City signs "Fee for Services" agreement with UVM

On Sept. 26, UVM President Mark Fogel and I held a joint signing ceremony to finalize a major new fee for services agreement between the City and University. The University entered into this process voluntarily and with an appreciation for the challenges the City has in maintaining essential services while trying to keep the cost of living at an affordable level.

The resulting five year agreement is a major step towards meeting these goals it calls for a total yearly payment for services of $1,103,016, which will be phased in over the first three years of the agreement. While UVM has been making payments for services to the City over the past 20 years, this new agreement marks a significant change in the way those payments are calculated and the resulting amount of the fee.

The Citys partnership with UVM on this issue is recognition that building a successful, livable, and sustainable city is a mutually-beneficial and shared effort. The agreement was unanimously supported by the Burlington City Council (with one abstention) at its Sept. 24 meeting. For more detailed information about the agreement, you can go to the press releases section of the Mayors Office section of the City website at: www.ci.burlington.vt.us/mayor/ .

On September 4, Hurricane Felix ripped through Nicaraguas Caribbean coast, destroying houses, crops, schools, and hospitals, among many other things. In Burlingtons sister city of Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, 16,000 residents (out of 40,000) were left homeless. As a result of Felix, at the main hospital in Bilwi patients were evacuated and both of its buildings collapsed. Many schools in the area had their roofs blown off and left children with no classes to attend. Even worse are conditions in the outlying Miskito communities.

Burlington residents and the City have a long history of reaching out across borders for cultural exchange, to make a difference in the world, and in unfortunate situations like the present to help others in need. As Puerto Cabezas rebuilds, we can, again, make a difference.

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