Proctor reviews CEDRR campaign; gets update of Marble Museum building


 PROCTOR — A proposal to have the town of Proctor continue its contribution to a countywide marketing campaign was made by Lyle Jepson, executive director of the Chamber & Economic Development of Rutland Region (CEDRR), and Kim Rupe to kick off Monday night’s selectboard meeting. The duo presented the accomplishments of the county chamber over the past year, including attracting 100 people into the county’s 27 towns, though admittedly mostly in Rutland town and city. 

Jepson emphasized the importance of sticking with its 10-year marketing effort, saying the message promoting Rutland County needed to be consistent and persistent to be effective, adding they would greatly appreciate Proctor’s continued support. The cost for participating, Jepson said was calculated on population per town, at one dollar person. Proctor’s current population was 1,741 in 2010 and the 2020 census reported a population of 1,567. 

Jepsen said the county had seen more people moving into the county since the COVID pandemic began, saying that ski resort towns like Killington had reported one of the highest growth rates per capita in the state. The western part of Rutland County has been slower to gain from the pandemic population shift, though Jepson said every county town benefits from the county’s marketing effort.

Town Manager Michael Ramsey had previously indicated to Jepson that an appropriate amount was penciled into the draft budget, pending review and approval by the selectboard. 


In his town manager’s report, Ramsey reported he had met with Ben Doyle, president of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, which currently owns the property that includes the Vermont Marble Museum, to get a tour of the property and discuss its potential future. The 87,275-square-foot, two-story facility on 3.15 acres of land been closed for the past several years, and the building is in need of repairs and improvements. 

The PTV, which is a statewide nonprofit “committed to saving buildings and building community,” stepped in to purchase the property in 2014 as part of a larger effort to preserve and protect the collections of the Vermont Marble Company when they went up for sale by the previous owner. 

During his tour and meeting with Doyle, Ramsey reported the nonprofit put out a request for proposals (RFP) on the property this past May and has some interest, though no offers have been put on the table, Ramsey said. 

The building was built in stages between 1880 and 1927. PTV has made improvements to stabilize the property during its stewardship, including significant work on the fire suppression system, electrical system, water and wastewater systems, environmental mitigation and roof and parapets. While the Vermont Marble Museum is located on the second floor of the building, the main floor is well suited, says the RPF, to “mixed light industrial use. Current tenants include Proctor Marble Company, know for their recent work on the restoration of the Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle near Big Sur, California; Mike Knowles Carpentry; and Liambru Tasty craft brewery, which is currently working on the necessary permits to open a brewpub on site.”

As part of the RFP, the PTV explains that special status of the historic building and its interest in finding a buyer that will contribute to the betterment of Proctor and Rutland County. 

“The PTV is not a traditional seller,” the RFP states. “It is not seeking a purchase offer, but rather a full proposal including proposed scope and end use. The experience and track record of the proposing entity will be strongly considered. The financial outcome is important, but the mission is given equal consideration. We want to know how your proposal will contribute to the economic and cultural future of Proctor and Rutland County.”

No action was requested by the selectboard, but they noted their appreciation for Ramsey’s update of the property and his continued participation in its potential restoration.


In other parts of the manager’s report, Ramsey noted: 

  • Winterization efforts had “gone well” with the Beaver Pond area, and a gate into that area was not locked.
  • Willow Street sewer boring exploration had gone well, noting that the soils seemed satisfactory and appeared not to present any significant obstacles to that proposed project.
  • He had received good feedback from an interview of him that appeared recently in THE REPORTER and the Mountain Times and appreciated the town’s response.
  • Followed up on previous questions raised from residents about Grandpa’s Knob Wind Community project, specifically a question that had asked about the specific model and type of turbine it was. Ramsey provided the model number as given to him by company spokesman Sam Carlson.
  • Noted that the insect control district known as BLSG (for Brandon Leicester Salisbury Goshen), has changed its name to the Otter Creek Watershed District as it now serves Pittsford and other communities, but no longer Salisbury. Proctor is not a member of the district, but does occasionally contract out its services.
  • Noted several citizen complaints of various services that were being addressed, and said that projects involving paving on Larson and Park streets had gone well. 
  • Noted that the general fund budget was nearly complete, and agreed at the board’s request, to present the General Fund budget to the board at its next meeting. 

It was also noted that the Proctor Planning Commission had taken a formal vote against the Grandpa Knob’s Community Wind project at its recent meeting, and a letter of opposition to the project was read aloud by Ramsey from the Hubbardton selectboard, which said the project would spoil the pristine and historic view shed of the Hubbardton Battleground site.

In a final note, Ramsey directed the selectboard’s and public’s attention to the town’s website, which, he said has undergone significant improvements, primarily in the amount of information that is now uploaded onto the site by Carol Ryan, assistant town clerk and treasurer. “Carol has been doing a lot of work on the website, and it looks good,” Ramsey said, adding that they would continue to keep the site updated with important town news. One item of interest, he said, was that Veteran’s Day services would be held this Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial.


In other business, the selectboard: 

  • Appointed Ramsey as a representative to the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, and Bruce Baccei will continue as Proctor’s representative on the Transportation Advisory Committee.
  • Voted to dedicate the Town Report to Arthur Saceric, long-time school board member. 
  • Voted to seek other bids for the printing of the annual Town Report.
  • Proceeded with plans to have a public dedication of the 1936 North Street Bridge within the next couple of weeks, once the area is spruced up, possibly as early as next week. 
  • Discussed an article to be voted on at Town Meeting concerning the possible sale of cannabis within the town. Selectman Ben Cline noted that if the town did not take a vote, such retail establishments would automatically become legal. Cline said he thought town residents would want to vote on the question. Ramsey will research how other towns have drafted similar town articles for vote and discuss how to word the article at a future meeting.
  • Awarded fuel oil and diesel contracts to Champlain Valley Fuels of Bristol/Middlebury as it was the lower of two bids.
  • Wanted town residents to know that it is not okay for residents to rake leaves from their yards into the street, as it clogs up the town’s storm water drainage system.
  • Earlier in the meeting, under the agenda item titled “Good Stuff,” the selectboard commended the Proctor High School girls soccer program for winning its third straight state championship. Much to be proud of, agreed members of the board.
  • The meeting was adjourned at around 7:15 p.m.
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