Wilmington’s historic bank building, located at the corner of South Main Street and Route 9, was destroyed by fire. The building, which had once been the home of Wilmington Savings Bank and, later, Vermont National Bank, was once one of the most prominent historical buildings in the village. At the time, the building belonged to Jacksonville resident Ken Hartman and housed his antiques business. The lot was later converted to use as a “pocket park.”
School officials met with legislators regarding a bill in the House that would reduce the threshold for Act 68’s excess spending penalty. The move was hailed by proponents as a “cost-saving measure,” but local officials said in would be a “cost-increasing” measure for Deerfield Valley schools. Twin Valley High School Principal Frank Spencer said Wilmington and Whitingham students would face program cuts, despite the two towns’ successful work to contain costs through consolidation.
15 years ago:
The Vermont House of Representatives rejected the Senate’s plan for redistricting, after the Senate significantly altered their plan. The Senate plan would have broken up Londonderry Rep. Rick Hube’s district, adding it to three different districts. The Senate plan also created the district stretching from Stamford to Wardsboro currently represented by John Moran.
Rob Wheeler announced his candidacy for an open position on the Wilmington Selectboard. Wheeler said he wanted to make sure the wishes of Town Meeting voters, who moved $1.3 million in municipal money to the school, were carried out. He also noted there was a “growing dissatisfaction” with the leadership and management of the town, and said he wanted to restore the public’s confidence in both. Wheeler promised to be the voice of fiscal restraint. Wheeler was elected, and later became chair.
20 years ago:
The Wilmington Congregational Church was raising money for desperately needed repairs. In addition to a leak around the chimney, the church had stained glass that was separating from its leading and a vestry that was described as “dilapidated.” One of the fundraising efforts was the sale of prints of a watercolor painting of the church by John Nutting.
25 years ago:
Several local towns were deciding whether to have their emergency services dispatched by Southwest Mutual Aid of Keene, NH, or by Valley Answering Service, a local business owned by Lucille Rice. Rice said she was an answering service, but had been approached by local towns to answer the “Red Phone System” that was then in use for reporting emergencies. She said she and her staff would need some professional dispatch training, but that she had certain advantages over the Keene-based service: “I’ve lived here all my life, I know the area, I know when an alarm is false.”
30 years ago:
Dover’s Planning Commission threatened to pull the plug on a proposed “Mountain Mall Condominium and Commercial Project” unless Dover Fire Chief John Mulhall’s fire safety concerns were addressed.
Wilmington School Board members discussed building a new septic system or extending the municipal sewer line to Deerfield Valley Elementary School. Although the building was less than 20 years old, the school had already spent more than $38,000 pumping 180,000 gallons of sewage from the system – even after curtain drains had been installed. Principal Donald Finck advised that, at a cost of $316,000, extending the sewer line might be the most cost effective and environmentally sound option. Sewer commissioners, however, suggested that it could take as long as three years before a sewer line could be extended to the school.
45 years ago:
“Snowman named news editor,” declared a headline in The Deerfield Valley News. The headline referred not to Frosty, but to Robert P. Snowman, a former resident of the valley who was returning to head the news department.
Dover’s 1939 Caterpillar D6 bulldozer, which was once used to plow all the roads in town, was relegated to compacting and filling trash at the Dover landfill. The three-cylinder survivor was said to have “a peculiar clutch” and was “a beast to drive.”
Wilmington’s selectboard approved a plan to established a state-supported “bulky metallic waste” collection center in Wilmington. Wilmington would be required to supply a two-acre plot of land, and the state would comb the area for abandoned cars and other large, bulky, metallic items that would be collected and stored on the site. Anyone would be able to deposit their bulky metallic items at the site for the period of one year. After the year was up, the metal would be crushed and carted off, and the land could be sold or leased.
Wilmington’s Planning Commission was nearing the completion of their work on a municipal building code.