City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 4, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

City of Burlington and Devonwood Release Draft Development Agreement

 

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement today regarding the City and Devonwood’s release of the draft Burlington City Place Development Agreement:

 

“For years, the City and Devonwood have pursued together an effort to bring much-needed housing, jobs, and environmental improvements to Burlington’s downtown and reinvent our failing downtown mall as a vibrant new neighborhood. The agreement has been carefully negotiated to protect the City from financial risk, forward community initiatives, and support the progress of this transformative downtown project. It is time to get this long-awaited project built – I respectfully urge the Council to approve the Development Agreement at its October 16 meeting.”

 

This draft Development Agreement represents one of the final steps of the joint effort prior to the start of construction. The agreement builds on the substantial work completed in the Pre-Development Agreement approved overwhelmingly by the Burlington City Council in May 2016, and resolves a path forward on a number of previously open issues, including:

 

  • Through a series of detailed conditions, requiring the developer to participate in the District Energy System if the City is able to deliver the system in a timely manner and at a competitive cost. A District Energy System is a critical strategy in the City’s effort to become a Net Zero City over the next 10-15 years.
  • Detailing the process for design, bidding, construction, and payment for the public improvements. These details comprise fourteen pages of the document and have been negotiated to ensure that the City secures high-quality public improvements at a fair price and is protected from construction risk and delay.
  • Securing additional funds from the project to support local businesses and expanded communication efforts, on top of prior commitments to support job fairs and other activities to ensure local residents are aware of new opportunities created by the project.
  • Determining the manner in which Devonwood will compensate the City for its development permit fees through a combination of cash and land contribution.

 

* Please see draft Development Agreement

 

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/04/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 4, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

Mayor Miro Weinberger’s Statement on the Release of Additional Documents Related to Burlington Telecom

 

 

Burlington, VT –Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement regarding the public release of additional documentation evaluating the Burlington Telecom bids.

 

“On Monday night, the Burlington City Council began the process of publicly assessing the relative strengths of the three bids to acquire Burlington Telecom,” said Mayor Weinberger. “The Councilors’ questions focused on the quality of customer service, level of community investment, financial viability, operational experience, and likelihood of achieving State regulatory approval. This kind of dialogue is important, and today’s release of additional relevant documents should help residents evaluate and give input on the decision that is before the City.”

 

Information released today on the Burlington Telecom website includes public or redacted versions of:

 

  • The legal analyses of the various bids completed by the City Attorney as well as Primmer, Piper, Eggleston, & Cramer – the local law firm with substantial telecom experience retained by the City to advise on this process.
  • The financial analysis completed by respected local accountant Jeff Small.
  • The evaluation completed by the Burlington Telecom Advisory Board (BTAB). The BTAB is an independent body composed of Councilors and community members with critical expertise that has provided advice to the Council for many years.

 

These reports and analyses are available on the BT website at https://www.burlingtontelecom.com/settlement/.

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/04/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 4, 2017
Contact:  Gillian Nanton, CEDO Assistant Director of Sustainability, Housing, and Economic

   Development

   gnanton@burlingtonvt.gov, 802-865-7179

   Diana Colangelo, CEDO Projects and Policy Specialist

   dcolangelo@burlingtonvt.gov

 

City Launches Mayor’s Prize to Support Entrepreneurship
In Partnership with Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, City Will Award More Than $300,000 over Two Years

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Weinberger today announced the launch of The Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship, designed to increase support for the City’s entrepreneurs.  The Mayor’s Prize will award more than $300,000 over a two-year period to not-for-profit entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) or research organizations with a proven track record of success that propose innovative new or expanded programs to support the City’s entrepreneurs.  The goal of the Mayor’s Prize is to foster the growth and development of entrepreneurship in the city and encourage outside-the-box thinking about how best to achieve this.  The Mayor’s Prize is entirely funded by a grant from the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

 

“Burlington has been influenced positively in many ways by the success of our entrepreneurs –Dealer.com, Seventh Generation, Burton Snowboards, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Switchback, and many more,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “As a City, we want to do more to foster the pioneering spirit and restless vision that animates our entrepreneurs.  I am excited to announce the Mayor’s Prize competition to incentivize creative thinking for how best to support the next generation of Burlington’s entrepreneurs.”

 

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy,” said Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) Director Noelle MacKay.  “CEDO was delighted to work with the Kauffman Foundation to bring the Mayor’s Prize program to fruition in support of our entrepreneurs.  By funding innovative programs that offer technical assistance, education, business advising, and other services to entrepreneurs, the Mayor’s Prize will strengthen the network of support for these creative members of our community.”

