Water Street River Park

Water Street Timeline August 28, 2011 – July 28, 2016

August 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene

•  More than 135 people lost personal property 

•  More than 80 homes were damaged

•  At least 16 homes are now uninhabitable

•  Over $2,000,000 in real estate value lost


September 2011

Town begins working with homeowners to assess damage, consider potential buyout

November 2011

Town submits Letter of Intent for Hazard Mitigation Grants to buy damaged homes


January 2012

Select Board public forum on buyout


February 2012

Norwich University Art + Architecture students present three concepts for redevelopment of buyout area to park


February 2012

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program application submitted to the State of Vermont to acquire and demolish thirteen homes on Water Street


Spring 2012

State of Vermont required the Town to divide the thirteen homes into two applications: six homes that had been identified as contributing structures to the Water Street/Pleasant Street historic district in a 1980 historic preservation survey were separated from seven non-contributing homes; those applications were forwarded to FEMA Region 1


October 2012

The first application, for seven non-historic homes, was approved by FEMA.

January 2013

The second application, for six historic homes, was approved by FEMA.

May 2013

First acquisition closed

End 2013

Nine acquisitions have closed, asbestos surveys completed on six homes

Winter 2014

Demolition bidding conducted for first six homes

April 2014

VDAT Placemaking Workshop to develop conceptual plan for park

June 2014

Vermont State Fire Academy conducted a Northeast regional Homeland Security urban scenarios collapse training involving 60 public safety personnel, using three of the buyout homes. 


Summer 2014

Friends of the Winooski River, working with Town, develops Ecological Restoration Program grant to study Dog River, figure out what to do with berm, identify opportunities to reduce flood risk to neighborhood


August 2014

Twelve homes have been acquired and eleven of them have been demolished

August 2014

Design guidance memo received from Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC); application for park planning funds submitted to TRORC


September 2014

FEMA approval of HMGP applications to elevate three homes and acquire and demolish a 15th home


Fall 2014

The 14th homeowner eligible for buyout indicates change of plans, will not sell to the Town, scope of Dog River study and park project both must be revised


October 2014

FWR’s ERP grant approved to support study of Dog River

November 2014

Town acquires 13th property, on Union Street

February 2015

The 14th homeowner eligible for buyout indicates new change of plans, will sell, changing, again, scope of projects


February 2015

VDAT Public Presentation of Conceptual Park Design

Winter 2015

Milone & MacBroom initiate Dog River study, compile data

March 2015

Town acquires 14th property

March 2015

Project team, including representatives from the Town, FWR, Northfield Conservation Commission, Milone & MacBroom, and Norwich University, attends Leahy Summit two-day workshop to work together on project vision


June 2015

Northfield Fire Department used the 14th house for fire training; final demolition work followed later in the summer


Summer 2015

Norwich University, using a small grant from the Davis Education Foundation, developed four community-based education modules for Fall 2015 classes in Outdoor Physical Education, Environmental Engineering, Architecture, and Geology.


July 2015

Milone & MacBroom present modeling results and recommended actions to the Northfield Select Board, following public hearing on CDBG application for implementation funds


Fall 2015

Milone & MacBroom completes conceptual design for floodplain restoration

Fall 2015

Town is awarded CDBG grant for implementation of floodplain restoration and park

January 2016

FWR applied for another Ecological Restoration Program grant to have construction plans created for the preferred alternative approved by the Select Board


March 2016

Town invites 100 residents of Water Street neighborhood to provide input to the park plan, based on both VDAT conceptual plan and Milone & MacBroom conceptual plan


Summer 2016

Greenman-Pederson, Inc, (GPI) creates new conceptual plan for park, incorporating Milone & MacBroom conceptual plan and neighborhood input


Summer 2016

Milone & MacBroom working on final construction plans; model is revised to eliminate impact on private property, plans revised accordingly


July 2016

Town presents new GPI conceptual plan for park to the public for broad community input; plan is shared at Northfield Night on the Common, via Water Street River Park website, via Front Porch Forum, via the Town’s Facebook page.