Project Update & Next Steps

Project Update
The time has come to move the Turntable Park concept forward. The city hired the landscape architect team of Jean Vissering of East Montpelier and Robert White of Norwich, Vermont to develop a design plan for the historic Turntable Park. The city is also in the process of incorporating the site back into the Stone Cutters Way lease area, after which it will become the city’s responsibility to maintain. The design project is being funded entirely with city funds. Funding to construct the park is expected to come from other sources, one of which is may be come from the Designated Downtown Sales Tax Rebate benefits associated with the construction of the River Station Office Building.

Next Steps
Contrary to a Times Argus article on November 18, 2002, the City Council did not approve the Turntable Park design or budget. This item was on the council's November 11, 2002 agenda, but no new action was taken. The council did, however, agree to proceed with an application to the Downtown Board for the sales tax reallocation at some point in the future to help fund this project.
In order to qualify for Designated Downtown Sales Tax Rebate dollars from the River Station project for construction of the park, a design must be developed and approved before the River Station Office Building is completed. That, and the fact that applications must be submitted to the Downtown Board by the 1st Monday of each month, are major factors driving the timeline on this project.

The applications to the Downtown Board for the Sales Tax Reallocation and for Transportation Funds have been submitted to the Downtown Board. The board will meet on Monday, March 24, 2003 to review them.

Turntable in Spring 1957

Turntable on the Granite Railroad
March 25, 2003 - Design Review Committee
This scaled back phase 1 plan will be reviewed by the DRC on Tuesday evening, March 25, 2003. The meeting begins at 5:45 p.m. This will be an informal review to get preliminary feedback before bringing it before the City Council the next night.

March 26, 2003 - City Council
The plan will be on the City Council's March 26, 2003 agenda for review and further direction.

We still need to fully explore the short and long-term implications of the proposed design, such as construction costs, public safety issues, and long-term maintenance responsibilities. If the Turntable Park design is approved conceptually by the City Council, it will proceed through the local permit process on to the Development Review Board approval.