 

Mayor’s Prize application process 

The Mayor’s Prize will make at least two grants each year over a two-year period. The total amount of funding available for this year is $200,000, and prizes will be awarded in the range of $50,000 to $75,000 (maximum $100,000) to two or more not-for-profit organizations and/or research organizations. Funding from the Mayor’s Prize may not be re-granted to other organizations or businesses, and may not be used to seed loan programs.  For-profit businesses are not eligible to receive funding from the Mayor’s Prize.   

 

The Mayor’s Prize is a competitive process where ESOs that serve Burlington entrepreneurs and businesses are invited to submit a proposal for either the expansion of a successful program or to support the creation of new, innovative programs that address the needs of entrepreneurs.  Proposals will also be accepted for research projects that evaluate the entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide valuable context for decision-making and priority-setting.  Submissions will be evaluated by a Judging Committee composed of seven people with expertise in various entrepreneurship-related fields and drawn from local and national organizations. 

 

Prizes will be awarded in six categories that have been determined by independent landscape analyses conducted by Kauffman and the City of Burlington.  These categories include ESOs that:

  1. Support high growth firms
  2. Provide targeted education and support for founders of businesses
  3. Connect and coordinate existing entrepreneur support services to create efficiencies
  4. Support entrepreneurs making products locally
  5. Support women- and/or minority- and/or immigrant-owned businesses
  6. Not-for-profit research organizations that research and evaluate the entrepreneurial ecosystem

 

Please see attached Call for Applications for more information on these categories as well as the application process and timeline.  This information may also be found on CEDO’s website at www.burlingtonvt.gov/CEDO.  Applications are due Friday, November 3rd, 2017 by 12:00 p.m. EST. Applicants will be informed of the final selection by December 11th, 2017.

 

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private foundation established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, and is based in Kansas City, MO.  The Foundation 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. As part of this initiative, Kauffman Program Officers visited Burlington several times over the ensuing months and conducted a landscape analysis of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

 

Based on this analysis, the “Let’s Talk Progress” speaker series was launched by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce with funding from Kauffman in June 2017, and the Foundation worked with the Community & Economic Development Office on a strategy for disbursing the remainder of the grant funds in a transparent, competitive, and equitable manner, which resulted in the Mayor’s Prize.  This competition is based on a similar model in Albuquerque. 

 

* Please see Mayor’s Prize Call for Applications and Mayor’s Prize Application Instructions

 

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/04/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

 

Mayor Weinberger Statement Regarding Saturday Incident

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Weinberger today released the following statement regarding the incident on Saturday, September 30 in which Jason Breault cut a Burlington Police Department officer with a knife.

 

“It is unacceptable that someone who has been arrested 20 times in ten months, sometimes for violent crimes, and has repeatedly violated his conditions of release, was in a position to threaten the public and harm a police officer this past Saturday. I welcome that Judge Fenster chose to hold Mr. Breault without bail. The City will continue to work toward a system where there are appropriate consequences for violent crimes, and where people with mental health disorders all get the right treatment at the right place at the right time.”

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/02/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 28, 2017
Contact:  Jordan Redell
                  802.503.7664

 

Mayor Weinberger & City Council President Knodell Statement on Burlington Telecom Process

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Weinberger and City Council President Knodell released the following update on the Burlington Telecom process:

 

"Since Tuesday we have spent hours together and with other parties exploring whether there is a way in which the fourth bidder could re-enter the BT sales process.  The bidder has chosen to remain withdrawn from the process.  The City greatly appreciates the interest the bidder had in Burlington and the ideas and energy they brought to the process.

 

“Resolving this matter has delayed focus on the bids that are before the City Council for consideration.  Instead of voting to narrow the field to two bids on October 2, as planned, the Council will hear a public summary by Terry Dorman of each of the three proposals and have the opportunity to ask Dorman & Fawcett and the City’s attorneys questions about the bids.  The Council will then vote to select two final bidders to conduct legal due diligence with on October 16.”

 

-- Mayor Miro Weinberger + City Council President Jane Knodell

Press Release Date: 
09/28/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 27, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

 

Mayor Weinberger, Governor Scott Announce Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition Summit Date

Partner with Energy Action Network on Summit and to Create Online Climate Pledge Tracker to Record Coalition Member Pledges to Reduce Carbon Emissions

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and Governor Phil Scott today announced Wednesday, November 8, 2017 as the date for the Vermont Energy and Climate Summit promised at the launch of the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition on June 20, 2017. The summit will provide an opportunity for the Coalition to work on its goal of helping Vermont achieve the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement pledge by the United States and mitigate the impact of the Federal government’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The summit also will produce tangible recommendations for the Governor’s recently formed Vermont Climate Action Commission. The Coalition and the Energy Action Network (EAN) will jointly host the day-long summit at Champlain College’s Center for Communications and Creative Media.

