Archive | March, 2012

Connecticut Public Radio

23 Mar
Greenwich, Conn. family helps Vermont’s recovery from Irene

Tamara and Dan Kilmurray of Greenwich helped start a non-profit that is buying and restoring flood-damaged buildings in Wilmington, Vermont. (photo by Nancy Eve Cohen)
Nancy Cohen
Wilmington, VT March 23, 2012
About six months ago, Tropical Storm Irene raked up the east coast knocking out power in Connecticut for more than a week. But farther north, in Vermont, the damage was on another of magnitude. Today, Vermont is still recovering from the floods. The cleanup and restoration is forging a sense of community between people in the two states.

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Burlington Free Press

21 Mar

Vermont restaurant damaged by Irene to rebuild

WILMINGTON — A diner that was heavily damaged along with other businesses in Wilmington, Vt., from Tropical Storm Irene says it plans to reopen in November.

The owners of Dot’s, which sits above the Deerfield River and has been around since at least the 1930s, said Monday it’s going to cost more than $600,000 to rebuild, but that many volunteers and economic development groups have pledged to help.

Those groups include the Vermont Preservation Trust, Friends of the Valley, and the Wilmington Fund. Construction is scheduled to start in June.

Gov. Peter Shumlin attended the announcement Monday. He shared childhood memories of attending the restaurant and praised the community’s efforts.

VPR – re: Dot’s ReBuild

20 Mar

After Irene, Iconic Wilmington Eatery To Reopen

Monday, 03/19/12 1:38pm

Susan Keese

 

VPR/Susan Keese
Owners of Dot’s in Wilmington say they will rebuild the iconic restaurant.

(Host) There was good news Monday in Wilmington’s storm-damaged business district. The owners of Dot’s, an iconic local eatery, announced plans to rebuild the restaurant – with substantial help from its many friends.

VPR’s Susan Keese was in Wilmington for the announcement.

(Keese) There were plenty of vintage “eat at Dot’s” tee-shirts in the crowd that gathered outside the restaurant near the intersection of Route 9 and 100.

The building has been closed since Tropical Storm Irene’s flood. But now it’s draped with banners with the fundraising website “Rebuild Dots-dot-com” in big letters, waving in the March sun.

(John Reagan) “Kind of looks like a Sunday waitin’ line.”

(Keese) At the podium, John Reagan compared the crowd to the waiting line outside the restaurant on a foliage or ski weekend.

Reagan and his wife Patty have owned Dot’s since the 1980s. It’s been a restaurant since at least the 1930s. And before that it was a general store and post office.

The restaurant sits above the Deerfield River. And in the storm last August, it took a direct hit.

The Reagans were told at first that the damage was too severe to bring the building back. But after working with a structural engineer – and the Preservation Trust of Vermont, Patty Reagan says, the assessment changed.

(Patty Reagan) “And then we just got so much community support from… everywhere. It was like, ‘If you can just make it happen we’ll help you.’ … It’s going to take a lot of help. We can’t do it on our own.”

 

 

VPR/Susan Keese
Governor Shumlin with Dot’s owners John and Patty Reagan Monday in Wilmington.

(Keese) And that’s what’s going to happen. Reagan says the rebuilding plan calls for not just fund raising but donations of timber and materials

A local fundraising group called Friends of the Valley has pledged to raise a hundred thousand dollars to support the renovation.

The effort also received $50,000 from the Wilmington FundVT, recently formed by Wilmington second-home-owners.

Governor Peter Shumlin praised Dan Kilmurray, a second homeowner from New York who founded the fundraising group. The group also just purchased a key downtown Wilmington building.

(Shumlin) “You realize how great Vermonters are when you see not only those who live here every day, but those who wish they could live here everyday here making this a second job, a first priority.”

(Keese) Shumlin also praised Wilmington.

(Shumlin)There is no better example of community spirit, of tenacity, of caring about each other and of pulling ourselves from the bootstraps than you see right here at Dot’s.”

Dot’s co-owner John Reagan told the group that he feels less like an owner at this point and more like a steward of something that should be preserved for future generations.

For VPR News, I’m Susan Keese in Wilmington.

USA Today

19 Mar

The Wilmington Fund VT is noted in USA Today – the States Section:  Vermont!

Link will be posted when available.

The Republic, Columbus, Indiana!

18 Mar

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/87f1a3fae97549efb368469de75f9469/VT–Irene-Wilmington/

WILMINGTON, Vt. — A nonprofit group helping to rebuild a Vermont town that is still recovering from Tropical Storm Irene has bought a flood-damaged building that was on the National Register of Historic Places.

Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/xOXtYD) the Wilmington Fund wants to rejuvenate the local economy by renovating buildings, such as the Parmelee and Howe building in downtown Wilmington. The goal is get the building occupied and sold.

Fund President Dan Kilmurray said he hopes the action will jumpstart the renovation of at least seven others in town that are empty.

The brick structure with arched windows was built in 1930 and first housed a drug store with a soda fountain and a hardware store. An upscale clothing boutique and coffee shop occupied the space last.

Fund President Dan Kilmurray said he hopes the action will jumpstart the renovation of at least seven others in town that are empty.

Picked Up by The Boston Globe & Vermont Business Magazine

16 Mar
The Associated Press

Vt. group buys building to help flooded town

March 16, 2012

WILMINGTON, Vt.—A nonprofit group helping to rebuild a Vermont town that is still recovering from Tropical Storm Irene has bought a flood-damaged building that was on the National Register of Historic Places.

Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/xOXtYD) the Wilmington Fund wants to rejuvenate the local economy by renovating buildings, such as the Parmelee and Howe building in downtown Wilmington. The goal is get the building occupied and sold.

The brick structure with arched windows was built in 1930 and first housed a drug store with a soda fountain and a hardware store. An upscale clothing boutique and coffee shop occupied the space last.

Fund President Dan Kilmurray said he hopes the action will jumpstart the renovation of at least seven others in town that are empty.

——

Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net

VPR • The Parmelee & Howe Building Purchase

15 Mar

Wilmington Non-Profit Purchases Flood Damaged Building

Thursday, 03/15/12 7:04am

Nancy Eve Cohen

VPR/ Nancy Eve Cohen
The Parmelee and Howe building in Wilmington has just been purchased by The Wilmington Fund VT. It has been unoccupied since the flood.

(Host) A newly-formed non-profit has just purchased a key, flood-damaged building in Wilmington’s historic village.

The group calls itself The Wilmington Fund VT, and it wants to rejuvenate the local economy by renovating flooded buildings, like this one.

VPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

(Cohen) The Parmelee and Howe building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, hugs the corner of Routes 9 and 100 in the heart of downtown.

The brick structure, with its arched windows, was built in 1930 and first housed a drug store with a soda fountain and a hardware store. More recently, an upscale clothing boutique and a coffee shop were there.

But since the flood it’s been boarded up. Julie Lineberger is on the Board of the Wilmington Fund VT.

(Lineberger) “It’s such  a pivotal building. When people are coming in , visitors from out of state, when they  go up the mountain you just turn the corner and you see it. For that to stay dark would have been a detriment to the entire economics of the village.

(Cohen) The Parmelee and Howe building is one of eight in the village that’s empty. Dan Kilmurray, President of the Wilmington Fund, says the Fund’s long-term goal is not to own property

(Kilmurray) “We would like to get this building occupied, get it cash flowing positively and get it sold.”

(Cohen) Kilmurray says he hopes the purchase of this building will jumpstart the renovation of others. He hopes it will be renovated and occupied by the summer.

For VPR News, I’m Nancy Cohen.