The grand opening ceremony of South Main Apartments in Waterbury was well attended Wednesday. Governor Peter Shumlin was present to congratulate Waterbury on the community’s resilience and recovery following the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene four years ago.
“As we approach the fourth anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, it’s important to mark our progress,” said Governor Shumlin. “These long term recovery projects are the result of years of hard work and are restoring much needed affordable housing and services for children and families.”
Governor Shumlin praised the important partnership between local, state and federal government agencies that make projects like South Main Apartments possible. Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens agreed, saying “State government from the Governor on down was instrumental in helping us make this happen. We thank ACCD, the Department of Building and General Services, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency for their support.”
A family of South Main residents was presented keys to their new apartment by Governor Shumlin himself.
“The energy unleashed during Irene devastated Waterbury,” said Eileen Peltier, Downstreet’s Executive Director. “But we are here thanks to the outpouring of energy from this community and its supporters. Today, we are delighted to welcome residents to South Main Apartments.”
Also in attendance were State Representative, Waterbury resident and Downstreet Board President Tom Stevens, Deputy Commissioner of Housing and Community Development Jen Hollar, former Chief Irene Recovery Officer Sue Minter, Waterbury Community Planner Steve Lotspeich, and VHCB Executive Director Gus Seelig, all of whom echoed the sentiments of resiliency in the community and the importance of affordable rental units in the heart of Waterbury. Guests were invited to tour the apartments following the ceremony.
On August 28, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene brought torrential downpours of rain and historic flooding to Vermont. The storm stranded thousands behind washed out roads, destroyed dozens of homes, and changed the landscape of Vermont. Waterbury sustained heavy flooding and severe damage, which qualified the town to receive federal funds for recovery and rebuilding. It is, in part, these funds which make the South Main Apartments project possible.
(slider photos courtesy SallyMcCay)
Downstreet and Housing Vermont have renovated the historic portion of Ladd Hall to preserve the historic character of the building. The 1951 addition has been demolished and a new three-story addition, together with the historic Ladd Hall portion, now provides 27 new rental units. The South Main Apartments project is seeking LEED certification through energy efficiency, building envelope and healthy home design.