 

The Governor and Mayor also announced the launch of a new climate pledge tracker, an online tool developed in partnership with the EAN through its Community Energy Dashboard that will enable Coalition members to register and track all their climate pledges and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The pledge tracker also will provide great opportunities for organizations that have never created a climate action plan to take significant steps forward.   

 

“The federal government’s historic mistake in withdrawing from the Paris Agreement has increased the urgency with which we must tackle this generational challenge and take local action,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Together, one organization at a time, Vermont cities and towns, businesses, and civil society have the opportunity to make choices and take steps that move our state toward the international goals of the Paris Agreement, as well as toward Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions goals and its goal of being 90 percent renewable by 2050. I appreciate our partnership with EAN and am grateful for their innovative energy dashboard and climate pledge tracker.”

 

The Coalition, coordinated by the City of Burlington, is intended to complement State goals established in prior years. Together, Coalition members are working to help Vermont meet the U.S. commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels from 2005 by 26-28 percent by 2025 and to reinvigorate efforts to reach Vermont’s own more ambitious goal of achieving an 80-95 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 90 percent renewable energy by 2050.

 

“The Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition is gaining momentum and making a real difference,” said Governor Scott. “I urge other Vermont towns and cities, non-profits, businesses, educational institutions, and other organizations to join the Coalition. Our strength becomes exponential as the Coalition grows and partners with the Vermont Climate Action Commission to advance our state’s strong climate change goals in a way that drives economic activity while putting Vermonters on a path to affordability without leaving any Vermonter behind.” 

 

Summit Agenda

The summit, which will run from 8:00am to 6:00pm, will convene energy leaders from across Vermont and serve as a platform for participants to:

  • Review the Coalition’s progress and assess where Vermont now stands in relation to our fast-approaching 2025 energy and climate goals;
  • Hear about some of the most ambitious pledges taken by Coalition members;
  • Learn from leaders on the cutting edge of greenhouse gas reductions in the business, government, and non-profit sectors; and
  • Pitch policies and other ideas to coalition members and the Governor’s Vermont Climate Action Commission that will ensure that Vermont meets its energy and climate goals in ways that most benefit the state and Vermonters.

 

Joining the Coalition

The Coalition currently has a membership of more than 30 organizations and encourages all Vermont municipalities, non-profits, colleges and universities, and businesses to join the Coalition and do all they can to reduce carbon emissions. To join the Coalition and learn more about the summit, organizations should email Jennifer Green, Burlington Sustainability Coordinator, at jgreen@burlingtonelectric.com.

 

Making Climate Pledges

Coalition members are encouraged to make pledges on the Community Energy Dashboard’s Climate Pledge Coalition Tracker. Pledges may include short-, medium-, and long-term efforts, such as: encouraging transportation alternatives; producing and building a supply chain of locally-sourced goods to minimize the use of transportation emissions necessary to get the goods to market; composting; weatherizing homes; and implementing energy efficiency measures. Examples of pledges, many of which will not only benefit the environment but also save money, include the following Burlington efforts:

  • Offering financial incentives to encourage increased electric vehicle (EV) ownership by Burlington Electric customers;
  • Providing incentives to City of Burlington employees who walk, bike, take the bus, carpool, or drive EVs to work;
  • Installing solar arrays at Burlington International Airport and atop Burlington Electric Department’s Pine Street office roof; and
  • Conducting energy audits at all City of Burlington buildings.

 

Benchmarking and Tracking Pledges

The combination of all Coalition members’ voluntary organizational pledges collectively will constitute Vermont’s climate pledge for Paris. Both the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, as well as the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Public Service Department, are providing support and analytics to help summit participants understand Vermont’s current emissions trajectory and how pledges can help move Vermont toward our goals.

 

Beyond the Climate Pledge Tracker

In addition to the climate pledge tracker, Coalition members will benefit from a robust suite of easy-to-use energy tools already provided by the EAN Dashboard for municipalities, businesses, institutions, and individuals to help them make smart energy choices and track progress on how they use and source their energy (heat, electricity, and transportation) to achieve a more affordable, cleaner, and carbon-free energy future. Thousands of Vermonters already have used the Dashboard to set energy goals, take actions, track progress, map sites, share stories, and learn from trusted neighbors and colleagues.  The tracker further enhances these tools and enables Coalition members to set the pace of progress. 

 

“There is no greater challenge – or opportunity – for Vermont than to change the way we use and produce energy,” explained Jared Duval, Executive Director of the Energy Action Network. “By making smart energy investments, we can save money, build our energy independence, create jobs, and reduce our carbon footprint to help preserve and enhance the Vermont way of life. Communities and businesses across Vermont are asking for concrete ways to make clean energy and efficiency choices at the local level and to accelerate action by learning from each other. The Dashboard provides easy-to-use tools, with officially sourced data, for just that purpose.”

