WINDSOR, Vt. — The local economic development group Windsor Improvement Corporation met with the Windsor Selectboard last night to present an overview of housing, commercial development, and other initiatives to spur economic growth, draw new residents and revitalize Windsor’s downtown.
The Windsor Improvement Corporation is a town-supported non-profit volunteer group comprised of Windsor residents, regional planners, business owners and local officials, whose mission aims to revitalize the town, redevelop and improve the economic base and preserve the community’s environmental and historic resources.
Members present at the selectboard meeting included Donna Sweaney, board president; Cindy Landeryou; Bill Ballantyne; John Tansey; Amy McMullen, Windsor School District representative; and Bob Flint, president of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation.
Making Windsor a workforce housing destination
“There’s a big conversation in the Upper Valley about workforce housing and that flows into Windsor and its ability to take advantage of that housing market,” said Landeryou, housing committee chair.
Windsor first needs to make itself more known to outside realtors, companies and housing partners, Landeryou said.
The Windsor Improvement Corporation recommended working more closely with organizations like Vital Communities to explore housing projects to meet the region’s needs, and improving marketing and outreach with outside realtors and human resources directors, who often focus on Lebanon and Hanover for their housing needs without much awareness of options like Windsor.
Brownfield cleanup project
Sweaney said the corporation would like to purchase the former Goodyear property on 28 River Street, in order to clean up the brownfield site adjacent to the businesses, improve the commercial space and lot and sell it to someone willing to develop its economic potential.
The brownfield site has gone untouched for roughly 30 years, Ballantyne explained after the meeting. He said that the building owners violated laws when demolishing the Goodyear building, which resulted in losing federal and state aid for cleanup.
After it acquires the property the corporation will receive help from the Springfield Regional Development Corporation to secure federal grants to clean up the brownfield site.
Ballantyne said that the property also includes a commercial center, which is not affected by the brownfield site, that currently houses 35 businesses.