Click here to learn more about Revitalizing Waterbury (RW) activities in 2017.
Revitalizing Waterbury 2017 Financials and 2018 Budget:
To read the Executive Summary of RW's Community Summit from January 2018, click HERE.
TROPICAL STORM IRENE FLOOD RECOVERY
On August 28 and 29, 2011, fed by nearly a foot of rainfall in less than 24 hours, the Winooski River overran its banks. Given the positioning of Waterbury’s historic village alongside the Winooski River, the flooding was pervasive. Over 220 residential, municipal and commercial buildings along Waterbury’s Main Street corridor sustained significant damage, and over 1000 State of Vermont employees were displaced after the near-total destruction of the Waterbury State Office Complex.
ReBuild Waterbury formed as a unique project of RW with the mission of assisting individuals and families in the 05676 zip code area in need of assistance to rebuild their homes from the disastrous effects of Tropical Storm Irene.
ReBuild Waterbury achieved its fundraising goal of just under $1,000,000, and tracked a stunning 10,000+ volunteer hours from November 2011 to January 2013. The project emerged as a leader and model for other recovery efforts around the state.
Business Flood Relief Fund
RW established the Business Flood Relief Fund in response to the serious damage to area businesses caused by Irene-related flooding. The application process was designed to allow RW to distribute the funds as expeditiously as possible, and to provide support to all qualified applicants. A total of $92,000 from the Fund was disbursed to 33 local businesses. These grants were made possible by generous contributions to the Fund from Keurig Green Mountain, National Life Group Charitable Foundation, the John and Barbara McLendon Foundation, Rise Up! Waterbury, Larkin Realty, Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company, along with a strong outpouring of support from individuals and businesses.
Long Term Community Recovery
With the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Long Term Community Recovery (LTCR) Team, Waterbury worked diligently through a seven-month process to identify the initiatives necessary to rebuild the community at every level. The process included a Waterbury Community Recovery Fair on February 16, 2012, and a gathering of potential funding partners in attendance at the LTCR Plan unveiling in May 2012.
RW staff, Board, and volunteers assisted with many phases of the LTCR recovery effort, and took direct responsibility for championing the first LTCR project: a Community Image Building and Retail Market Study Project. Arnett Muldrow and Associates were selected to assist Waterbury’s community leaders in developing immediate and long-term strategies to achieve the goals of increased productivity, innovation, diversification, physical revitalization, and job creation. RW Arnett Muldrow and Associates was selected because of its favorable local and national reputation, its experience working with communities recovering from natural disasters in the Gulf states, and its demonstrated success with economic development projects in other Vermont communities. RW raised $19,000 in grants from Keurig Green Mountain, Northfield Savings Bank, Ben & Jerry’s Community Action Team, the Waterbury Tourism Council, and the Town of Waterbury to support this project. The primary outcomes of this project consist of a Market and Retail Study Report and Waterbury Community Identity Guidelines.
Stimson and Graves Historic Restoration Project
Two dilapidated downtown buildings dodged the wrecking ball when RW formed in 1991 to renovate the historic Stimson and Graves Building. The movement to restore the building and revitalize the downtown was dubbed "Miracles Happen." Located at the very center of Waterbury Village, at the corner of Main and Stowe Streets, the two cavernous, three-story buildings had been vacant for more than 12 years until RW purchased the buildings for $196,300 and set out to create affordable rental housing in the heart of downtown.
Partnering with Burlington-based Housing Vermont, Inc., a statewide nonprofit that works with communities and the private sector, renovations began in 1991 and ended in 1994. The project exemplified RW members’ vision for the downtown and a vision for Stimson and Graves as an anchor facility that could become a focal point of the community and provide an identity, a sense of place, and a visual community center for our town. RW’s share of building ownership was transferred to Central Vermont Community Land Trust in 2010, and the space currently houses the Waterbury Area Senior Center, retail space, and 12 affordable apartments.
WATERBURY Railroad Station
The Central Vermont Railroad Station sits in the center of Waterbury Village, at the head of Rusty Parker Memorial Park. Built in 1875, the station was the centerpiece of the downtown through the first half of the 20th century but had deteriorated over the ensuing years. The interior had been totally reconfigured, losing all of its Italianate Victorian architectural detailing and ornamentation.
RW began planning the restoration of the station in 1997. Major grant support came from the Great American Station Foundation, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation. A capital fundraising campaign was established and successfully met the goal of $1,200,000 through donations from the private sector and community members.
Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. agreed to lease the station from RW, and created a Visitor Center and Café that has become a first-class attraction and provided an economic boost to the downtown. Thousands of visitors from around the world have passed through the doors since it opened in October 2006.
The project was conceived to serve local citizens and travelers to the Waterbury region by providing a focal point for the downtown historic district; a transfer point to Amtrak and bus service; and as a gateway to Pilgrim Park, Waterbury’s leading business district, the home of Keurig Green Mountain's brewing and manufacturing operations. The Waterbury Railroad Station restoration project is an example of successful collaboration among the nonprofit, governmental and business sectors.