FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 18, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane, Mayoral Communications & Projects Coordinator, 802.734.0617

                   Rob Goulding, DPW Public Information Manager, 802.540.0846

 

DPW Nears Completion of First Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Construction Season

Unveils ‘Projects Portal’ to Help Public Track Construction Projects and Progress; Work Set to Begin on Upgrading Downtown Water Pipes

 

Burlington, VT – Today Mayor Miro Weinberger joined Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Chapin Spencer, Champlain Elementary School Principal Dr. Dorinne Dorfman, and Dealer.com Senior Manager of Operations Grace Ciffo near the new sidewalk outside Champlain Elementary School to recognize DPW’s progress on its Sustainable Infrastructure Plan projects, and the launch of a new “projects portal” that will help keep residents informed on current and future projects. This work represents the beginning of implementation of the multi-year Sustainable Infrastructure Plan’s reinvestment in the city, approved overwhelmingly by voters in November 2016. This season, DPW has been focused on road repaving, sidewalk reconstruction and upgrading the City’s aging water infrastructure along multiple streets. By the end of the season, DPW will have completed 5 miles of road repaving (compared to a recent average of 3 miles/year), reconstructed over 3 miles of sidewalk (recent average, just over 1 mi/year) and proactively upgraded nearly 3 miles of water main (versus decades of only pursuing reactive replacement of broken pipes).

 

“It has been exciting this construction season to see the will of the voters start to become a reality with the most substantial reinvestment in many years now improving the quality of our core municipal infrastructure for generations to come,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger “Thank you to the Public Works Department and Director Chapin Spencer for stepping up and largely meeting the ambitious first year goals of the new plan.”

 

Champlain Elementary School benefited from the first season of infrastructure work with the completion of a new sidewalk outside of the campus along Pine Street, and a new curb with an ADA-accessible ramp across the street.

 

"Many students and parents walk, ride bicycles, and ride scooters to school,” said Champlain Elementary School Principal Dr. Dorinne Dorfman. “The new sidewalks, curbs, and ramps make coming to school in ways that protect the environment safer and more fun. While the construction presented challenges as the school year got started, we are grateful for the improvements in time for the winter season."

 

Capital Projects Portal

In support of Burlington’s Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, the Mayor and DPW are proud to announce the launch of a publicly accessible, regularly updated portal (www.burlingtonvt.gov/construction) designed for transparent, timely and reliable information about all public and private construction projects in the city right-of-way. With an increase in capital and maintenance projects around the city as a result of voter-approved bonds in November 2016, this portal will be a useful tool to ensure residents, businesses and all stakeholders can be regularly informed, and has already improved the cross-departmental coordination of municipal projects.

 

The portal features current, upcoming and completed projects, including contact information for project managers or City departments, as well as links to projects pages where available, and other important project details. The project is a broad, citywide initiative, coordinated with the Mayor’s Office and led by the Department of Public Works.

 

Pine Street Relining to Begin This Fall; Resume in Spring 2018

As an important next step in the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, DPW will begin relining the aging pipes along Pine Street between Main and Maple in late October to benefit residents and businesses by improving water quality and water pressure. These infrastructure investments will increase system reliability, with fewer unplanned disruptions and water main breaks over time. In spring 2018, DPW will undertake another significant upgrade along Pine Street on an integral corridor between Howard and Lakeside.

 

Due to innovations in new and tested technology, the pipes on Pine Street will be relined rather than replaced. This will allow an overall quicker, less disruptive and less expensive project, compared to open dig replacement, while producing better water quality and increased fire flows.

 

While relining projects avoid significant disruptions to water service, the City and its contractor, AquaRehab, will maintain 24 hour emergency telephone help lines. Prior to the beginning of the summer construction season, DPW worked with residents and businesses to ensure that construction avoided significant and celebrated events, including Labor Day weekend, the first day of school, and Art Hop. DPW sent letters to property owners on June 19 and held an informational meeting on June 29 to discuss the project. DPW is also working on plans to minimize parking losses and lane closures and create the safest possible driving conditions for our residents, businesses and visitors. For an updated schedule for all water capital construction projects, including Pine Street, see here: http://bit.ly/CY17WRCapital.

 

This work also precedes the kickoff of the Champlain Parkway Project, scheduled to start in fall 2018. Other complimentary projects near this important stretch of city streets are also in design, underway or completed, including infrastructure upgrades along King Street and St. Paul Street.

