UVM and Burlington reach deal on MOU

Brandon Arcari, Assistant Breaking News Editor

UVM and Champlain College have reached a decision in a $447,890 plan to pay for Burlington infrastructure improvements.

Mayor Miro Weinberger announced Feb. 7 that UVM and Champlain College have agreed to help financially support the city infrastructure improvement plans.

The plan calls for payments from both universities to the city. These payments would address the costs of the universities’ impact on city infrastructure.

The plan suggests new infrastructure work, like redesigning University Place. The plan will be voted on Town Meeting Day, March 6.

“These milestone agreements secure new revenues for the city from UVM and Champlain College to help cover the cost of our sidewalks, roads and parks that would otherwise fall to taxpayers,” Weinberger stated in a Jan. 28 memo to City Council.

UVM will pay $386,000 annually. Champlain will pay $61,890. The total would be $447,890 annually to the city for 20 years.

Under the plan, the city would agree to not seek additional money for the first 10 years, according to the statement.

Weinberger also connected the success of Burlington to the success of both schools.

“The leaders and students of UVM and Champlain College understand that the future of their institutions are directly tied to the success of Burlington. I deeply appreciate their partnership in ensuring that Burlington’s core infrastructure is properly maintained and improved,” Weinberger stated.

These payments will total $8,957,800 to be used by the city for infrastructure projects — that’s 10 percent of the capital infrastructure investment projected in Burlington’s 10-year plan to update and improve city infrastructure.

“In making this commitment, the University recognizes the importance of maintaining affordability and a high quality experience for its students,” UVM Communications Director Enrique Corredera stated in a Feb. 7 email.

The plan also outlines a payment plan for the repair and potential redesign of University Place. The work would connect the Waterman Green to the University, according to the memo.

The first plan would be paid for entirely by the city, while the second would require UVM to commit funds for a more elaborate redesign.

“The University of Vermont and the city of Burlington have long enjoyed a mutually beneficial, interdependent relationship,” said Tom Gustafson, UVM’s vice president of university relations.

The University benefits from the success of the city, Gustafson said.

“The University will increase its long-standing financial commitment to the city, adding to the more than $1.3 million annual contribution for services provided by the city,” he said.