South Burlington City News - 1.12.2021

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South Burlington City News

January 12, 2021 •  Local Government News Direct to You 

Councilor Meaghan Emery - screenshot

The Year Ahead

With the dawn of a new year, we look forward to what may come--projects, planning, budgets, and more. In this video, City Council Vice Chair Meaghan Emery shares the Council's priorities for the year ahead.

Watch Councilor Emery's overview.

Budget 1

Council Adopts FY22 Budget

Proposed Budget will now go to voters

The City Council, at its meeting on January 4th, adopted the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022).  The proposed budget is a 0.98% increase in the tax rate, just under 1%.  Based on what is being proposed, what that means to the average taxpayer is an increase of $13.01 for the year on the average condo, and an $18.76 increase for the year to the average homeowner.  The budget will now go before the voters for approval at the Annual City Meeting to be held on March 2nd.

Read more.

Proposed TIF Bond
for Garden Street

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 7 P.M.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the South Burlington City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, January 19, at 7 P.M. to present information and to hear public comment on a potential ballot question concerning issuance by the City of general obligation debt and the pledging of the City’s full faith and credit in support of capital improvements within the City Center Tax Increment Financing District (TIF District) and related costs.   

The specific improvements expected to be constructed with the bond proceeds are Garden Street (at Dorset Street and the connector to Midas Drive) as well as related costs. The ballot question under consideration by the City Council, if approved, is expected to be presented for a public vote on March 2, 2021.


Shall the City Council be authorized to pledge the credit of the City and to borrow up to Four Million Two Thousand Five Hundred Fifty Dollars ($4,002,550) in order to build Vermont Economic Progress Council-approved City Center Tax Increment Financing District (TIF District) public infrastructure and capital improvements, specifically: engineering and construction of the Garden Street Project between Dorset Street and Williston Road and the upgrade of intersections at White Street/Midas Drive and Hinesburg Road/Patchen Road together with associated site work and project costs, and to pay related costs, specifically, approval for reimbursement of TIF eligible related costs incurred in the establishment, implementation and administration of the TIF District? To date, the cumulative amount of voter approved City Center TIF debt is $25,400,000.


Phone (audio only): (571) 317-3122
Access Code:  964-962-117
TIF 101

So, what is Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, to which it is most often referred.  Well, with taxpayers approval the City has already used this type of financing to pay in part for the construction of City Center Park, the completion of Market Street and the construction of the new South Burlington Public Library and City Hall.  

Fundamentally, the use of TIF financing reduces the demand on property tax payers to pay for the construction of public infrastructure in our designated New Town Center/TIF District that will support the build out of the area we call City Center. 

Read more on how TIF’s work.

City Manager Search Committee

The City Council has appointed a committee to review applications for the position of City Manager.  Current City Manager Kevin Dorn will be retiring from the position on June 30th of this year.  The Council hopes to have a new Manager named well before that date to allow for a smooth transition.

Learn more.

BTV Runway

Council Approves MOU on Airport Operations

The South Burlington City Council has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Cities of Burlington and Winooski.  The leadership of the three communities came together to reach agreement on ways to address concerns related to operations at Burlington International Airport that have an impact on the quality of life of residents in each community.

Learn more.

Tree Removal

Proactive Ash Tree Removal

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, and has been found in Chittenden County. 

The most effective management option for EAB has proven to be the proactive removal of ash trees. The City Council, in their last two voter-approved budgets, included money to hire contractors to begin the removal. City staff will be removing trees over the winter months in between snow events.

Learn more.

grassy land

City Council Approves Mayfair Park Potash Brook Land Transfer

At its regular meeting on Monday, January 4, the South Burlington City Council approved the transfer documents necessary to finalize the conveyance of two parcels from Fire District No. 2 to the City. 

The land to be conveyed abuts the current Potash Brook natural area south of the Mayfair Park neighborhood which was inadvertently retained by Fire District No. 2 during the original transfer of Potash Brook land to the City in 1970.  In 2015, the Fire District Prudential Committee discovered this omission and have since worked closely with City staff to complete a land survey and remove all title issues prior to a transfer. 

