The Burlington City Council moved ahead Monday with plans to renovate City Hall Park by approving a $4.9 million contract with a construction company.
The City Council voted 10-2 to accept a bid for the project from S.D. Ireland.
Mayor Miro Weinberger told the council that the start of construction season is approaching, the city needed to approve the contract now, or risk incurring additional costs.
Opponents of the projecthave fought plans to remove many of the park’s trees. A judge recently denied a motion by a community group, Keep The Park Green, to block the project from going forward
One opponent accuses city officials of neglecting the park.
“Ever since they proposed this, they stopped doing the rehabilitation in the park that they should have been doing every year after the farmer’s market,“ Barbara Alsop said. “As a result, the soil is compacted. As a result, the trees are damaged. That’s all on this administration because they didn’t do what needed to be done.“
Alsop also claims the money earmarked for the project has already been allocated for other purposes — a claim Weinberger says is not true.
“I think Burlingtonians are getting a good deal here,“ he said. “We are getting a park worth over $5 million, and property taxes are only paying for about $1.25 million of that. We’ve worked hard to keep this something we can afford.“
The project is slated to begin this spring. The park will be closed through next winter. The earliest projected date for completion is July 2020.