Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

Mayor's Update - August 2018

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Burlington summer. In addition to building more sidewalk, road, water line, and bike infrastructure improvements than ever during this short Vermont construction season, here are some other initiatives we are working on:


Memorial Auditorium Survey

In the past few weeks, the City has mailed postcards to all Burlington homes and businesses with information about City-wide survey focused on the future of Memorial Auditorium. The survey is accessible at and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It will remain online and open for input through August 5.

Memorial Auditorium has played an important role in Burlington’s history as a community gathering place. As part of developing a plan to revitalize the building as a public assembly space, we are asking community members for their insight and feedback on Memorial’s future. There are many possible options and we want to draw on the creativity and innovation of Burlingtonians to help us sketch out the right path forward. Over the years, many redevelopment concepts and ideas have been considered for Memorial Auditorium. Now is the time to act.


The survey seeks to understand from residents and businesses:


  • How does Memorial Auditorium fit into the Burlington experience?
  • What are the building's most important uses?
  • How can Memorial Auditorium best support Burlington’s future?
  • What is the level of support for renovating the building?
  • What are innovation ideas for the building?


Update on Early Learning Initiative Awards
At the July 16 City Council meeting, the Council approved our slate of Early Learning Initiative awards, which will support the expansion of high-quality childcare in Burlington for children from birth to three years old. The City of Burlington is committed to becoming a City where every child, no matter their background or family’s income, has an opportunity to succeed. These grants represent an important step toward realizing this vision of Burlington.  With the second year of funding for this new program recently approved by the City Council, we are in position to make further, much-needed progress on this critical issue in the coming months.


The largest grants are being given to the capital campaigns of the Sara Holbrook Center ($150,000) and YMCA ($130,000) and will help create 58 new high quality child care slots in Burlington for infants and toddlers.  A $75,000 grant to the Burlington Children’s Space will help that organization move a step closer toward purchasing their space and help preserve 29 existing high quality child care slots for children ages 0-5.  The City is also funding planning grants that will strengthen four existing child care centers and may lead to future expansion efforts.


Rock Point

The City also announced earlier this week that a coalition has formed to improved access to the walking trails on the Rock Point located to the west of the Bike Path. The City and Coalition – which includes the Parks Foundation, Lake Champlain Land Trust, Episcopal Church in Vermont, and the City of Burlington – have been working to permanently protect the Rock Point forest and improve public access.


The project will help to tie the current trails to the greater trail network of the area, which includes connectivity between the City of Burlington's Arms Forest and the Burlington Bike Path/Greenway. In addition, public access from North Beach will enhance the experience of our residents and visitors to North Beach and the Campground.

Over the last six years, the City has succeeded at expanding public access to and enjoyment of Lake Champlain by creating and improving public lake access in the Urban Reserve, located behind the Water Plant, and on the western acres of Cambrian Rise. Expanding and improving public access to 163-acres of spectacular natural lands in the heart of the City dramatically expands this effort and will further ensure that future generations of Burlingtonians will continue to enjoy an outstanding quality of life and access to the outdoors even as we grow and evolve.  When completed, City residents will have access to the Lake Champlain shoreline nearly contiguous from Perkins Pier to Rock Point.


Cooling Stations
The City organized and operated three cooling stations at the Fletcher Free Library, Burlington Police Department, and Miller Center during the heat wave in early July, during which Burlington experienced unusual heat indices approaching 114 degrees. Many Burlington residents visited the cooling stations throughout the day to take a break from the heat or get free water. I’m thankful for our City staff who worked collaboratively to coordinate these services for our vulnerable populations.


As always, I encourage you to join me at the Bagel Café on Wednesday mornings from 8-9am to share any thoughts or questions. You can also visit my Facebook page at, or follow me on Twitter at @BTVMayor for information on the work of the Mayor’s Office and our City Departments. I look forward to seeing you soon.