PROCTOR — The town has been awarded $20,000 to shore up the sagging stone wall in front of the Town Office, while more funding will be needed to address issues with the Town Clerk’s Office.
Town Manager Stan Wilbur said he received word of the grant award from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation in January. The town has to match the grant with its own money.
Funding for the interior renovations will come from one of two sources, Wilbur said, either the Mortimer Proctor Trust Fund or a transfer of General Fund Cumulative Surplus money to the Town Hall Fund.
Town organizations can apply for grants out of the Mortimer Proctor Trust Fund twice per year, once in January and once in July. Wilbur said the grants are administered by People’s United Bank and awardees are chosen by a committee of Proctor residents. He said the committee will meet this month to decide on who gets money, announcing the decision before March.
Moving funds from the General Fund Cumulative Surplus to the Town Hall Fund requires permission from voters, said Wilbur. Article 7 on this year’s Town Meeting warning asks if voters will okay the move of $161,660 from the surplus to the Town Hall fund. Wilbur said there is about 50,000 currently in the Town Office Fund.
He said the reason the Select Board has applied to the trust fund as well as appealed to voters for a transfer of funds is because of deadlines. Wilbur said the board had until Jan. 31 to approve the warning and Feb. 1 to apply for the Mortimer fund grant. Since neither are assured, it made sense to do both. Wilbur said should the Mortimer trust come through, voters will be made aware and can vote accordingly on Article 7.
The Town Office has been in need of renovation since at least last year after complaints were made to the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA). Water damage from a flood, plus some asbestos around some heating pipes prompted the town to move forward with renovation plans. The work will also bring that part of the building into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the town’s Historic Preservation Grant application, the Town Office at 45 Main St. was built in 1836 by William Humphrey and was part of a cluster of buildings owned by the Vermont Marble Company. The building is on the State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
Proctor wasn’t the only recipient of 2019 State Historic Preservation Grants. According to the Division for Historic Preservation and the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, nearly $213,000 was awarded to 14 towns and non-profits. The United Baptist Church in Poultney was awarded $20,000 as well.
According to the instructions on Proctor’s grant application, the maximum that can be awarded from a State Historic Preservation Grant is $20,000 and the amount requested can’t be more than half of the estimated project cost.
Other awards included:
Old Church Theater, Bradford, $12,064
Ahavath Gerim Synagogue, Burlington, $7,429
First Unitarian Universalist Church, Burlington, $18,850
Memorial Hall, Calais, $20,000
Enosburg Masonic Hall, Enosburg, $7,325
Grand Isle Lake House, Grande Isle, $20,000
Duba Blacksmith Shop, Isle La Motte, $12,064
Chesamore Hall, Johnson, $20,000
Tenney Memorial Library, Newbury, $3,750
St. Albans Bay Park Stone House, St. Albans, $20,000
St. Andrews Episcopal Church, St. Johnsbury, $11,500
St. Paul Episcopal Church, Vergennes, $20,000.