Read more.


PUBLIC FORUM: Dorset Street Shared Use Path

Bike & Pedestrian Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | 5:30 pm | Virtual
Please see website for meeting info.

You are invited to join the Committee in a discussion of the City’s shared use path project along Dorset Street, between Old Cross Road and Sadie Lane. The project will include filling a 0.7-mile gap with a 10-foot wide concrete path along the east side of Dorset Street, and will also include a varying grass buffer. The goal is to improve safety and public access to the area’s only commercial businesses and the remainder of the City’s shared use path network.

This is a VTrans grant-funded and Penny for Paths funded initiative.

Planning drawing - collage

Planning Projects to Be Considered

The City Council will consider submittal of the City’s annual project requests to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) at their January 19th meeting.

Each year, the CCRPC solicits requests from member communities for transportation and land use planning projects for the following fiscal year. The program offers transportation and land use planning services, some of which are eligible for partial or full Federal funding.

Learn more.

105 Swift - residential housing

Mixed Income Residential Housing Approved

The City’s Development Review Board approved application #SD-20-37 for a building containing 20 housing units, including 2 perpetually affordable units at 105 Swift Street.  The approval consolidates access between 99 and 105 Swift Street to a new driveway onto Swift Street, and removes the shared access to Farrell Park, leaving the existing Farrell Park driveway to the exclusive use of visitors to Farrell Park.

Read more.

Lemay and Rich

Last Friday at the Vermont Police Academy, the 110th Basic Recruit class was honored, in a closed ceremony, as they successfully graduated to become fully certified sworn police officers. Congratulations to South Burlington's newest officers, Ofc. Connor Lamay and Ofc. Foster Rich. They are now completing 16 weeks of field training. Well done, gentlemen!

Fire Truck

Fire Operations During COVID

Last year, the onset of COVID-19 created some new and different challenges for the Fire Department.

Learn about the year of operations.

Taxpayer Savings - pig


The projects that follow have resulted in saving taxpayer dollars.

Airport Parkway

Airport Parkway Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade Project Grant  

In 2012, the City completed a $30 million upgrade and expansion project at its largest wastewater treatment facility, located on Airport Parkway. To aid in the funding of this project, the City borrowed over $20 million from the State of Vermont’s Revolving Loan Fund. At that time, the City was also anticipating another $5 million grant to help fund the project, a grant that would not have to be paid back. The City was awarded the grant, but that State grant program was out of funds and our total loan amount was not reduced.

Read more.

Bartlett Bay

Hadley/Farrell Neighborhood Sewer Upgrade Project

In 2019 the City completed a project that rerouted the sewer discharged from the Hadley/Proctor/Farrell neighborhood so that it was now sent to and treated at South Burlington’s wastewater treatment plant on Bartlett Bay Road.

This project will pay for itself three times over during these 20 years and save South Burlington sewer rate payers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and be cash positive on day one.

Read more.


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

Tuesday, January 19   |  6:30 pm | Virtual

    Proposed TIF Bond for Garden Street
  • Pension Fund Annual Report
  • Annual Valuation Report from Actuary on Pension Fund
  • Consider and possibly approve warning the 2021 annual city meeting ballot to include articles on the FY 22 City budget and the election of City Officers and City Councilors

Full agenda and meeting minutes

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
Phone (audio only): (571) 317-3122
Access Code:  964-962-117

Watch the City Council Meeting

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 January 4 meeting here.

Planning Commission 

Tuesday, January 12 |  7 pm  | Virtual

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Phone (audio only):  (408) 650-3123
Access Code:  220-586-637

Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee

Wednesday, January 13 |  5:30 pm  | Virtual

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Phone (audio only):  (872) 240-3412
Access Code:  830-033-285

Library Board of Trustees

Thursday, January 14 |  5 pm  | Virtual

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Meeting ID: 815 4302 2326
Passcode: 943761
Phone: 1 646 558 8656

Steering Committee

Wednesday, January 20 |  6 pm  | Virtual

Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Phone (audio only):  (312) 757-3121
Access Code:  422-356-709

Parking ban

City Clerk's Office:
How to Access Services

Need to access the Clerk's office for a title search, vital records, or marriage license? 

