The approved funds will serve as a matching grant to the $5,000 given to the program by the Wilmington Fund VT, and will serve as an immediate boost while Wilmington Works continues to take shape. The town’s contribution will come from the matching grant line item in the town budget.
The selectboard also discussed pursuing the possible purchase of a Green Mountain Power building on Haystack Road as a possible relocation site for the police department, which is looking to move out of the floodplain. Town Manager Scott Murphy told the board that one possibility for purchase would be a $1 purchase in exchange for the property, which has an assessed value of $801,799 on the tax list. The property is taxed at approximately $16,000 each year, and selling the property to the town would be a tax break for Green Mountain Power.
Before any property is considered, however, feasibility studies will be conducted to find the right solution for co-relocation of the fire and police departments, as well as rescue services. The town is currently waiting on approval of a Community Development Block Grant to fund the study. Murphy said he would ask Green Mountain Power if the town could include the building as part of the study.
Vice chair Jim Burke said that it was important to remember the renovation costs that the town would encounter with any new building. Purchase of any building for these purposes would first need to be voted on by the town’s residents.
Murphy reported that the pedestrian footbridge crossing the Deerfield River will be delivered on May 15, and will have a grand opening on June 1. Murphy also announced that the Conway School for Landscaping and Design would be holding a community meeting on Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 pm, to get public input on a plan to create landscaping designs for the town, as part of downtown development.