Map of the New North End in Burlington, VT

Street Updates and Dog Park Discussion

I hope you are having a great end of summer and looking forward to the fall season. Happy new school year to all professionals at the Burlington School District as well as parents, guardians and students. As an employee of the BSD, I witness every single day much love, dedication and quality care from teachers, administrators, staff, volunteers and community partners in delivering top notch education of the 21st century and multiple pathways for excellence.
I wanted to take the time today to provide some updates specific to some issues in the New North End, Ward 7 in particular.

1 – Ethan Allen Parkway, next steps

Hope you are all enjoying the newly paved road at Ethan Allen Parkway and James Ave. Thank you to the Department of Public Works for meeting important timelines for project construction. I believe that residents of this great city deserve better in terms of accuracy when it comes to communication and engagement and how road project construction is being handled by contractors.
The repaving of Ethan Allen Parkway also presents opportunities to implement some bikeway improvements and traffic calming to a busy neighborhood school street. We hope that you will join the neighborhood meeting on Thursday, September 12th at 5pm in the Art Room at the Miller Community Center (130 Gosse Court). The purpose of the meeting is to provide input for the following:
• Replace the small speed bumps with speed humps
• Remove the raised centerline medians and, instead narrow the road with a northbound bike lane from North Ave to James Ave
• Add shared lane markings from James Ave to the Route 127 bike path entrance.
Please consider attending. Snacks will be provided. If you cannot attend, please provide direct feedback any time by September 18th by emailing or calling the Department of Public Works at dpwplanning@burlingtonvt.gov or 802-863-9094 x3.

2 – Gosse Court Traffic Calming Request

On Friday August 30th, I spent some time to connect and hear directly from residents on Gosse Court. Gosse Court is a wide and busy street with a Community Center that hosts community events, senior activities almost daily, a child care center, afterschool, etc, and nearby schools of course. Over 80% of Gosse Court residents signed a traffic calming request petition. Despite making such a request when I was first elected in 2017, it was disappointing to hear the following response from DPW:

“Our traffic calming program is very popular and projects currently move forward on a first in / first out basis. We have several neighborhoods already in the queue and we need to complete our work with them before we begin working with Gosse Court. We estimate a 2-3 year wait before our first community meeting. This may not be the speedy resolution you were hoping for, but our staff capacity and funding only allow us to work on 2-3 traffic calming projects each year. We are wrapping up 2 projects through construction now and starting 2 new projects in the coming months. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work with other neighborhoods who submitted their traffic calming petitions years ago.”

Neighbors, please rest reassured that we will do all in our power to push for a speedier resolution of this important safety matter that contributes to the quality of life of those directly affected.

3 – Updates – Ward 7 Street Projects and timeline: James Ave, Randy Ln, Charity Street, Village Green & Saratoga

We were fortunate to have the attention of DPW Engineer, Laura Wheelock, Senior Transportation Planner, Nicole Losch and Public Information Manager Robert Goulding as well as their support staff. I want to thank them all for taking the time to come down to our neighborhoods to assess and report on a timely manner about next steps on some issues. Please click on link below for the full report. It is important to note that weather or urgent issues can disturb timelines. The needed follow up work on James Avenue has been captured and reported, Nicole will follow up. Thank you to all the neighbors we encountered along the way going around the neighborhoods.

Link: Short term Plan for ward 7 street projects

4 – Starr Farm Dog Park Public Meeting 9/17 at 4:30 pm.

I do not represent people of ward 4 but I am a city councilor who loves the New North end and its people. I received and followed up on several emails in regard to how the dog park may be diminishing the quality of life of certain residents. Personally, I think the best alternative to resolve this matter is to think about the relocation of the dog part in a non-residential area such as Ethan Allen Homestead where dog owners can easily access the park via the greenway, or by car. At the meeting, the City will present action steps geared to minimize the impacts of having the dog park in residential area… We hope to see you there on September 17th at 4:30 pm.

Thank you!
Such an honor to be at your service!
Ali

Ali’s Corner: The Burlington Resolution Relating to Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Host Ali Dieng is joined by Stephanie Seguino, UVM Economics Professor, and Mark Hughes, Executive Director of Justice For All, to discuss the Burlington Resolution Relating to Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Burlington prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive community. As the largest and most diverse city in the State of Vermont, we have the opportunity to be leaders in highlighting the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, not just through our words but through our actions.

This resolution is an important step in this direction. It creates a senior position in city government to guide and support city leaders and departments in becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive internally, and across all that we do in Burlington. It also creates a committee of the city council focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, a committee that will be tasked with exploring the idea of a standing commission on these critical issues.

Our city, no doubt, faces many challenges, but we have learned that the diversity of our community is one of our greatest strengths. We cannot take this diversity for granted. We must work diligently to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity, age, ability or country of origin, is fully included in the fabric of our community life, and this must be done with great intention and focus.

