposed)
  • Loan of $10million for the telecommunications project expansions within Burlington an additional $2million is needed (opposed by Curley)

The Burlington Libertarian Party has formed!

BURLINGTON, VERMONT – December 4, 2004

We are proud to announce the formation of Burlington Libertarian Party! Local Burlington issues were discussed and elections were held. The state executive committee held their meeting after the Burlington meeting.

Contact:

Jeremy Ryan, Chair
Burlington Libertarian Party
53 Avenue C
Burlington, Vermont
Phone: 802/865-0111
Fax: 309/406-3143
Web: https://burlingtonlp.org
Email: [email protected]