Wednesday February 13, 2013

WILMINGTON -- The Long Term Community Recovery Steering Committee met on Monday, Feb. 11 to discuss its mission statement, which it hopes to get approved by the Selectboard on Feb. 20.

The mission statement reads, "The Long Term Community Recovery Steering Committee will be the support and entry point for recovery project volunteers to access town approval. Acting as a central clearing house, the LTCRS Committee will communicate the progress of existing and future recovery projects and regularly post reports. The LTCRS Committee will provide clear and functional ideas to assist our Selectboard in the coordination of a cohesive recovery plan. The LTCRS Committee will also guide our current volunteer efforts to deliver a solid starting point for professional planners."

"It should be a slam dunk at this point," said Town Manager Scott Murphy.

The committee was formed around November. It has been a topic at Selectboard meetings as to just what the committee will be responsible for.

After Tropical Storm Irene, when FEMA came to assist with projects, it had come to the attention of the Selectboard that, "there was no group guiding them ... asking about (project) statuses," said Murphy.

On Monday, Mary Wright was named chairwoman of the committee, which approved the selection by unanimous vote.

"If there's a drive for these committees to become official, let's become official," said Wright.

The LTCRS committee will meet on the second Monday in March with reports from different groups in town. The information will be about projects that groups currently are working on. It will focus on projects' progress, hold-ups, frustrations and goals for the near future, members agreed.

"Once we get a charge, we should make a list of goals," said Wright. "There's still a lot of loose ends all over the place."

One thing the LTCRS committee agreed upon was the need to clarify some things about the downtown designation, Wilmington Works. Residents have been confused about this, too.

"As they get going, (the downtown designation group) will take a lot of the efforts and it will be under their wing," said Murphy. "That process is starting now, but is taking a long time."

Once Wilmington Works' application is accepted by the Vermont Downtown Program group, the LTCRS committee may not need to be as concerned with projects in the downtown designation, which will focus on the area known as the Historic Review District Village.

The area's coverage will go from School Street to the Old Red Mill Inn and includes restaurant and bar, Apres Vous, as well as the Pettee Memorial Library.

The downtown designation group to be formed will range from nine to 11 members. It will be a board of advisors and will include at least two people designated by the Wilmington Selectboard, two from the Wilmington Fund, one from the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, two business owners and two property owners. There will also be a program director.

The downtown designation group may take over various projects from different committees that have been formed.

"It's entirely possible these committees will morph into a Wilmington Works sub-group," said Murphy.

Members of the LTCRS committee discussed how frequently it should meet in the future.

"I think we only need to meet every month," said Murphy. "Unless something comes up."

Most of the committee thought that 5 p.m. on Mondays would work best for all involved, when it comes to scheduled, warned meetings.

By meeting on the second Monday of every month, the committee would get the chance to hear the Selectboard on the first Wednesday of the month and discuss goals with the board. Then it could get back to the board on the third Wednesday of the month, when the Selectboard meets again.

Wright has experience with working on the Wilmington Beautification Committee, of which she is still a member.

On Monday night, Wright mentioned her concern over informing the public on the roles each committee and board are responsible for.

"Somehow, being able to disseminate information to the general public, some kind of organization dissemination, ‘This is who's working on this. This is who's working on that.' I think that's the type of things people are looking for in this town," she said.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.