Burlington rejects YMCA proposal for Moran plant

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(Host) Burlington voters spoke out strongly against a plan to relocate the YMCA to the city’s waterfront. A referendum on whether the city should sell the old Moran Generating Station on the waterfront to the Greater Burlington YMCA was defeated: 4,743 to 2,693.

The plan called for the building to be sold for a dollar and to give the Y a 99-year lease at the site. The YMCA and the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center would bear the estimated $10 million expense for remodeling the old building.

Brendan Keleher is Burlington’s chief administrative officer:

(Keleher) “It’s a real estate redevelopment and real estate redevelopment projects have a lot of complex aspects to it. And it’s very difficult in a simple question to convey all of that information, the depth of the work that has been done behind it, etc. So it’s tough to take complex project and boil it down to one simple question and expect the results to indicate a full understanding of the project.”

(Host) Keleher says he expects the City Council will listen to the results of the non-binding referendum as it considers the project’s future.

Burlington voters also rejected a local sales tax.

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