The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Burke Community Visit process on September 19th; all community members of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward.
On August 15th over 80 Burke community members came together to set core priorities for future action in town. They reviewed 21 ideas that were gathered from focus forums in July with residents at the One Burke Community Visit Day, and chose priorities designed to boost the community and advance the town’s economy into the future. At the end of the session, participants signed up as volunteers to advance these new initiatives.
On September 19th, these new task forces will meet in the Burke Town School to frame out action plans and work with a resource team of federal, state, business, and non-profit leaders to identify next steps and resources that can help them succeed. The new task force groups will work to:
- Expand Education Facilities
- Revitalize Village Infrastructure
- Improve Village Traffic and Pedestrian Safety, and Build a Trail Connecting East and West Burke
All members of the Burke Community are invited to participate in this third phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Burke. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 19th from 6:30 – 9:00pm at the Burke Town School at 3293 Burke Hollow Road in West Burke.
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing rural Vermont communities. For more information, contact Jenna at 802-225-6091 or [email protected] or go to: http://vtrural.org/programs/Community-Visits.
Burke Resource Meeting
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
Burke Town School
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Here’s more about the three priorities identified for action:
Proving that those who live, work and raise their families in a community are best qualified to understand its needs and potential, Burke community members whittled down a list of 21 issues through discussion, reasoned arguments and thoughtful reflection. In the end, voting with red and blue stickers, over 70 participants chose three action ideas that offer opportunities to enhance existing resources, and to strengthen the town through exciting new ventures. Residents concluded the August 15th meeting by signing up for Task Forces in the selected areas.
Expand Education Facilities
Burke residents are proud of their strong school system, dedicated educators and volunteers, and active and engaged administration. However, many feel that new and expanded facilities are needed to ensure Burke children have what they need to learn and engage in constructive year-round activities. Facilities needs include a gym, middle school classroom space, and a location for a full-day preschool program. A task force could come together to identify and quantify the needs, build a plan for redevelopment, and connect with the community at large to share the opportunity new space could provide, and gauge feasibility for funding and development.
Revitalize Village Infrastructure
Burke residents are eager to see village revitalization, new businesses including restaurants and bars in their village centers, and increased access to affordable housing. However, water and sewer capacity limit the ability to grow in East Burke and deeply undermine the restoration of historic buildings in West Burke. An Infrastructure task force could form to work with residents and outside experts to develop a comprehensive plan for water, sewer, and resiliency improvements, inventorying needs and costs, and identifying funding sources and experts to advance infrastructure goals.
Improve Village Traffic and Pedestrian Safety and Build a Trail Connecting East and West Burke
In recent years, visitors have flocked to East Burke to enjoy Kingdom Trails, Burke Mountain, and the scenic beauty of the region. These visitors have brought with them economic opportunity and growth, but also challenges around traffic and pedestrian safety of residents and visitors alike. A task force could come together to explore traffic calming techniques, enforcement options, improved sidewalks and crosswalks, alternative paths, bike lanes, and strategic signage in both villages. The group could work with residents and outside experts to develop a comprehensive pedestrian and bike infrastructure plan to inventory what is needed, explore the cost, and seek out funding and technical assistance opportunities to implement the plan. This Task Force could also explore options, determine feasibility, and identify and secure funding and technical assistance to build a path or trail that connect West and East Burke to improve physical connection between village centers and connect Burke Town School with all three villages.