Residents and government officials came together Wednesday for the announcement Waterbury has been waiting for since Tropical Storm Irene hit two years ago.
"Vermont will be receiving $90 million, or roughly half of the money needed to rebuild this complex to a state-of-the-art office complex that's going to serve this state for many years to come," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
That $90 million will go toward the rebuilding of the Waterbury State Office Complex and Vermont's mental health care system. The complex alone has a price tag of $125 million; $53 million of that will be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance or the state's insurance policy.
"The outcome of all of this will be not only better service, more efficiency, better energy savings, but also a huge saving for Vermonters," Shumlin said.
After years of questioning just how much FEMA would assist Waterbury, residents are glad to see the rebuilding is set to begin.
"For Waterbury and for the people who live here and work here, it's a positive step, move forward for full recovery for the town," said Theresa Wood of Waterbury.
"Being patient really put the state in a better position to maximize the amount of dollars that are coming into this project," said Bill Shepeluk, the municipal manager of Waterbury.
The town of Waterbury was left with 4,000 tons of debris and vacant streets after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
"More than 1,500 state workers were scattered before the flood, dozens of homes and businesses were submerged, but everybody worked together," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.
And in a couple of weeks, construction crews will begin breaking ground.
"I'm thankful that now, with the start of the demolition, there'll be construction workers here. They will spill over into our community to go to the shops, restaurants," Shepeluk said.
"I'm grateful for being on this side of it and to realize all the things that we are grateful for as a result of the devastation that we experienced," Wood said.
The plan is to preserve historic structures in the complex, remove flood-prone ones and rebuild, with the new complex designed to withstand rising waters.
The new complex is projected to be complete by the middle of 2015 and will bring about 1,200 employees back to the town of Waterbury.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:49:17 GMT
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