City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

Miro Weinberger, Mayor
Room 34, City Hall / Burlington, VT 05401 Phone: 802-865-7272 mayor@burlingtonvt.gov

 

Mayor's Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger December 2017
 

I hope you and your family have had a wonderful holiday season, and that you got to attend the events on First Night this year. For the first time, Burlington City Arts played a major role in this great community tradition, and helped make it better than ever.  It was exciting to mark the beginning of 2018 by raising the new Burlington flag over Church Street for the first time with its designers Owen and Lucas Marchessault. 

 

Northern Bike Path Is Rebuilt and Open 

On Wednesday, December 20, together with Councilor Kurt Wright and many community leaders, we reopened the entire northern section of the Burlington Bike Path at Leddy Park. Over three miles of the beloved Bike Path, from North Beach to the Winooski River Bridge, underwent major rehabilitation during the 2017 construction season. The entire Bike Path is now open for winter use, and because of the new pavement in the northern section, for the first time, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (DPRW) will now be plowing the northern sections.

 

This ambitious Bike Path rehabilitation represents the largest capital project our Parks Department has undertaken, and completes the long-desired restoration and improvements to the Bike Path in the New North End. Future generations of Burlingtonians will look back at these years as an era of major public investment – as a time when the City Council, the Administration, and the public worked together to dramatically improve and expand our park system, our core infrastructure, and our public spaces. I am proud to see the quality of the work, attention to detail, and careful consideration of ecology and accessibility that has been incorporated into the design and construction to dramatically improve this great community asset.  This overhaul will greatly extend the life of the path and a reserve fund was previously established to make sure these improvements are properly maintained in the years ahead.

 

The Bike Path is a major recreational and economic asset for the City, helping generate tourism and business downtown as well as providing a relaxing biking, walking, or running trail. Last year, DPRW estimated over 500,000 users took advantage of the Bike Path. The rehabilitation of this three-mile stretch was completed in two phases and cost a total of $2.6 million.

 

Next spring, crews will complete the top coat of asphalt, paint the lines and finish any last touches of landscaping along this three-mile stretch. Next summer, plans include the creation of new Pause Places at Leddy Park and North Shore, which include additional fitness equipment as part of the UVM Medical Center Fitness Trail.

 

Designs for the stretch from Perkins Pier through Oakledge Park in the South End will be developed in 2018 and construction for a large portion of that project will take place in the 2019 construction season. For complete details about the project go to https://enjoyburlington.com/burlington-greenway-phase-2/

 

Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship

Earlier in December, I announced the winners of the first Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship. This competition was launched to increase support for entrepreneurs in the Burlington and was funded entirely by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which works in the areas of entrepreneurship and education.  In 2015, the City of Burlington was chosen as one of two cities for the Kauffman Foundation’s Metro Strategy initiative, a pilot project which sought to work cooperatively with two communities in the country to develop a strategy that would improve conditions for entrepreneurial growth in those communities and bring up to $500,000 in programmatic grant-making.

 

Collectively, the winning organizations provide a broad range of support services and work with a diverse mix of entrepreneurs. The top four prize winners are:

 

  • The Center for Women and Enterprise: Awarded $55,000 to launch a new initiative, Power Forward, an accelerator program to support high growth women-owned firms across all sectors.

 

  • BTV Ignite: Awarded $50,000 to fund a new initiative, BTV Ignite Growth Acceleration Program, that will focus on providing high-quality independent specialized advisory and development support to “growth stage” companies with a digital or technology focus.

 

  • Vermont Law School: Awarded $50,000 to help fund a program that provides free or low-cost legal services to startup and emerging companies in Burlington, with a focus on sustainable or green businesses striving to reach a “triple bottom line” related to social, environmental and financial outcomes.

 

  • Women’s Small Business Program: Awarded $45,000 to expand their existing program to better support and engage their alumni network, strengthen their entrepreneurial team to enhance support to entrepreneurs and allow for new, innovative programs.

 

I am particularly excited that two of the groups support women-owned businesses. Creating more women-owned businesses is critical for achieving gender pay equity and is a huge economic development opportunity for Vermont.

 

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 may have about these and other important developments in our city. You can also visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MiroBTV/, or follow me on Twitter at @BTVMayor for up-to-date information on the work of the Mayor’s Office and our City Departments. I look forward to seeing you soon.