Wilmington/Readsboro get approval for sidewalk grants
by Jack Deming
Feb 24, 2014 | 15603 views | 2 2 comments | 96 96 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WILMINGTON- Phase one is complete in the pursuit of new, more business-and feet-friendly sidewalks in Wilmington and Readsboro.

Last week Wilmington received a notice of approval for a $25,000 VTrans Alternatives Planning Grant, which will allow the town to hire an engineer to map out new walkways, redesign old ones, and design safe bump-outs and crosswalks. Readsboro was approved for a $300,000 grant for a complete overhaul of over 4,000 feet of town sidewalks.

Wilmington will supply a 50% match through the town matching grant line item, bringing the total of the planning grant to $50,000. The town applied for the grant in October, using the town plan, the Conway School master plan, and the Arnett and Muldrow presentation from last summer, to showcase the town’s needs. The town is also in the process of applying for a downtown transportation grant through the VT downtown program, for up to $100,000, also to go toward the project.

The town is looking at replacing the sidewalks on North and South Main Street extending to their current location, while on East Main Street, new sidewalks on either side will run to the Route 9 bridge near the Viking Motel. On West Main Street, the town plans to develop a crosswalk at Reardon’s Crossing, and build new sidewalks that extend past Folly Foods and Wilmington Candle Company to the Wilmington Inn.

According to Wilmington economic development specialist Gretchen Havreluk, the project is necessary for addressing safety concerns, as well as helping businesses. “Foremost, what we stated in the grant, was our safety concerns,” said Havreluk. “There are a lot of uneven sidewalks. This will make for a more walkable community, which would also integrate into potentially more sales for our local businesses.”

Havreluk also said the town would be open to including trees, furniture, and other additions to the new sidewalk designs. While the project will take place in phases, Havreluk said the town is hoping the plans are put together by summer.

The state gave out a total of $2 million in grant money through the Transportation Alternatives Program, and Readsboro got a big chunk. The town will only be required to provide a 20% match of their $300,000 grant, equaling $60,000, while the state will supply $240,000. This will allow the town to construct 4,016 linear feet of new sidewalks on Main Street, East Main Street, School Street, and Tunnel Street.

According to town administrator Mark Shea, this is just one pillar in the town’s plan to revitalize. “This project took a lot of time and planning,” said Shea. “The selectboard is looking proactively into economic development, and seeing what Readsboro needs to become a thriving community again.”

Throughout the next year, the town will put out bids for an engineer to design the new sidewalks and eventually a contractor to construct them. Shea said the sidewalks will be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and will make mobility throughout Readsboro much easier and safer. “It will make the village a safer place to walk, live, and recreate,” said Shea.

Shea says the town is projected to begin the physical replacement of sidewalks next spring.
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Billie Promack
February 27, 2014
Our country is just a crumbling in the wind, in need of repairs to our major infrastructure. Glad to hear such great news to happen soon, I'm not from this area but recently moved to Stamford, VT. I like the towns; as they are small, and its a great place to raise a family! I moved here to get away from the city as I am originally from New York, it is just a mess on the roads and bridges. Its pretty much the same everywhere you go, so Here is to the upcoming construction to better these small Vermont towns!
thomas veto
February 24, 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to Mark Shea Town Administration of Readsboro. He worked so diligently to obtain this SIDEWALK GRANT for the town!! The hope is that this WILL be the beginning of a plan to re-vitalize our Town and make it the thriving community it can be. Tom Veto

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