Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Council to designate use of building grants

By Max Bakke
Journal Inquirer
Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:58 AM EST

VERNON —The Town Council is scheduled to act on nearly $500,000 in grants for renovations to two local buildings at its meeting tonight.

The town has received $196,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for renovations to the Historic Amerbelle factory, and has received $300,000 from the state Commission on Culture and Tourism for the creation of a Community Arts Center on Hartford Turnpike, said interim Town Administrator John D. Ward.

The money for the Amerbelle site, which Ward said was obtained through help from U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney, a Vernon Democrat, will be used to repair the roof of the building, as well as to upgrade interior flooring, and other improvements.

Town officials previously went out to bid for architectural designs for the arts center, and councilors are expected to award the contract tonight, after a presentation from the Vernon Cultural Arts Committee, which oversees the project and will share their plans for the building with the council.

The meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m., at the Town Hall, located at 14 Park Place.

In other business, Mayor Jason L. McCoy is expected to appoint Ward to the town administrator job he’s held since this summer to fill the post fulltime.

Ward was hired on an emergency basis last summer to replace outgoing Town Administrator Christopher Clark, who left for a similar job in Massachusetts. The mayor has maintained that he’d like to see Ward hired permanently.

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