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February 25, 2009

Stimulating Burlington

Wondering what that stimulus package might buy for Burlington? According to the United States Conference of Mayors report on the stimulus, Burlington has submitted a mere $145 million worth of projects for consideration in the stimulus package.

Check out the list of proposed projects at The projects named range from the mundane (building bus shelters, renovating lights in city parking garages) to the spectacular (building a friggin' funicular to the waterfront).

I'm not an economics major, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that the city will actually get about 3% of that $145 million. Will that ugly median on Main St. up in the Davis Center area get transformed into something other than an eyesore? Will we be riding around on a new fleet of clean-burning CCTA buses in a few years? Will the Moran Plant be redeveloped into an ice rink/climbing center? I'm kind of rooting against that last one actually — I know the Moran Plant currently looks like it got a bomb dropped on it, but it makes for some damn cool photographs.

There's no doubt that conservative Burlingtonians (both of them) will decry all these projects as nothing but "pork," and they may have a point — but come on, riding a funicular down to the lake would be pretty cool.


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James Kleimann

I went to a meeting at City Hall on Monday night (mostly a discussion on new zoning and building height banter for UVM and Champlain) and Mayor Kiss had mentioned that they would like to see $53 million to renovate the schools. Others on the council had discussed improving the sewer system, but of course, the Moran plant was also a point of discussion.

But yes, Tyler, a funicular would be unbelievable. I just don't want to pay for it.

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