Read the Public Notice which provides information regarding the ballot question.
Why vote on these projects now?
These four projects are the last TIF projects to complete the City's planned TIF financed infrastructure. Per statute, the City has until March, 2024 to incur debt. This upcoming Town Meeting, March 2023, is the last regularly scheduled meeting that gives the Council time to make a final decision to authorize and issue debt.
Where is City Center Park Phase I?
Phase I - now City Center Park - is located on 7.65 acres of land purchased by the City from the Dumont Construction Company in the 1970s. This park is adjacent to and south of Tributary 3 of the Potash Brook (a recreation path on a boardwalk is planned to cross this wetland in a sweeping arc to Market Street and Garden Street). The park is north of Barrett Street and west of Iby Street.
When City Center Phase II is built, the park's main entrance will be on Market Street in City Center (at the stormwater ponds with the public art pieces "Gooses"), with secondary entrances from Garden street and Barrett Street and a neighborhood entrance at the end of Iby Street. Currently City Center Park is accessed from Barrett Street and Iby Street.
Where is the commercial on Market Street?
In City Center, the City controls the zoning, and the private property owners control property. City zoning requires commercial uses only on the ground floor facing Market Street between Dorset Street and Garden Street.
While the market has been uncertain in the past few years, the next project that will have a commercial space geared towards retail, Prospect Place, is in construction. The bulk of this building's ground floor will be child care, with some residential, but it is also planned to have a commercial space on the corner closest to Healthy Living. This is not the first commercial space that is newly constructed in the TIF District, as Trader Joe's and the Pier 1 buildings, the last now occupied by EMS - Eastern Mountain Sports, are in the TIF District. Within City Center, many new commercial businesses have opened since 2012, most in already constructed buildings, but several are in newer City Center buildings, but outside the TIF District: CVS, Homewood Suites, Sleep by Number and most recently, Chipotle Grill.
Catamount Run, a new development east of the Library on Market Street, just had a site plan approved by the City to build out a block with three buildings . These buildings will have commercial (estimated 18,000 square feet) on the ground floor of all the buildings facing Market Street.
Why is the Garden Street project that is actually on Williston Road called Garden Street?
When the intersections on Williston Road were studied as part of for the Environmental Assessment completed for City Center in 2010, the Midas Drive intersection was looked at as part of "Street B" - a planned street in the general vicinity of Garden Street. Together with this Street B, the improvements at these intersections were required as part of the mitigation for City Center and were included in the TIF Plan as part of Garden Street. For a detailed diagram of the many segments of Garden Street, please see the Public Information Notice.
What is the total cost of the four projects?
The estimated cost for all four projects is $26,573,388. The total debt authorization on the ballot is for $15,086,430.
|Funding: TIF District Financing
|Funding: Federal Funds (secured)
|Other funds (Grant or City Reserve)
|City Center Park
|Williston Road Streetscape
How many other TIF financed projects are there?
The City has already used TIF District financing for Market Street, City Center Park Phase II, the Public Library, City Hall and Senior Center for $10,429,962. The voters have approved an additional $4,002,550 for Garden Street and related costs. No other projects (beyond those on the March 2023 ballot) may be financed with TIF District debt.
Who will maintain the new infrastructure?
The City’s Department of Public Works will maintain the new infrastructure. They are part of the design team and reviewing plans with an eye to long-term maintenance. All planned paths/shared use paths are paved and will be plowed. VTrans will also be inspecting the new bridge as part of the state bridge inspection program.
When did the first expenditure of TIF debt funds take place?
The first expenditure of debt funds took place in 2017.
What is the status of these projects?
These projects are all in design. Garden Street and Williston Road Streetscape are in the phase where the City acquires property needed to construct the infrastructure. These are planned to be constructed in 2024 at the earliest as once right of way is acquired, final work on the construction documents still needs to occur. City Center Park Phase II is the closest to construction, planned for 2023 or 2024. The East-West Crossing walk bike bridge has to be ready to begin construction in 2025 as per the City's obligation under the RAISE federal aid grant.
Does the debt approved increase my property taxes? How do we pay for the debt?
No. The debt payments will be covered by increasing tax increment financing (TIF) revenues and the existing City Center reserve fund. Additionally, there is a federal grant for the East-West Crossing walk bike bridge and the Williston Road Streetscape project.
Learn more about TIF Districts on the TIF District 101 page...
What is the ballot question?
CITY CENTER TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT BOND
Shall general obligation bonds or notes of the City of South Burlington be issued, the full faith and credit of the City pledged, direct payments of TIF increment be made, or any combination thereof, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed, after taking into account state or federal grants-in-aid and other funds currently available to the City, Fifteen Million Eighty-Six Thousand Four Hundred Thirty and 00/100 Dollars ($15,086,430) to fund public infrastructure or capital improvements and related costs of projects in or having a nexus to the City Center Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, specifically:
(a) City Center Park (boardwalk connection): being the construction of new paved pathways and an elevated boardwalk between Barrett Street, Market Street and Garden Street and related amenities;
(b) Garden Street (Williston Road intersection realignment and intersection improvements): being realignment of the Williston Road-White Street-Midas Drive intersection and improvements to the Hinesburg Road-Patchen Road-Williston Road intersection, and related transportation and utility upgrades;
(c) Williston Road Streetscape: being the installation of a shared-use path on the south side of Williston Road between Dorset Street and Midas Drive and related utility and transportation upgrades; and
(d) East-West Crossing: being a walk-bike bridge over I-89 at Exit 14,
recognizing that tax increment revenue from taxable properties within the TIF District shall be pledged to and appropriated for payment of TIF District debt? To date, City voters have approved TIF District debt totaling $29,402,000, of which $14,430,062 has been or is eligible to be repaid in whole or in part using TIF District incremental revenue.
For more information, please see our Town Meeting Information webpage or call 802-846-4107.