Site work has begun on a new Hannaford Supermarket in Bradford. When complete, the Route 5 store will be almost three times the size of the current one.
"I think it is going to be a lot better for the area. It will certainly make shopping a lot better," said John Roberts of Fairlee. "It is close by and has everything we want."
But this project was contingent on a new pump station that connected 14-thousand feet of new sewer lines across Bradford's lower plains.
"The first week in October, the Whistle Stop mobile home park connected and the waste water started to flow," said Ted Unkles, the Bradford Select board Chair.
The pump is located in Bradford's industrial park and it didn't get there without a fight. The town shot down multiple bond votes to cover 55 percent of the 2.8 million dollar tab. A federal grant is covering the rest.
"There was some controversy in town. There wasn't complete consensus. So, it took a number of tries to try to get the bond approved," Unkles said.
Some residents are afraid the new line will contribute to sprawl and be an added burden on taxpayers, even if they don't benefit directly from it.
But town officials, like Unkles, say vacant buildings in the industrial park can now be filled, bringing new revenue to town. "We did have a number of business that looked at locating in some of the empty buildings in our industrial park. And, after they learned that there was not connection to municipal sewer, they had to back out and locate somewhere else," he said.
"It is going to build a community that people have full service in. We couldn't have it without this infrastructure," said Paul Gallerani with Farm-Way, which plans to connect to the new line.
The outdoor gear store draws people from all over the region but owners say the town needs other attractions as well. "We needed help on the short draw. Bringing people here to shop for all their needs -- and Hannaford will help to that," Gallerani said.
A store that filled a hole when the old market closed down. And now-- it's getting bigger.
"It was a little rough around here when the store was gone. There was no store here for awhile. You had to go longer distances to Lebanon and so forth," John Roberts said.
The new Hannaford is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. Spokespeople say they are expecting to add a few jobs on site, something town officials say the new sewer line will do as well.
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