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Selectboard approves BaBB budget

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Selectboard approved Building a Better Brattleboro’s budget at a special meeting on Jan. 23.

The fiscal year 2014 budget came in at $116,425.

The downtown organization receives tax monies from a special tax assessment levied on downtown property owners that helps fund the town’s participation in the state’s Downtown Program.

BaBB’s budget took three meetings before receiving the Selectboard’s seal of approval. Members of the Selectboard had questioned whether BaBB’s activities justified the tax money the organization received.

The 2014 budget represents a turning point for the organization. The numbers reflect a reduction in hours for the executive director from 32 to 18.

BaBB board president Donna Simons, owner of A Candle in the Night, said the organization can meet the downtown merchants’ needs through an active board and membership rather than a full-time executive director.

BaBB follows Vermont’s Downtown Program built around the Main Street Four Point Approach, an economic development model from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This four-point approach aims to support revitalizing downtowns through improving a downtown’s economic climate, enhancing the physical appearance of the downtown by addressing all design elements, promoting the downtown through marketing, and attracting people to the area.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #188 (Wednesday, January 30, 2013).

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