Burlington HS renovation & stormwater project will be on November ballot

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BURLINGTON, Vt. – City council voted to approve two ballot items for the November election – a proposed $70 million renovation of Burlington High School, as well as a $30 million overhaul of the city’s wastewater and storm water collection systems.

If approved by voters, the Burlington High School renovations would address several issues, including outdated infrastructure and learning spaces. The school would also receive much-needed accessibility upgrades. Burlington High School was built in 1964, and hasn’t received major renovations since. Talks about a potential renovation have been in the works within school administration since 2008.

The renovations have been discussed for months among Burlington School District administration and city council, with several parents of students speaking out at previous meetings on the urgency of the situation.

Announced last Thursday, the proposed overhaul of the city’s wastewater and storm water collection system would reduce sewer runoff as well as improve the pollution control system.

Burlington’s main wastewater treatment plant has accidentally discharged more than 12 million gallons of partially treated storm and wastewater into Lake Champlain this year.

City council also approved a new debt policy, which will establish conditions on the amount of debt the city absorbs. The policy is intended to help the city maintain a good credit rating by minimizing net debt service and issuance costs. With the new policy, all requests for bonding by the city and Burlington School District will require “an analysis of capacity and projected debt load based on current conditions.”

Residents of Burlington will be able to vote on the proposed renovations on November 6.

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