Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

September 2018

Summer is winding down, kids are back in school, and Burlington is in full swing! The City team has been working hard this summer on many fronts, and we are making significant progress on many of our top initiatives. Also, this Labor Day, I want to thank and recognize our four City unions and all of our City workers that do so much to make Burlington the wonderful place it is.


100th Anniversary of North Beach

This past month, the City celebrated 100 years of North Beach with a weekend-long celebration that included a short ceremony with former Parks Superintendent Bill Keogh and the planting of a beautiful magnolia tree and installation of a plaque at the campground entrance to mark the occasion. We are very fortunate to have had predecessors with the foresight to act – even amidst a terrible war – to secure this amazing resource for the public a short distance from the downtown. A lot has changed in Burlington during the past 100 years, but North Beach has largely stayed the same.  Today, with access from the rebuilt Bike Path, a rebuilt boardwalk, the adjacent Rock Point land being put under a conservation easement that will open it up to greater visitation, the beach is in some ways more relevant and better used than ever.  At the same time North Beach faces threats from the twin, related environmental challenges of phosphorous runoff into the lake and climate change.  For our successors to continue to enjoy North Beach as we do today, and not experience far more frequent closures due to blue-green algae blooms we will need to make much greater progress against these challenges in the years to come.


Summer Construction Update

Due to the voters’ passage of the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan in November of 2016, and to address the unexpected deterioration we saw on too many roads last winter, the City has been making major investments in Burlington’s streets, sidewalks, and water mains this summer construction season. The Department of Public Works (DPW) is on target to complete a historically high amount of infrastructure upgrades this summer, including paving over 6 miles of roadways, reconstructing over 3 miles of sidewalks, installing a half mile of curb, and renewing 3 miles of water mains.


Our Department of Public Works has also just broken ground on our first Great Streets project on St. Paul Street. The Great Streets Initiative involves building our downtown road to new standards that make them safer, greener (with more plantings and better growing conditions for trees), more vibrant, and better at protecting the lake from stormwater runoff.  These improvements are largely being paid for by our Downtown tax increment financing (TIF) district and large negotiated payments being made by Champlain College in return for the City approving their new downtown housing at 194 St. Paul. The newly rebuilt street will incorporate green infrastructure, rain gardens, and permeable pavers which better manage our stormwater and help protect Lake Champlain, and the reconstructed and widened sidewalks will accommodate increased pedestrian traffic and outdoor restaurant seating.


194 Saint Paul Street Champlain College Housing

This past month, Champlain College cut the ribbon on 105 apartments, which will house 314 students, at 194 St. Paul Street. The project includes retail space on the first floor, which will open soon, as a well as 54 parking spaces that are now available to the public. Strategically developing purpose-built student housing in our downtown takes some of the pressure off Burlington’s historic neighborhoods and adds much needed homes to our overall supply of housing. 


I have been very encouraged to hear numerous reports this season of landlords having to add incentives, provide rent discounts, or make new investments in their properties to secure tenants as this project and other new housing projects in the downtown have opened.  I hope and expect to see these trends continue and deepen in future years as many new homes in the major projects the City has supported come on line.  I continue to believe that only by creating new homes of all types – permanently affordable, senior, market and student – will we see enduring progress addressing the housing affordable challenges that have held us back for many years.  


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.