Footbridge a sign of progress in Wilmington

Saturday May 18, 2013

WILMINGTON -- As the new foot bridge was delivered and put into place across the Deerfield Valley River, the installation of curbing in the Dixon parking lot was in progress.

The town had also just received verbal confirmation that it will be awarded funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program for a possible relocation of both the Police and Fire departments.

"What we'll hopefully get out of it is a list of options of various locations that may be available for us to relocate both those departments," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy. "The flood wiped out both those services within 15 minutes of each other and the town was stuck without emergency services. We don't want that to happen ever again."

Murphy submitted a grant application on behalf of the town for $75,000. It was for a feasibility study to assist with drafting a planning grant, which will study six potential sites.

Once the town receives official notification and the grant award itself, the feasiblity study as a project will go out to bid through a request for proposal process. This will take approximately three weeks and then a contract will be awarded to a firm.

Murphy told the Reformer he expects the town will have a planning grant in hand within three months or by the end of the summer.

"We're just waiting for the official notification letter then we'll get going," he said.

Another project that came as the result of a grant is improvements to the Dixon parking lot, which is located on the side of the Pettee Memorial Library on South Main Street.

This project was a result of a Park and Ride grant that the town received for the lot. Not only will the improved lot be good for commuters but visitors of the downtown area as well, town officials agreed. On May 15, there were sub-contractors excavating parts of the parking lot and working on curbing. A week before, trees were clipped at the site. Once that is done, the surface will be re-paved and re-striped and then the entrance to the parking lot will be re-done.

"It should look a lot better," said Murphy. "It's so close to the Moover that it's a great connection there."

The town will put in Park and Ride signs after the other work is completed.

-- On May 15, a foot bridge was delivered to Wilmington that crosses the Deerfield Valley River and goes to a trail leading to the Deerfield Valley Transit Association property. It also will connect to the Hoot, Toot and Whistle Trail to Lake Whitingham. In the next couple of weeks, landscaping work and improvements to the bridge's access will be done.

Some employees of the Wilmington Highway Department assisted with the bridge, but most of the project has been overseen by Reardon, who will donate the bridge to the town once it is completed.

A ceremony will be held on June 1, which is also known as Trails Day, and a senator has been invited.

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


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