Updated: Jun 23, 2019
by Sarah Cowan
Over a year ago, Sarah Stroup and Sarah Cowan attended a City of Vergennes Council meeting to request that they partner on a project with St. Paul’s on a project that came from the vision formed through the Strategic Initiatives in Sacred Places (SiSP) “Partners” planning charette.
At the City Council meeting the Sarahs convinced the City to apply for a grant which was available to municipalities in Vermont for sidewalks and pedestrian walkways through the Vermont Department of Transportation.
The Sarahs (and the other members of the SiSP committee) had learned through conversations with City officials and The Vergennes Partnership organization leadership that an ADA compliant sidewalk may be the perfect project for this grant source.
The City Council agreed, but the grant had to be matched 50/50 with other funds.
The City agreed to support 1/2 of the match but suggested St. Paul’s would have to provide the balance of the project, the total of which was estimated to cost about $96,000.
Your Vestry swallowed hard, but agreed if necessary and if the City couldn’t be later convinced to find funds for a project that was going to occur not on church property, but next to church property.
The grant was awarded and the City reached out to local sources to do the project.
And... (drum roll, please) they found that local folks could do the project at a lower cost and that the City could use their own team of competent workers to assist in building the new retaining wall and the sidewalk.
City Manager Matt Chabot contacted St. P’s and declared that they would move forward and that it would not require a contribution of the remaining match funds from St. P’s.
Bless the Lord! Alleluia!
The revised City plan, using local talent, also sourced local Panton stone to construct the beautiful stone wall that now acts as our retaining wall facing Park Street.
And the beautiful concrete sidewalk meets ADA accessibility requirements. If you have not yet taken a stroll on this walk, you must.
And while you’re admiring the beautiful stonework, look for a few fossils of creatures that the Panton stone captured from bygone years.