BURLINGTON, Vt. – The results are in for a special election in the City of Burlington, and voters approved one of two major investments that would’ve totaled a combined $60 million.

A $40 million bond vote to invest in infrastructure was approved by 57 percent of voters, but a two-thirds majority was needed to pass. Meanwhile, 70 percent of voters supported a $20 million bond to support upgrades to the city’s electric grid.

Mayor Miro Weinberger had hoped 2022 would be a big year for infrastructure projects in the Queen City, but it appears that will have to wait.

“A major reason why we brought forward this decision as a special election is because we’re already a year behind schedule as a result of the pandemic,” Weinberger said. “With the passage of the federal infrastructure bill, if we’re going to take on more new projects, those general require local matching funds and that will be a challenge. That will certainly be one of the things we’re assessing between now and Town Meeting Day.”

Had the bond been approved, Burlington’s property taxpayers would have paid an estimated $13 more per month.

“We have done a lot together over the last five years, but the needs still exist,” said Public Works Director Chapin Spencer. “We will continue turning over every leaf looking for grants, private contributions and donations to help us reinvest in our great city.”

Weinberger and other city officials were pleased by voters’ support of the $20 million bond for Burlington Electric. He called the net zero energy revenue bond “a first of its kind, fiscally-responsible opportunity” to achieve the city’s ambitious climate goals.

“Thanks to the widespread support of Burlingtonians, the City now moves even closer to our critical goal of becoming a Net Zero Energy City.”

Darren Springer, General Manager of Burlington Electric Department, said the bonds will provide a “foundational investment” for grid reliability.

“Today’s vote not only moves us toward a Net Zero Energy future but also offers a compelling financing model for other public power utilities around the nation to consider as we all look to meet our climate commitments,” he said.

Because there were only two items on the ballot for a special election held in December, voter turnout was predictably low. Just over 20 percent of registered voters hit the polls, compared to 38 percent on Town Meeting Day and 60 percent for the 2020 Presidential Election.