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Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces "No-Go" Decision on Moran; Unveils Five-Point Action Plan for Near-Term Progress on Northern Waterfront

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 2, 2012
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces “No-Go” Decision on Moran; Unveils Five-Point Action Plan for Near-Term Progress on Northern Waterfront

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced a “no-go” decision on moving forward with the prior administration’s Moran plan.  Weinberger also unveiled a five-point action plan for near-term progress on the northern waterfront.  (Please see details of both the “no-go” decision and the five-point action plan in the attached Mayor’s Open Letter to the People of Burlington.)

Weinberger, joined by many community leaders (listed below), made the announcement with the Moran Plant in the background, declaring:  “The City will not go forward with the former administration’s plan to have the City of Burlington serve as the developer of a complicated, speculative, commercial real estate venture.  I will not risk Moran becoming another Burlington Telecom.”

Weinberger also announced a five-point action plan for near-term progress on the northern waterfront, stating:  “Further inaction is untenable.  We will go forward with the important public infrastructure and public facilities planned in the Waterfront Access North project, and on other key improvements to the northern waterfront.”

The action plan includes the following:

  1. The City will go forward with a new, open, focused, and competitive process to determine the future of the Moran building and site. 
  2. The City will go forward with Waterfront Access North, the long-planned improvements to the site around Moran that include remediating environmental concerns, burying power lines, creating  new parking, establishing storm water treatment facilities to protect the lake, and building a new skate park.
  3. The City will go forward to find a permanent home on the Burlington waterfront for the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center and attempt to establish a long-term agreement with the Sailing Center within the next year. 
  4. The City will go forward to begin the work of transforming our bike path, which has a proven track record of attracting visitors and revenue to our City, into an enhanced, modern, world-class recreation amenity.
  5. The City will go forward with planning the best ways for the public to enjoy and benefit from the Urban Reserve, a potentially remarkable City asset immediately north of Moran.
     

Weinberger was joined at the announcement by the following community leaders (quotes are included with the names of those who spoke at the press conference):

  • Karen Paul, Ward 6 City Councilor and Chair of City Council’s Parks, Arts, and Culture Committee – “The Mayor's decisive announcement today lays out a clear path that I believe is an important, significant and prudent departure from the prior plan, and more likely to achieve the best outcome for Burlington.  I support the Mayor's new direction and vision and will be working in partnership with him to see it implemented as expeditiously and thoughtfully as possible.”
  • Joseph Boutin, Chair of Moran Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) and retired Merchants Bank President  – “Two years ago the Moran BRC raised concerns about the City’s ability to implement the complex financing proposed in the Moran plan, about the project costs, and about the timeline required to keep the project feasible.  The challenges have continued to grow since the BRC report was completed, and I am pleased to see our new Mayor responding to these concerns and charting a new course.”
  • Al Gobeille, Chair of Board of Burlington Business Association and Principal of Gobeille Hospitality and Lake Champlain Cruises
  • Marc Sherman, President of Board of Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center and founder of Outdoor Gear Exchange – “A land agreement with the City will provide a remarkable opportunity for the Community Sailing Center to fulfill our vision of a stand-alone building that will stimulate waterfront development and meet the community’s needs for years to come.”
  • Kate Neubauer, Executive Director of Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center
  • Trina Zide and Brendan Foster, Co-Owners of Maven, a Burlington skate shop – “We're thrilled to have a new Mayor who cares about the skateboard community in town and understands the importance of providing a world-class and safe skate park as part of his waterfront development plans.  We look forward to working closely with the Mayor's team to make this a reality.”
  • John Bossange, Chair of Bike Path Task Force and Commissioner of Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Chapin Spencer, Member of Bike Path Task Force and Executive Director of Local Motion – “We welcome the Mayor’s announcement today that he will seek the authority this fall to make a $3 million TIF investment in the most heavily used section of the bike path.  This is a key first financial step towards improving and expanding Burlington’s bike path.”
  • Kirsten Merriman Shapiro, Special Projects Manager, Community and Economic Development Office, City of Burlington
  • Nick Warner, Special Projects Manager, Community and Economic Development Office, City of Burlington
  • David G. White, Principal of White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors, Inc. and Moran Plan Advisor to City of Burlington

 

Please see attached documents, including:

  • Mayor’s Open Letter to the People of Burlington and Details of “No-Go” Decision and Five-Point Action Plan, dated July 2, 2012
  • Waterfront Access North Site Plan

 

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Press Release Date: 
07/02/2012
City Department: 
Mayor's Office