 

“The City recognizes that much of this work is occurring in busy corridors and efforts have been made to mitigate the impacts to area residents and businesses,” said DPW Director Chapin Spencer. “While there will be inevitable impacts during construction, one of the pipes to be relined was originally installed in 1894 and upgrades are clearly necessary. The increased funding allows us to be proactive and coordinate our investments like never before. This is the right time to undertake these projects to create resilient streets that serve Burlington for generations.”

 

“We are very focused on creating great experiences for our employees, and every ‘touch-point’ counts. A healthy, sustainable civic environment in Burlington is crucial to Dealer.com’s energy and mission. Mayor Weinberger’s transparency around the Department of Public Work’s Sustainable Infrastructure projects is exciting and appreciated. Dealer.com represents the second largest location of our Parent Company, Cox Automotive, and improvements like these help to further emphasize the value of working in Burlington, VT.” 

 

Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Background

In November 2016, the residents of Burlington voted in support of a $27.5 million general obligation bond to fund capital improvement projects across the city over five years (an additional approximately $14 million will be spent from other sources on this infrastructure plan). In return for this investment, residents will see vastly improved streets and sidewalks (sixteen percent of our sidewalk system is in serious to failed condition and 23 percent of our streets are currently in a poor or failed condition), the replacement of two thirds of our fleet of aging fire trucks, a completed Bike Path renovation and enhancement, and much more over the next five years. The Sustainable Infrastructure Plan and the work DPW and other city departments are doing addresses many of the challenges that aging infrastructure presents.

 

In addition, voters supported the $8.3 million Water Systems Improvements revenue bond. Currently, 42 percent of the 110 miles of city water pipes are older than 75 years and 25 percent are older than 100 years. This phase of DPW’s water infrastructure reinvestment project will reline 2.74 miles and replace 1.42 miles of aging water main through June 2018 in stages, and is aligned with the street repaving program in order to save money and time through proactive planning and infrastructure management. An example of this proactive coordination includes the work being done along King Street. While the subsurface drinking water infrastructure was upgraded last year, there are stormwater upgrades, traffic calming and repaving work underway which will create a resilient street and preserve our critical investments.

 

Additionally, DPW considered risk factors including age of pipes, number of breaks and recent break history in determining which streets and sections of main were selected. The decision to reline the majority of aging pipes was made due to innovations in new, and tested, pipe relining technology, allowing this component of the project to be quicker, less disruptive to city life, and less expensive than traditional open dig water main replacement. New technology will also help DPW avoid interruptions to water service as its contractor carries out the relining work. Where necessary, water main sections which need increased flow capacity are being upsized to larger diameter pipe – thus necessitating the open dig replacement approach.

 

Capital Projects Contact Information

To view the Capital Projects Portal, visit www.burlingtonvt.gov/construction

 

For more information on DPW’s Water Resources Capital Projects, including Relining and Replacement Projects, see here: http://bit.ly/CY17WRCapital

 

For issues, questions or concerns about the relining/replacing project, please contact the Water Division at 802-863-4501. Non-emergency inquiries can also be submitted via email at water-resources@burlingtonvt.gov. For those on a temporary water supply and experiencing issues please contact (24/7) Aquarehab: 802-495-6284.

 

For more information on the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan, see here: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Mayor/10-Year-Capital-Plan

 

* Please see slide, “Sustainable Infrastructure Plan Goals for 2017 Construction Season,” for a comparison of past annual infrastructure investments to this year’s infrastructure goals.

 

# # #

Press Release Date: 
10/18/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 13, 2017
Contact:  Jordan Redell
                  802.503.7664

Mayor Weinberger Statement Regarding Homicide of Yogeswari Khadka

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement today regarding the homicide at 72 Hyde Street:

 

“After yesterday’s tragic events, my thoughts are with the Yogeswari Khadka’s friends and family. My sympathy lies especially with her young daughter, and her mother, Thulsa Rimal, who continues to receive treatment at the UVM Medical Center. No family should have to endure the pain they are going through. I am grateful for the bravery of her neighbors, who helped to contain a terrible situation, and the remarkable professionalism, courage and decisiveness of the Burlington Police Department officers who responded to this scene.”  

