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Tensions between businesses and homeless after park closure

August 28, 2019 GMT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The closure of a Burlington, Vermont, park is causing tension as homeless people relocate to the city’s downtown.

Burlington’s City Hall Park closed in July for a one-year rehabilitation project.

Some business owners say there are more problems involving homeless people, including behavior they describe as disruptive.

Others say more people are sitting near businesses and panhandling.

Burlington deputy police chief Jon Murad tells Vermont Public Radio it’s unclear if there’s been an actual increase in complaints or if it’s just a perception.

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Some homeless people say they feel Burlington is trying to get rid of them and that only a small portion of their community is causing problems.

A group wants Burlington to ban off-premise alcohol sales after 10 p.m., as well as portable seating and sleeping downtown.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net

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