Visit the City Clerk's page and see how to do so!

Bears In Fire Department


As in past years, South Burlington Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Offices have been an alternative staging site for Santa’s sleigh, when there are heavy headwinds. Apparently, these winds at altitude made it difficult for Rudolph to make his final approach to the station, and Santa bypassed his usual logistical resupply spot. (it is all about the schedule after all!).

So, Monday morning Fire Inspector Spooner had bearly cracked open his office door to find it in Bruins.  Many thanks to our friend Craig Hahn, of Go Calendar at University Mall and his patrons, all of whom had pre-purchasing these and 750 other bears, that the Fire & EMS services throughout Chittenden County will distribute over the next several months.  

Recreation and Parks

Spring Planning

While we are in the deep freeze of winter now, sooner rather than later, the snow will melt and we will be given the green light to get on the fields and kick off the spring season of play.  We hope this comes with a healthy population and fewer restrictions that allow us to offer a full slate of programs, but even if we are still masked, distanced and limited in gatherings, we will make those accommodations to ensure success.

Read more.

xcountry skiing

Outdoor Winter Engagement

As we settle into new post-holiday routines, it is essential that we keep in mind the need to engage in the great outdoors. Being active outside is essential to both our physical and our mental health.  To support exploration and engagement, we are looking to create several different opportunities in our parks system.

You may have noticed that the winter lights display at Veterans Memorial is now down for the season, but did you happen to notice that there is a signed and maintained cross country skiing loop that has been installed at the park? 

Read more

Pandemic Program

Pandemic Program Impacts

Last week saw the kick off of the winter sport season for our local middle school and high school teams, as they were given the green light to ease back into non-contact and fully masked practices.  This has prompted some questions about our own recreation winter programs and when we might be able to offer a variation on our typical season with drills and skills. 

While we would love to promote something like this, we are limited in the fact that we have no space to provide programs. With no indoor recreation space to call our own, we have relied on community school facilities use to run our recreational programs. 

Learn more.

South Burlington Public Library

Color of Law Book Discussion

Upcoming Book Discussion of
The Color of Law

February 2 and 16  |  6:30 pm   |   Virtual

The Affordable Housing Committee and the South Burlington Library are cosponsoring a book discussion series on The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein. The book traces how federal government housing programs and policies, from the New Deal through the sixties, and on to today, have prevented or discouraged African Americans from owning their own homes. The result has been a significant wealth gap between the races.

The discussions will be led by Jessica Hyman, director of the Fair Housing Project at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO), and will take place on Zoom on Tuesdays, February 2 and 16, at 6:30 pm.

Books are available to borrow at the library. Call 846-4140 or email to reserve a copy for pick-up and ask to be put on the Zoom list. If you don’t have time to read the book,  watch the brief documentary, “Segregated by Design,” narrated by the book’s author, available at, or listen to an NPR “Fresh Air” interview at

The South Burlington Library is currently operating only curbside service. 

See the current hours.

While the Library is closed to the public, staff will continue to work on your behalf. Patrons may continue to place holds online, or call and email us to renew and request. Bags of surprise books are again available - just give us an idea of what books or topics you've enjoyed recently. These bags were made possible by Hannaford in the spring, and are now brought to you by Target.

Holds and requests are available for pickup M, Th and F 11-3 and Tu & Wed 2-6 in front of the library windows. If you can't come inside, call us from the parking garage and we will bring your items out during those hours. Check your receipts for due dates. Stock up for the holidays! 

Call us during pickup hours for more information or to get help with any of the resources on the web, 802-846-4140. 

School District Events

SB School District logo

South Burlington School District FY22 Budget

January 13

All meetings will take place via Zoom and run from 6-7:30 pm. Links to agendas and participation information will be posted at

Regular School Board meeting January 20
Agenda can be found at

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