South Burlington hopes to bring it’s city center project one step closer to reality come November.
The city mapped out a plan to pay for the vision, but it needs voter approval.
A downtown city center has been a dream of the South Burlington community for more than thirty years.
“These are really the true initial steps of public infrastructure that will lead to that outcome,” says South Burlington City Manager, Kevin Dorn.
The city has a plan for what it will look like and now it has a plan on how to pay for the first phase of the project, which includes the city center park and the reconstruction of Market Street.
“To do those projects we need to get the approval of the voters to incur debt,” says Dorn. He says the city is planning on putting a $5 million bond on the November ballot.
Voters are being asked to approve TIF revenue, or Tax Increment Financing.
The expectation is the revenue generated from the project would ultimately pay off the debt to to build the project.
“As city center builds up we will gain additional tax revenue in that build out and those tax dollars would naturally come with that build out and will pay for the public infrastructure,” says Dorn.
He says the city also has reserve funds that could help fund the project.
“There could be some additional amount that a tax payer would have to pay, but we do not anticipate that because we do expect the TIF district revenues will materialize as the area is built out.”
Fortunately you don’t have to look far to get a sample of what the city center will look like.
“We like to look at the Trader Joes, and Pier One, and Healthy Living projects as the beginning of city center, and it truly is, but the build out is very exciting,” says Dorn.
The hope is to break project ground and reconstruct Market Street in 2017.
The city is currently taking public input on projects relating to the city center and the November 8th ballot.