A top priority: Public to weigh in on possible relocation of Wilmington police, fire departments

Tuesday April 2, 2013

WILMINGTON -- A public hearing will be held on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss the possible co-relocation of the Police Department and Fire Department, using funds from the state's Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Planning Grant program, created after Tropical Storm Irene.

"It's been a fairly long process," said Town Manager Scott Murphy. "(The idea) came out of when the state announced money would be available."

The Selectboard came up with a bunch of ideas for possible projects to be considered for applications requesting CDBG Disaster Recovery funds.

A long list was created, Murphy said. It was put in order of priorities, going from high to medium to low.

The possible co-relocation of the Wilmington Police Department and Wilmington Fire Department was put at the top of the list.

"Both those services were wiped out in the flood," said Murphy. "In a matter of hours, we were without coverage. We don't want that to happen again."

The notice of a public hearing on the town's website mentions a feasibility study for the possible co-relocation of the two departments into one building.

"This study will be designed to establish several possible locations and to help determine the best feasible option," the notice said.

In order to move forward and submit the application for a CDBG Disaster Recovery Planning Grant, the town must hold a public hearing for input. Anyone is invited to voice their opinions or concerns over the application, the co-relocation and the use of such state funds for community development.

The proposal will allow the town to apply for up to $75,000.

Five business days after the public hearing, the application can be sent to the state for review.

"If anyone comes with concerns, we'll definitely include it in the application," Murphy said.

Murphy told the Reformer that the application is "basically done." David Price, a grant writer from Chester, assisted with the application.

"He did an excellent job," said Murphy.

He said the Wilmington Police and Fire Departments both agreed that this would be a good use of state funding since the flood.

"Those departments are definitely on board for getting out of the flood zone," said Murphy.

Copies of the proposed application had been available at Wilmington Town Hall for the public to review until March 29.

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


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