To read the resolution, please click HERE.

Burlington, VT City Hall

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resolution

I am extremely pleased and honored to be able to introduce a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resolution at tonight’s City Council meeting. Please find resolution linked below.

https://go.boarddocs.com/vt/burlingtonvt/Board.nsf/files/BDYN795E8374/$file/City%20Council%20%E2%80%93%20Racial%20Equity%2C%20Diversity%20and%20Inclusion.pdf

Burlington prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive community. As the largest and most diverse city in the State of Vermont, we have the opportunity to be leaders in highlighting the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, not just through our words but through our actions.

This resolution is an important step in this direction. It creates a senior position in city government to guide and support city leaders and departments in becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive internally, and across all that we do in Burlington. It also creates a committee of the city council focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, a committee that will be tasked with exploring the idea of a standing commission on these critical issues.

Our city, no doubt, faces many challenges, but we have learned that the diversity of our community is one of our greatest strengths. We cannot take this diversity for granted. We must work diligently to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity, age, ability or country of origin, is fully included in the fabric of our community life, and this must be done with great intention and focus.

This resolution begins to develop that focus through the creation of the new position and the new committee.

Thank you to Mayor Weinberger, fellow city councilors, Mark Hughes, Stephanie Seguino, Rachel Siegel, Shay Totten and community members who worked collaboratively with me to draft and finalize this resolution. I am grateful for all the contributions and look forward to continuing to work with you going forward to make progress on these goals. It is an honor to serve our Burlington neighbors as we strive to live up to our ideals of justice and equity in Burlington and beyond

Burlington dept of public works

Water Is Worth It

Click here to see the video on Facebook

Substantial amounts of work take place behind the scenes to deliver high-quality drinking water to Burlington residents. Our licensed water professionals, who include mathematicians, chemists, physicians, biologists, customer care professional and more, are on the front lines to treat waste water, storm water and sewage before sending highly treated water into Lake Champlain. Next time you turn on your faucet, think of the skilled professionals who stand behind every drop. Burlington has a long history of providing residents, visitors and businesses with reliable access to clean water, at the tap and in the lake. We need to ensure this legacy continues, and we need to lead the state and nation with innovative programs.

Voters of Burlington are conscious of their health, the health of children and pets, and the health of our lake and planet. This is the reason why people of Burlington voted overwhelmingly with over 90% of the vote to approve the $30 million utility bond (storm water and waste water bond) at our last town meeting day. This bond will increase the water bill at no more than $5 per month for regular single family residences using 600 cubic feet of water a month.

Their votes will allow the Water Division under the leadership of Meghan Moir (Director of the Water Division) to do much more, including the following:

• Enhancing and maintaining existing underground water distribution systems
• Upgrading computerized systems to be smart systems for accuracy and efficiencies
• Innovations and education that will meet regulatory state policies
• Minimizing summer season beach closures due to microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic treatments, wildlife or more
• Minimizing (CSO) Combined Sewage Overflow
• Maintaining optimal water chemistry
• Regularly monitoring and inspecting machinery, meter, gauges, and operating condition
• And much, much more….

To do the work listed above, a consultant, Raftelis, was hired to conduct a third party organizational assessment and compensation survey for Water Division staff. The scope of work included addressing existing workload allocation, the potential for adding staff resources and evaluating existing leadership staff compensation compared to other utilities. Based on the recommendations from Raftelis, we should expected an additional water fee increase in phase1 of about $1.70 monthly for regular single family residences.

Please note that the Burlington city council alongside the Mayor, Department of Public Works, and Water Division Director are looking into cost mitigation for vulnerable populations. Evaluation of affordability programs including discounts, rebates, plumbing assistance, residential storm water credits and service line (water and wastewater) and storm water loans and grants. I know some city councilors who vigilantly want Burlington to stay affordable for all residents. We will keep an eye on the developments of evaluating affordability programs.

Thank you, Megan, for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me about your work for the great city of Burlington.

May 4th 2019 Build-Your-Own Rain Barrel Workshop:
Location at DPW Garage- 645 Pine Street
More info and sign up: www.rethinkrunoff.org

Ali’s Corner: Vermont Senior Citizens

Like the whole state, Burlingtonians are aging. 1 in 4 Vermonters are age 60+. By 2030 it will be 1 in 3. We all have this in common – we are all aging. So, how can we make Burlington a place where WE ALL can age well?

Host Ali Dieng is joined by Cindy Wight, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront; Gail Moreau, Former Executive Director at the Heineberg Community Senior Center and current Board Chair; and Jane Knodell, Former City Councilor and City Rep at the Heineberg Community Senior Center Study Committee.