New Group Aims To Revitalize Downtown Wilmington

01/09/12 5:50PM By Nancy Eve Cohen
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(Host) About 15 to 20 percent of the businesses in the historic village of Wilmington are still closed because of damage from Tropical Storm Irene.

VPR's Nancy Cohen reports that second homeowners and others are forming a nonprofit group to rebuild and revitalize the downtown.

(Cohen) It's called the Wilmington Fund. The group, which is working under the auspices of The Preservation Trust of Vermont, wants to buy damaged buildings from owners who can't afford to repair them and renovate them while maintaining their historic character. They'll rent them to new businesses

The fund will also give grants and low-cost loans to businesses who want to locate in Wilmington, and provide business planning advice.  

Tamara and Dan Kilmurray are second homeowners from Riverside, Connecticut. They helped start the fund with a donation of $250,000. Tamara, who is on the board, says the goal is not to do just quick fix-ups.
 
(Tamara Kilmurray) "Why not take the time to think, ‘Well, what else would make this town better?' You want the people who live there, you want to them to do well. You want them to succeed. Everyone is lifted up by that."                                                                                                                                                        

(Cohen) So far the Wilmington Fund has raised about $350,000. The goal is to raise $3 million.

For VPR News, I'm Nancy Cohen

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tropical_storm_irene wilmington politics
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