 

# # #

 

Press Release Date: 
10/13/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 10, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane

                 802.734.0617

 

Mayor Urges Council to Advance Top BT Bids That Offer Big Wins for Taxpayers, BT Customers, and City

Notes Positive Impact KBTL Proposal and Engagement Has Brought to Process and Concerns about the Bid’s Viability; Supports Schurz and Ting/Tucows Advancing to Final Round

 

Burlington, VT - Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced his support for the City Council to advance to the final round the Schurz Communications and Ting/Tucows bids to purchase Burlington Telecom (BT).  After careful consideration of the three proposals before Council, as well as the opinions of the Burlington Telecom Advisory Board (BTAB) and the multiple professionals advising the City on this transaction, the Mayor noted that only the Ting/Tucows and Schurz proposals met all of the sales criteria developed by the public and approved by the City Council, and that these proposals offer significant benefits to taxpayers, BT customers, and the City.

 

“I appreciate the hard work of the KBTL Board and other volunteer supporters to present the City with an option for local ownership,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “KBTL’s focus on local issues throughout this process has helped shape the City’s goals and will positively impact BT’s future no matter which bid the City selects. Regrettably, however, the KBTL offer is simply not a viable option for the City to pursue. Selecting it would result in legal action and substantial taxpayer financial exposure, threaten to undo years of BT progress and put Burlington Telecom’s future on very uncertain footing. The KBTL focus on securing local benefits has improved the two very strong proposals from Ting and Schurz. These proposals would secure a bright future for BT, put the days of broadband monopoly behind us for good, lead to substantial reinvestment in our community, return millions of taxpayer dollars, and create the possibility of meaningful City ownership in the future company.”

 

Please see supporting materials below:

 

* Memorandum to the City Council regarding Burlington Telecom Finalists

* Criteria Table Comparing Three Finalist Bids to Council-approved Sale Criteria

* City of Burlington Summary of Burlington Telecom Proposals

 

# # #

Press Release Date: 
10/11/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 9, 2017
Contact:  Katie Vane
                   802.734.0617

 

City of Burlington to Welcome Honfleur Sister City Delegation
Delegation of Residents from Honfleur, France Will Visit on October 10

 

Burlington, VT – The City of Burlington will welcome a delegation from its Honfleur, France Sister City, including Mayor Michel Lamarre and citizens of Honfleur, at a press conference on Tuesday, October 10. This will be the second major delegation from Honfleur to visit Burlington, and the first time residents from Honfleur have joined the delegation. The last visit was in 2013.

 

The press conference will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Burlington Boathouse with remarks from Mayor Weinberger. Light refreshments will be served.

 

“Burlington is honored to be partners with Honfleur in furthering bonds of friendship and respect between our two cities, and in emphasizing the importance of building relationships of cross-cultural trust and friendship,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “I am excited to welcome another Honfleur delegation to our beautiful city. Our Sister City relationship provides us an important opportunity to build on the historic bonds that bind our two cities and deepen the cultural ties between us.”

 

Also expected to attend will be Ernie Pomerleau, Honorary Consul of France to Vermont, Dana vanderHeyden, Ambassadrice de Honfleur aux États-Unis named by Mayor Lamarre and coordinator of many trip exchanges, Marc vanderHeyden, former president of St. Michael’s College, and Doreen Kraft, Executive Director of Burlington City Arts, as well as Pierre Jan, Chair of the Twinning Association in Honfleur, and Lise Veronneau, Chair/President of Burlington’s Honfleur Sister City.

 

While in Burlington, the delegation will enjoy an edible history tour, a boat tour by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, visits to Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, Ethan Allen Homestead, and Burlington City Arts fall exhibition, Of Land and Local

 

Sister City History

  

Burlington’s relationship with Honfleur began in 2009 during the 400th-anniversary celebration of Samuel de Champlain’s visit to the lake named for him. The City of Burlington expanded its international French relationships with the official formation of the Honfleur Sister City on March 21, 2012, and has nurtured that relationship with travels to Honfleur in 2012, welcoming Mayor Lamarre and his delegation from Honfleur to Burlington in 2013, followed by the first youth exchange of Boy Scouts traveling to Honfleur in 2014. Most recently, a Burlington delegation, including Mayor Weinberger, his wife Stacy, and a group of students from Burlington High School visited Honfleur in June 2015. 

 

Committees in Burlington and Honfleur have been working for the past three years to promote and understand our respective cultures and economic development opportunities in mutually rewarding ways.

 

See five year summary of Honfleur Sister City highlights here

 

# # #

Press Release Date: 
10/09/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

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

 

 

# # #

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/.

 

# # #

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

 

 

# # #

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.”

 

# # #

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.”

 

 

# # #

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

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