Memorial Hall issues: Still no end in sight


WILMINGTON -- Construction at Memorial Hall has paused longer than expected.

Earlier this month, two abutting landowners to Memorial Hall appealed a decision by the Development Review Board, which caused the process of extending the backside of the town-owned building to be delayed.

Last week, the Environmental Court sent the town a notification that established a meeting for Nov. 19. It will be a phone conference between the involved parties.

Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy told the Reformer that the scheduled date is "very late for our timing especially with the heating season."

"It was cold last night. It's going to be colder next week," he added.

The two adjoining landowners, the Incurable Romantic owner Cindy Beaudette and Crafts Inn Manager Alice Richter, filed a lawsuit because of their opposition to the proposed construction.

Memorial Hall sits between those two businesses. Both women have been involved in projects within the town that assisted with preserving and promoting the building in the past.

The design plans called for extending the rear of the building out by 10 feet wide, 30 feet long and 12 feet high, so that a heating and air conditioning unit could be installed.

Richter was concerned about the noise and look of the development, while Beaudette worries about the insurance liability that she takes on as the owner of land that workers will be using during construction. The town owns the 10 feet behind Memorial Hall, but while the building is being serviced, crews are required to use Beaudette's property.

Their opposition to this proposed project, however, was not addressed during the DRB hearing. Now, it will involve the Environmental Court.

"It's a difficult situation," Beaudette said in an earlier interview. "The project they're wanting to develop, as far as we're concerned, has no access. The building was purchased with no land on either side."

When the lawsuit was filed, the town's attorney Bob Fisher filed a motion to dismiss the case.
With the winter rapidly coming, there is concern that events held in Memorial Hall won't have the heating required during the cold weather.

"We're talking to the attorney for steps to take," said Murphy. "We would like to keep the attorneys out to save us some funding and talk to the individuals one-on-one."

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


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