South Burlington City News

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South Burlington City News

October 27, 2020 •  Local Government News Direct to You 

180 Market Street

South Burlington Public Library and City Hall at 180 Market Street. To keep up with construction, check out the time lapse cameras on our website.

Voting buttons

Presidential Election —Nov 3

Want the latest information on voting for the 2020 Presidential election? We share how you can register or vote early. Want to come to the polls to vote, you will need to BYOB (Bring Your Own Ballot), which you received in the mail.

Read more.

Budget and charts

Budget Update

The Fiscal Year 2020 Budget (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) has been finalized and is in the process of review for the yearly Audit.  The Draft report shows a balance of just over $33,000 to transfer to the Balance Sheet, amidst the fiscal challenges of the Pandemic in the final quarter (April-June 2020). 

Read more.


Energy Manager Lou Bresee briefed the City Council on measures that have been taken to reduce the City’s demand on energy sources and also to generate electricity for City uses. 

The presentation provided detailed information on energy uses across City functions to provide a basis to determine where and how to make improvements in consumption and where the return on investment in generation makes sense.

Bresee works in coordination and under the guidance of the South Burlington Energy Committee with the dual goals of reducing the Municipal energy costs to the taxpayer and also making headway against reducing the City’s impact on the environment. 

Under the advocacy of the Energy Committee the City has made commitments to reduce our climate change footprint and to develop a Climate Action Plan that will guide not only government but residents and businesses as well as we seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Stacks of cash money

ENERGY SAVINGS: $500,000 in FY2020

As a result of many energy projects invested in over the last decade the City has recorded $499,653 in energy savings in FY2020! That's enough power to run 71 clothes dryers at the high setting continuously for a year.

Read more and view the report.

Hydro Turbine

Hydro Turbine to Save $1.4 Million

In 2021, the City of South Burlington is planning to construct a hydro turbine on the outfall pipe of the City’s Airport Parkway Wastewater Treatment Facility along the Winooski River to produce electrical power. 

Read more.


The City received notification that our 2020 BUILD grant application was unsuccessful.  The City had applied for funding to design and construct a pedestrian bridge over I-89 at Exit 14. 

The bridge (in the official map, CIP and TIF District Plan) allows pedestrians and bicyclists to bypass the many on and off ramps on I-89 between the Staples Plaza and the Dorset/Williston Road intersection, while providing direct access from the Quarry Hill neighborhood to the U-Mall property and across to Market Street.

As a Federal grant program through the Department of Transportation, the many of grant applicants makes it a highly competitive process.  This project is partially eligible for Tax Increment Financing. If authorized for funding next year by Congress, the City will have another opportunity to apply.

O'Brien Farm

O'Brien Farm Development Update

The preliminary hearing for O’Brien Brothers LLC Master Plan 1 Phase 2 was closed on October 20.  This project represents around 390 units of rental housing in six multifamily buildings, including 49 perpetually affordable units as specified in the City’s Inclusionary Zoning standards, near the corner of Kennedy Drive and Kimball Avenue. 

The master plan representing the concept for this project was originally approved in 2016.  The Development Review Board will issue their decision by early December, after which the applicant has one year to apply for final approval for the project.

Dorset Meadows

Dorset Meadows Project Denied

On October 12, 2020, the Environmental Division of the Vermont Superior Court (Division) entered an order dismissing the appeals filed in connection with the Development Review Board’s denial of the Dorset Meadows final plat application.

Read more.

Judge Hears Oral Argument in Mary Street Litigation

On Monday, October 12, Chittenden Superior Court Judge Samuel Hoar Jr. heard oral argument on dueling motions for summary judgment in the lawsuit filed by Century Partners, LP and Thirty Three Mary Street, LLC against the City of South Burlington. 

This is the latest phase in the lawsuit that began in early 2020 when property owners abutting Mary Street and the newly constructed Mary Street Extension filed a complaint in the Chittenden County Civil Division claiming that the City has unlawfully maintained Jersey barriers that prevent traffic flow from Market Street to Williston Road.

Read more.


Park History Sign - Red Rocks Park

Red Rocks Wayfinding Installed

New interpretive and kiosk signs have been fabricated and installed at the park.  There was some delay with their installation due to issues associated with the availability of wood and other materials as a result of the pandemic. 

Please check them out the next time you visit the park!

Wheeler Stone Steps

Wheeler Nature Park Trail Assessment & Maintenance

A trail assessment report was completed in the spring of this year and staff began prioritizing and phasing needed trail maintenance at the park.  Over the summer, two trails had projects completed on them.

Users will notice an increase in the number of puncheons located along the Goldenrod Trail, and that stone stairs were installed along the trail segment that connects users with Park Road. 

Additional improvements are being planned, with most of those likely taking place next spring and summer.  Check out these new features during your next hike!

Socially Distanced Hike

Community Hike Series Concludes for Season

The Community Hike series in the City's natural area parks this year has concluded. During the shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic, we transitioned to virtual hikes. Since July, monthly hikes have been held in the parks. Plans are already underway for next season!

Read more.

Kevin Dorn - City Manager - headshot

City Manager's Report

It is so odd to start a report by saying “2020 has been a unique and unprecedented year.”  It just invites the response “well, daaaa” that we might hear from the younger generation.  The absolute reality is that the lives of individuals and institutions – every single one of us - have been changed in countless ways that will be with us for years to come.  All because of a virus none of us had heard of just a few months ago.