 

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/27/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 26, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

 

Mayor Weinberger and City Council President Knodell Statement on Council Deliberations Regarding Potential Fourth BT Proposal

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and City Council President Jane Knodell today released the following statement on the Council deliberations regarding the potential fourth BT proposal.

 

“After extended consultation with the City’s attorneys and Council discussion, there was a strong Council consensus that the City should explore whether the possible conflict of interest with the fourth bid could be resolved. If so, the fourth bidder will be encouraged to promptly submit a final LOI. Together we will be pursuing this outcome immediately.”

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/26/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 25, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

 

Mayor Weinberger Statement Regarding Future of Memorial Auditorium
 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Weinberger today released the following statement regarding the future of Memorial Auditorium.

 

“Memorial Auditorium has been vacant for approximately nine months, and I understand that there is great interest in knowing the City’s future plans for this important building.

 

“In our history, Memorial Auditorium has served as a valuable assembly space, and as we pursue its revitalization and adaptive re-use, we should prioritize how the building will continue to serve that vital function for our community. I look forward to beginning a robust process in late fall to determine the building’s future. This process will build upon planBTV: Downtown and Waterfront community planning efforts, and is expected to culminate in a City Council-approved competitive RFP/RFQ process. As part of that process, the City will seriously explore a proposal that continues the historic use of the building as a publicly-owned and operated assembly space. Further, I expect the City to evaluate all proposals on the quality and availability of their proposed public assembly space, how well they preserve the historic building, how the proposed projects will activate this important gateway to our City, and other to be determined criteria.”

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/25/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

OFFICE OF MAYOR MIRO WEINBERGER
149 Church Street | Burlington, VT 05401 | 802.865.7272

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 20, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                  802.734.0617

 

Statements on City Sharing Letters of Intent and Details Regarding Burlington Telecom Finalists

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement today regarding the recently shared Letters of Intent and details regarding the Burlington Telecom finalists.

 

“I appreciate the hard work that the three finalist bidders have put into the proposals the City has shared today, and thank them for their willingness to participate in this transparent, extended, and competitive process.  While I will defer weighing in on the merits of the specific proposals until after the final City Council executive session next week, my review of the proposals leads me to conclude that we are on track to secure an outstanding resolution to the Burlington Telecom issues that have challenged the City for a decade.  As long as the City gets the final steps of the process right, the days of Burlington residents and businesses being held back by a broadband monopoly are behind us for good, we will ensure excellent, affordable, high-speed internet service for Burlington residents and businesses, and we will close the book on the financial challenges that I promised to resolve as a candidate for office in 2012.” 

 

Burlington Telecom Advisory Board (BTAB) Chair David Provost released the following statement:

 

“Years of hard work by community member volunteers on the BTAB, the Mayor and many on the City Council have put us in a place few thought we would ever reach when the magnitude of BT’s financial crisis became clear in 2009 – with an opportunity to recoup a substantial portion of the money taxpayers lost years ago, preserve for the long run the new BT’s ability to compete against Comcast or any other monopoly, finish the build out of our City so Burlington residents have an opportunity to enjoy the service it provides, and commit substantial new revenues to support the local tech economy, and to possibly retain a local voice through an equity stake in the ‘new’ BT.

 

“As we enter this final phase of the selection process of a buyer, I am excited for the community to meet the buyers and hear from them on their plans for BT and their commitment to this wonderful resource.  I look forward to hearing from the community about the three finalists as we share the details of their proposals. As I have noted before, the BTAB has unanimously expressed serious concerns about the sustainability of KBTL’s financing plan and lack of operating experience and the reason for that concern is finally public today. In 2010, the Burlington Telecom Blue Ribbon committee – which I chaired  – made it clear that BT could not succeed if it was overleveraged. A proposal that requires the assumption of $10 million of debt at 14 percent interest is not something I can recommend that the City Council advance.”

 

The Letters of Intent are now posted on the BT website, https://www.burlingtontelecom.com/settlement/. Members of the public can share their feedback for the Mayor and City Council to consider at BTfeedback@burlingtonvt.gov.

 

* See City of Burlington Summary of Burlington Telecom Proposals

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/20/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 11, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                   802.734.0617

 

Mayor Weinberger Statement on Teacher-School District Contract Discussions
 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Weinberger released the following statement today regarding the Burlington teacher labor dispute:

 

“Though the City is not a party in the negotiations between the Burlington Education Association and the Burlington School District, I have been following the discussions closely for months and have reached out to both parties. We have outstanding educators and dedicated school board members, and I urge both groups to continue to work hard and creatively toward a solution for the benefit of our youth and community.”

 

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/11/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

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