BURLINGTON, Vermont (AP) – Vermont’s largest city wants to increase surveillance of a homeless encampment on city property, including hiring managers to oversee it.
On Wednesday, the city released a draft RFP to oversee and manage the Sears Lane camp in the city’s south end.
WCAX-TV reports that the arrangement will only last until September 2022, but the draft plan calls for further development of the site, including regular monitoring, clean-up, tent pitches, running water, bathrooms and a WIFI access point. There would also be regular food donations. The current wooden structures would be phased out as they are believed to present a fire hazard.
âBasically he would run a campground that would be an option for people struggling with the current housing crisis,â said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger.
Some neighbors are upset by the proposal. Neighbor Chris Flanagan, owner of a neighboring property, said he found the idea unacceptable.
âI walk around here every morning. There are syringes – needles – garbage everywhere, âFlanagan said. “We pay $ 12,000 a year in taxes here and that’s what we get for it.”
Brian Pine, director of the Burlington Community and Economic Development Office, said no one believed this would be a permanent solution to the housing crisis.
âThe idea is that there will be a basic level of services provided, but in reality the objective is to obtain permanent housing,â he said.
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