Vt. town gets Irene-recovery boost

Sunday February 3, 2013

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) -- The town of Waterbury is getting some help in its recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has awarded more than $1 million in state and federal funds to two housing groups to buy and reconfigure a former state office building located downtown. The building, which has sat vacant since the 2011 storm, will be turned into 27 new affordable apartments.

The proposal matched VCHB’s priorities for the project, said Polly Nichol, the board’s director of housing programs.

"You know, reusing an existing building, location in downtown, rebuilding after the flood, a strong market where there’s a need for affordable housing. It just hit a lot of our priorities," she told Vermont Public Radio.

The project is not in the flood plain but was damaged during Irene when water got into a basement tunnel system connected to other state buildings, she said.

The state office complex in town was inundated by Irene’s floodwaters. Most of the hundreds of workers are in temporary quarters.

A project has been designed to repair some of those buildings, raze others and build new, flood-proof buildings. The state hopes that an agreement can be reached with the Federal Emergency Management Agency about how much the federal government would contribute to the $124.7 million project, which will also include funding from the state’s insurance company.


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