This first public vote by South Burlington for City Center Tax Increment Financing in 2016 approved $5,000,000. This financing augments already received federal funding to build the first two projects:
- the reconstruction of Market Street, and
- the development of City Center Park—Dumont Parcel
The Reconstruction of Market Street
This project, now under construction, reconstructs Market Street—from Dorset Street to Hinesburg Road—as a downtown main street. It has been planned for pedestrian, bike, and vehicular traffic.
City Center Park - Phase 1 (Dumont Parcel)
City Center Park is now a publicly accessible passive recreation space – with trails, focal areas, minimal furniture, discoverable mysteries and sufficient infrastructure to allow for the enjoyment and protection of tributaries to the Potash Brook and associated wetlands and buffers.
Acquired in 1975, this 7.65 acre wooded parcel of land, had no formal signage or infrastructure and did not have easy access. It is just south of the largest parcel in the TIF District and tucked into the Iby/Barrett Street neighborhood and abuts San Remo Drive. Once Phase II of the park is completed, there will be a direct pedestrian and bicycle connection from City Center (Market Street and Garden Streets) to the Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School and South Burlington High School complex.
Read the Public Notice which provides information regarding the ballot question.
Why did the 2016 bond vote cover Market Street and the City Center Park (Dumont Parcel) and not other projects?
Out of all the City Center projects, these two projects are the most likely to have completed engineering and permitting and be ready for construction in 2017.
Where is City Center Park Phase I?
Phase I of the City Center Park is located on 7.65 acres of land purchased by the City from the Dumont Construction Company in the 1970s. This parcel is adjacent to and south of Tributary 3 of the Potash Brook. The park is north of Barrett Street and west of Iby Street. When City Center is built, the park will have main entrances from City Center, a secondary entrance at Barrett Street and a neighborhood entrance from Iby Street. Currently the parcel is accessed from Iby Street.
Who maintains the City Center Park?
The City’s Department of Public Works maintains the new Park. The design process included Public Works throughout to ensure that materials and design support a long life cycle, access, and durability. This park is the first City park with a long term invasive plant management plan.
Where is Market Street?
Market Street runs from Dorset Street to Hinesburg Road. It is opposite the main entrance to the University Mall and between the Blue Mall and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
What is the Market Street Project?
It is a full reconstruction of the roadway including upgraded utilities, a full streetscape on both sides of the roadway and improved water quality features such as a landscaped naturalistic stormwater pond with walking trails. The elevation of the roadway will change by several feet in order to adequately collect stormwater.
Why were the two projects voted on together in 2016?
The City had to incur debt by March of 2017. Whichever project is fully permitted and ready for construction will be undertaken.
Why does the City Center Park Phase I cost so much?
The City Center Park parcel is in an environmentally sensitive area adjacent to a stream and inclusive of many wetlands. It is also an opportunity for many people to enjoy and learn about these areas, however, many visitors can erode and stress natural areas. Bridges, trails, water quality treatments and exploration areas are being engineered to protect, support and enhance the natural features and water quality while providing durable, safe, and universal access.
What funding sources are being used to pay for Market Street?
Market Street is funded by two Federal earmarks (a total of $5,486,000), Impact Fees collected from developers City-wide, and if approved by the voters, TIF District Financing (debt serviced by Increment). If increment is not available in a given year to service debt, the City may use City Center Reserve funds and or Impact Fees.
What funding sources are being used to pay for City Center Park Phase I?
The City Center Park project is being funded using Impact Fees collected from developers (at least 5%) and the proposed TIF District Financing (debt serviced by Increment - not more than 95%).
When did the first expenditure of debt funds take place?
The first expenditure of debt funds took place in 2017.
What happened when the vote passed?
The City incurred debt by March of 2017, thus retaining the status of the TIF District for City Center. A $5,000,000 bond has been secured from the State of Vermont Municipal Bond Bank for Market Street and the City Center Park (Dumont Parcel). City Center Park (Dumont Parcel) and Market Street are now under construction, with City Center Park open to visitors.
Did the debt approved in 2016 (the 2017 TIF Bond) increase my property taxes? How do we pay for the debt?
No. The debt payments for this phase will be covered by the existing City Center reserve fund, and increasing tax increment financing (TIF) revenues. Additionally, there is a federal grant for the Market Street project.
Learn more about TIF Districts on the TIF District 101 page...
What was the 2016 Vote?
On November 8, 2016, voters supported Phase 1 of the City Center public infrastructure development:
City Councilwoman Helen Riehle, City Manager Kevin Dorn, and CFO Tom Hubbard shared information on City Center Phase I—Infrastructure on CCTV Channel 17. Watch now.
Ballot Question — Article 1
Shall the City Council be authorized to pledge the credit of the City to secure indebtedness, to borrow, or to make direct payments of TIF increment for the purpose of funding one or more public infrastructure or capital improvements and related costs attributable to projects serving the City Center Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, specifically:
(a) Market Street Reconstruction:
(a section of roadway between Dorset Street and Hinesburg Road
inclusive of all intersections)
to include streetscape, stormwater treatment, utility, lighting
and transportation upgrades;
(b) City Center Park Phase 1 (Dumont Parcel):
(site improvements to create a natural area park)
to include pathways, water quality improvements, landscaping,
wetland protection, learning and play exploration areas and signage;
(c) Related Costs: reimbursement for TIF eligible related costs incurred by
the City for the creation, implementation and administration of the
City Center TIF District;
in a total principal amount not to exceed Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000)
(to date, the total City Center TIF tax increment financing debt approved is $0), and to make direct payments, issue bonds, notes or make inter-fund loans for such purposes, with the understanding that tax increment from the properties within the City Center TIF District shall be pledged and appropriated for the payment of such indebtedness or direct costs of the improvements?