Daily Buzz | Vine Brook Riverwalk to Undergo More Feasibility Work
And proposed Winn View Heights II development conversation continued to June 12
So far, about 450 of us have filled out the town’s communication survey. I know we’ve got more responses in us, so here’s another reminder to get that off your plate! It really will help the town upgrade its communication strategy.
The Recreation Department summer program brochure is out and registration is nigh; here’s your reminder to pick your and your kids’ preferred programs now so you’re ready to click “GIMMEIT” TONIGHT at 6PM.
Riverwalk at Vine Brook
Remember that survey we advertised a couple of months ago? A group of Masters students from Northeastern were studying the feasibility of (and demand for) multi-use green spaces in Burlington, specifically over in the Vine Brook area near Middlesex Turnpike, Mall Road, and Blanchard Road. They presented their findings to an enthusiastic Select Board last night. Here are some highlights:
Most of the ~250 respondents lived, but did not work, in Burlington.
The majority of respondents prioritized walking for exercise/recreation, placing the Riverwalk idea higher in popularity over a bikeway.
Traffic on Middlesex Turnpike has increased 24% since 2007.
There’s basically no bicycle infrastructure in Burlington, and only about a third of our streets have sidewalks.
These projects might cost up to $3-6 million, but there are grants and other funding options to explore—including the use of a land trust.
The Economic Development office will run with this plan, looking into the feasibility of its different components. This project would tie in nicely with the re-visioning work that is currently happening in that area, including the construction of sidewalks on Blanchard Road via $500,000 in state money and the rezoning initiative the town has been working on with Brovitz Design.
Here are some other things that happened at the Select Board Meeting:
Vote in favor of lighting up the Common green for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 7-13.
Vote in favor of providing a letter of support for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant to cover most of the cost of the Sustainability Action Plan to support sustainability in the areas of natural resources, energy, buildings, transportation, and public health. This plan would be developed in collaboration with the community and build on some existing plans such as the Vine Brook assessment from last year and the draft Master Plan for the town. We’ve actually been an MVP community for a while and have availed ourselves of assessment and planning grants in the future. This would be a continuation of this work.
Word on the street is that the PFAS filters at Mill Pond are in the testing phase. Because of this work we secured an award from the Clean Water Act Trust, which will allow us to borrow up to $15 million at a very low rate. This won’t be finalized until 2026, though, and they’ve agreed to lend us money in the interim—the $4.2 million that was in our bond anticipation note at 0%, as well as the cash we’ve spent to date.
There will be a new livery provider in Burlington, providing services in a larger vehicle than is allowed by ride share services.
As anticipated, the public hearing regarding the proposed Winn View Heights II development was opened and then immediately continued last night. In his commentary, Chair Mike Runyan observed that the bylaws requiring 14 days’ notice online and 7 days’ detailed notice to abutters were more strict than any other, saying the bylaw “seems intent on delaying and obstructing affordable housing opportunities for Burlington residents.” See more background on this proposal here.
Today in Burlington
Meetings and Events
8:00 AM - Ways & Means Subcommittee will discuss warrant articles 4, 5, 19, 20, 21, and 23. (Town Hall)
10:30 AM - Current Events Discussion Group at the library
4:00 PM - Pokémon club for grades K-5 at the library
6:00 PM - Shawsheen Budget Subcommittee will discuss adjustments to the capital budget. (Shawsheen Tech)
6:30 PM - General Bylaw Review Committee will debrief the meetings they’ve been having with various Town Boards about the article they’re working on with respect to allowing remote access to meetings and waiving the in-person quorum requirement. They’ll also talk about future bylaw articles around the publication of legal notices in online (not just print) publications and filling vacancies in elected seats. (Virtual)
7:00 PM - Board of Health - CANCELED
7:00 PM - School Committee will continue looking at MASC (Massachusetts Association of School Committees) policies, next year’s school calendar, and the BECC (Burlington Early Childhood Center, the integrated preschool housed at the high school) Planning for Success document. They’ll also hold a public hearing to approve the 23/24 school year budget. (BHS and virtual)
7:00 PM - Shawsheen School Committee will review reports from the policy and budget subcommittees and take several votes: last day of school; School Improvement Plan; Superintendent Evaluation Tool; and more. (Shawsheen Tech or watch on YouTube)
Sports and Activities
Yesterday was a winning day in Burlington sports:
Softball: 6-1 against Wilmington
Baseball: 15-6 over Wilmington
Girls’ Track: 75-58 over Wakefield
Boys’ Track: 97-39 against Wakefield
Boys’ Tennis: 4-1 over Wakefield
The sports calendar is acting wonky, but expect a volleyball matchup in Woburn today, with JV playing at 4:00 and varsity at 5:15. I think there might also be Unified Basketball at 3:00; unsure if this is a game or practice.
Have a great day, Burlington! See you tomorrow!