Paths Passes: Voters Approve Funding to Improve Recreation Path System

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Thursday August 16, 2018

Vermonters went to the polls on Tuesday, August 14 to cast their votes in the Vermont Primary in preparation for the November general election. In addition, South Burlington residents weighed in on a local tax initiative which aims to raise nearly $3 million over the next ten years to improve the infrastructure and connectivity of the city’s system of recreation paths.

Known as Penny for Paths, the ballot question asked residents to vote to add one cent to each $100 of the annual city tax rate, for each of the next ten years, to fund an upgrade to the city’s system of recreation and bike paths which was started in the 1980s. The plan will add connections to close the gaps that exist in the current system of paths winding through the city’s neighborhoods, parks and roads. While many residents spoke out in support of the effort to create better connections throughout the city’s paths in the months leading up to the vote, some wondered why funding for the project hadn’t been included as part of this year’s city budget, and others expressed uncertainty about the financial ramifications of the upcoming City Center municipal projects being proposed by the city.

However, when it came down to the vote, residents showed strong support for the initiative; 2,952 voted in favor of Article I of the infrastructure improvement plan, and 1,083 voted against the ballot item. Article II which called for the city to bond for the funds, received 2,917 votes of approval and 1,067 votes against.