Jeffersonville Receives Grant To Buy Land In Floodplain

09/25/12 4:31PM By Kirk Carapezza

Courtesy of Deb Bouton
A sign posted on an abandoned concrete silo in Jeffersonville's floodplain measures the amount raised toward the purchase of the property. Volunteers recently raised the indicator another $125,000.

Jeffersonville has made progress in its effort to block development from a floodplain adjoining the village. 

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board agreed to give village trustees $125,000 toward buying land in the floodplain, which then would be put off limits to development.

Voters in Jeffersonville have already authorized trustees to buy the 4.2-acre parcel where Jolley Associates of St. Albans wanted to build a 16-pump gas station and retail store.

Jolley had applied for a permit to develop the site shortly before the village imposed new regulations that would have prevented any construction. 

Since last year's record flooding, residents have debated whether it makes sense to build on a site that has historically had significant flooding.

Village Trustee Tammy Fenton says the grant from the Housing and Conservation Board validates the village's efforts.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza
Jean Jenkauskus, left, and Tammy Fenton have led an effort to block development in Jeffersonville's floodplain.

"We are extremely grateful that the board recognized the importance of this land to flood-remediation efforts in our community," Fenton said. 

In January, Village Trustees signed an agreement to purchase the land from Jolley for $402,500. 

Before the latest grant, a group of concerned citizens had raised $127,000 toward the purchase.

Village residents also voted in June to devote up to $75,000 in local taxpayer money to the project.

Some residents hope to transform the land into a year-round open space for farmers' markets and festivals.

Earlier: Jeffersonville, Weary Of Floods, Pledges To Block Development

VPR News: Jeffersonville Voters Approve Plan To Buy Land In Floodplain

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