News Releases

May 18, 2010

Governor Douglas Announces $196,429 Grant to Help Rebuild Wilmington Landmark

Wilmington, Vt. (May 18, 2010) – Governor Jim Douglas today announced that the state has approved an emergency request for funds to help rebuild the historic Anchor Seafood Restaurant in Wilmington that was destroyed in a fire earlier this year at a ceremony at the site of the South Main Street structure. The Governor presented town officials with a check for $196,429 that will be used to help rebuild the restaurant in a 19th-century style that will blend in with the village’s Historic District.

“This is an important structure in Wilmington, both from a commercial and an historic standpoint,” Governor Douglas said. “The Anchor restaurant was an important employer and draw for tourists and residents alike, as well as providing rental housing in its upper floor.”

An historic preservation consultant will oversee the projected $818,000 reconstruction of the Greek Revival-style building, especially its façade, to ensure it fits in with the surrounding historic structures.

In addition to installing a sprinkler system to protect the building, the project will also incorporate a larger kitchen space to help owner Susan Lawrence expand her business into catering, allowing her to add as many as 4 new employees in addition to the 10 who worked at the restaurant before the fire.

Along with state officials, Lawrence thanked Town Manager Bob Rusten and Kendall Gifford and Susan McMahon from the Windham Regional Commission for their help in the effort. “There are so many people who have come to our aid from day one, our community has been so supportive,” she said during the ceremony.

The Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) money comes from the approximately $7 million Vermont receives annually in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which must be used principally to benefit persons of low and moderate income. The state awards the competitive grants based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn.

“This expedited application was reviewed by the staff and approved within 30 days,” the Governor said. “That kind of dedication and nimble response will help the owners realize their goal of having the Anchor restaurant re-opened by foliage season, an important tourist draw for the town.”

For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/index.htm

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: May 18, 2010 14:07:34