BBA Committee Report from Afi Ahmadi, BBA Board Member and Chair of the Waterfront Action Group:
The Waterfront Action Group (WAG) of the BBA returned from its summer hiatus in October and immediately identified a number of initiatives and areas of focus. First, the group has had ongoing discussions regarding the apparent lack of organized promotion and tourism of the waterfront and its offerings. The group had an informative meeting with Steve Cook, the Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, about the State’s efforts and available resources in connection with this topic. As a result, WAG has created a tourism subcommittee, with the hopes of developing both a strategy and content which the State can then use to improve promotional efforts.
The group continues to monitor the progress of many of the high-profile projects taking place on the waterfront, including the Burlington Harbor Marina, the Moran Plant, the Sailing Center, and the parking lot at ECHO. Noelle McKay, Director of the Burlington Community and Economic Development Office, joined the group to discuss the status of these important projects, as well her office’s role with regards to each. The group also had it’s annual visit from Jesse Bridges, Director of the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department, who provided an update and answered questions on projects such as the bike path development, the Perkins Pier Marina, and the Waterfront North Site improvements.
Finally, the group is taking a close look at how it can become more involved in addressing lake quality issues. WAG has recognized that the water quality of the lake will have a profound impact on all of the businesses on the waterfront, and is considering undertaking an advocacy initiative. At its March meeting, the group will focus on this topic, and has reached out to local experts to join the discussion and to further educate WAG on this critical issue.
Interested in getting involved in WAG? E-mail BBA’s Administrative Coordinator, Jack