GUILFORD—State Rep. Michael Hebert, R-Vernon, visited Guilford’s May 27 regular Selectboard meeting to announce that the state is awarding the town $405,000 for the Sweet Pond Dam project.
Hebert said $90,000 is dedicated to planning and development, and the remaining $315,000 is for “the actual job.”
He said work should begin in 2017 and be completed “by the end of construction season.”
Although Hebert admitted he was “a pest” in the Statehouse, and “it became ‘Hebert’s Damn Dam,’” he said he was not alone in securing the money for the town.
Hebert acknowledged the work of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Forest, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder, and Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz.
But, he said, it was the townspeople that made the difference.
“It took the community itself standing up and saying, ‘this is a very valuable resource,’” Hebert said.
He added that the project “spoke to why I’m so proud to represent Guilford when I go to Montpelier. This town is really unique. When they have a problem, everybody doesn’t start bickering and fighting. They go, ‘Okay, how are we going to fix this?’”
When Hebert told his colleagues in the statehouse that Guilford “raised $10,000 toward the project, both the House and the Senate were very impressed.”
Hebert spoke about some of the plans for repairing the dam, including dredging, but he said “aesthetically, it will look the same. The beauty of the pond is the look of the historic site.”
Selectboard Chair Anne Rider expressed her appreciation to Hebert for his efforts.
Both noted a much-needed celebration at the dam, even before the project is complete.
“We’ll be looking to party,” Hebert said.