BRATTLEBORO -- A committee that is looking at the proposals for the Archery Building is almost done with its work and is getting ready to pass the plans on to the Selectboard for a final decision.
The Archery Building Committee met Monday afternoon to go over the two submitted plans for the building, which sits on a small park owned by the town on the Connecticut River near the Hinsdale Bridge.
Town Manager Barbara Sondag said the committee members went through the plans to make sure they conformed to the request for proposals that the town sent out when looking for ideas for using the approximately 5,000-square-foot building at 26 Depot St.
The committee is going to make comments on the two proposals, but will not make a recommendation on which is better suited for the space.
Sondag said that decision will be entirely up to the Selectboard members, who could receive the proposals and comments before their next scheduled meeting on Nov. 6.
"I hope we can move quickly on this," Sondag said. "They are both good and interesting projects and I hope the board can get the information it needs to make a decision."
She said in the coming days the committee members will write comments on the proposals which Sondag will gather and turn over to the Selectboard.
Fulcrum Arts, which represents potter Natalie Blake and glassblower Randi Solin, wants to put in studios and gallery space, as well as classrooms. And
Sondag said the proposals are not yet public and she would not say if either of the two projects has a stronger financial plan.
The Archery Building Committee includes Arts Committee Chairwoman Sarah Rice, Brattleboro Development Credit Corps. Executive Director Jeff Lewis, Union Station Committee Chairwoman Ronnie Johnson, Recreation and Parks Board Chairwoman Peggy DeAngelis, Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte, Planning Director Rod Francis, Planning Commission Chairman Jim Valente, Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland and Sondag.
The town has said that the tenant will be responsible for renovations and maintenance at the site.
And while details on a lease have not yet been worked out, the town appears willing to offer the space at a reduced rate to help the projects succeed.
The proposals sent in by Steinberg, and by Solin and Blake, were the only two that were submitted to the town before the Sept. 12 deadline.
Blake said she has been anxious to get an answer as she and Solin have been applying for tax credits and considering other grants to push the project forward, if they are chosen.
"Everyone is being pretty quiet about it, but we respect the process" she said. "There has not been a lot of information about it."
Blake said she applied for tax credits from the state during the last round of applications but the Brooks House received the credits that were earmarked for Windham County.
But she said it is important for project leaders to get their names out there, and if Fulcrum Arts wins the bid Blake said the group will be well-positioned for the next round of tax credits.
After the Selectboard gets the plans it will probably hold interviews with the two applicants
Steinberg also said he is waiting to hear what the next step might be.
He said he understands that the Selectboard has had a lot on its plate with the police-fire and 1 percent tax vote, the pending skatepark project, and the Brooks House and State College plan that is moving forward.
Steinberg said he is looking forward to making contact with the town to take the next step.
He also is watching grant deadlines come and go.
"The town has a lot of issues to deal with that are much bigger and thornier than the Archery Building," he said. "I'm waiting, because that is really the only thing I can do."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.