City government is no different; we have had to change and adapt to the new realities of providing services under the Governor’s declaration of emergency and the threat to our residents and our staff of C-19. 

For City government our biggest challenge has been to continue to provide critical services and do so knowing that tax revenue to support those services is likely to be down considerably.  Elsewhere in this newsletter you can read a more detailed report written by Tom Hubbard, our Deputy City Manager and Treasurer, that discusses how we finished FY 2020 (which ended on June 30, 2020) and how our unaudited results indicate we ended the year “in the black.”

The only way we were able to do this is that we made decisions early on to institute a short-term furlough of 44 members of our team and freeze hiring and spending to include our capital budget.  I want to recognize Tom’s work as well as that of Finance Director Sue Dorey and Deputy Director Martha Machar to sharpen our pencils and conclude the fiscal year in the black. 

I also want to recognize the City Council for their diligence in working with management throughout this process to achieve a good outcome.

Fiscal 2021, which began on July 1st of this year, will likely be even harder.  The freezes on spending will continue but now we have some experience operating in a C-19 environment and we are better able to plan and implement to match services with expected revenues.  This will continue to be a challenge not only for the City of South Burlington but all of our colleagues in the other communities across the State until we can get back to the old normal.

                                      * * *

How to provide municipal services in the most cost-effective manner is an ever-present goal in the mind of all mangers.  In this issue, you will see a presentation made to the City Council by Lou Bresee, our Energy Manager to the City Council outlining the multiple initiatives we have launched to be more efficient in our use of energy and also to generate electricity that we can use in our operations.  I strongly encourage you to take a look at this report and the innovative ways we are working to reduce our use of energy and the cost to taxpayers as well as reduce our impact on the environment.

Across the Fence - Bob Fischer

Water Quality Clean Water 

Bob Fischer, Water Quality Superintendent was interviewed on Across the Fence. He shares the work that our treatment facilities do to process and return clean water to natural waterways. The City has received numerous awards for its work, including reducing phosphorous output to Lake Champlain.

Watch the interview here.

City Council Slide - 10.19.20

Watch the City Council Meeting on YouTube

Want to see what happened during the latest City Council meeting? Can't attend the live session online?

We've got you covered. You can watch the recorded October 19 meeting here.


For a complete list of meetings & events, please visit the calendar at

Monday, November 2   |  6:30 pm | Virtual

  • PUBLIC HEARING (7:30 pm): Possible Council action on the amendment and extension of Interim Bylaws
  • PUBLIC HEARING (7:45 pm): Continued hearing on Interim Zoning Application at 600 Spear Street
    • August & September Financials
    • Continued discussion on FY22 Budget

Full agenda and meeting minutes

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone: 
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Phone (audio only): (571) 317-3112
Access Code: 116-202-269

Development Review Board

Wednesday, November 4  |  7 pm  | Virtual

Full agenda & packet

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Phone (audio only):  (408) 650-3123
Access Code:  549-349-837

Energy Committee

Thursday, October 29 |  6:30 pm  | Virtual

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Phone (audio only):  (571) 317-3112
Access Code:  195-383-621

Natural Resources Committee
Wednesday, November 4  | 6 pm  | Virtual

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Phone (audio only):  (646) 749-3122
Access Code:  132-951-997


Mom and Daughter Pumpkin Carving

Last weekend as part of the Halloween Spooktacular, families attended a night hike, pumpkin carving, and bingo in the park.

Community Glow Walk

October 30 | Market Street Pond | 6-8 pm
All ages welcome.

Come take a stroll with us. We’ll have Halloween lawn inflatables and an abundance of fun decorations.  A great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the spirit of the holiday.  We kindly ask that all pets remain at home.  There will also be a vendor selling hot chocolate to keep you warm.

Community Decorating Contest

Halloween makes for a fun time to decorate your home/yard or place of business. We invite community members to go all out when it comes to decorating the exterior of your home!

Businesses are encouraged to decorate either their interior or exterior with eye-catching displays. A fun prize and bragging rights will go to the top two homes and one place of business. Judging by SBRP staff will take place on Thursday & Friday October 29th and 30th.

Join the fun and learn more.

COVID Trick or Treat

Safe Trick or Treating Tips from the CDC

Traditional Halloween activities are fun, but some can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 or influenza. Plan alternate ways to participate in Halloween.

Read more.


FREE Senior Meal Drive Thru Program

Wed Nov 18       “Turkey Take Out”

Wed Dec 2          “Honk for the Holidays”

Sign up for just one or sign up for all. 

City Staff will be on site to festively wave and greet you as you drive down through Veterans Memorial Park and pick up your meal in the turnaround; there will be signage indicating where to go. 

All staff will be fully masked and precautions will be taken to promote safety.  No need to get out of your car, simply pull up, pop the trunk and we can place the bags for you.  Read more.

Tennis Courts

Tennis Courts Closing Soon for Season

Tennis nets will remain up through Friday, October 30. They will then be taken down for the season.

South Burlington Public Library

Story Time - Kelly - Library

Kids can now watch library story time with Kelly on YouTube! Check out her new Sing-Along video

Recipe cards

Library Cook Book

The South Burlington Public Library is creating a community-sourced cookbook of “comfort food” recipes, and we want yours! If you are a hunter, a forager, a gardener, or just someone who enjoys the bounty of Vermont’s landscape, please send your  recipes to or drop them off at the library before December 9.

Read more.

Library Hours

The South Burlington Library current hours. To see a list of programs, visit the website.

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