Wheelock Construction Proposal Faced Challenge

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WHEELOCKWHEELOCK – The Wheelock town hall project hearing was held in its town hall’s meeting room on Tuesday night. The proposal’s goal is get $714,440 grant for fixing broken to save the building, which including construct handicaps accessible and municipal room for the community town hall. However, the process of the meeting did not go well as planned. Two residents came to argue against.

John Wolf and Robert Smith both strongly rejected this proposal. Both of them were former members of the Wheelock Select Board in 1993. They had different reasons to not support the project. Wolf concerned expenditure in this project. He said the taxes is too high for this project, and the grant price was rediculous. Smith said he could support the project, but he thought another design could be better. He wants to build a new brand municipal building with garage together.

Wheelock did not have a municipal building for the community right now. And the proposal project coordinator Carol Rossi believed that there are people who are willing to come and help this project. But the most difficult part in this process is money. “community understands that we need it, but challenge is financial. So we are trying to meet what we can meet and keep everything are affordable,” said Rossi.

For the public voters, the grant for this proposal is based on $714,440, which including $200,000 that hopefully support by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP). Others of the grant will come from residents’ municipal taxes.

Rossi mentioned that she has already contacted with St. Johnsbury Academe education and Caledonia Work Camp to get more help. The school interested to let their students work on this project, and the camp has a team can contribute work on it as well. Rossi said, "There do have people want to support the proposal, and I think this is benefit for the whole community from fire, safety and ADA act angles. I am stubborn to try it!"

Before next year’s Town Meeting Day (TMD), in February, there is another public hearing will open and offer more information about this proposal. If this project could be passed in TMD, the earliest time to start it will be 2019.