GUILFORD, Vermont — The Sweet Pond State Park in Vermont will be getting its pond back, after years of relentless advocacy by supporters.
State lawmakers recently approved a bill that includes $495,000 for the rehabilitation of a dam that would allow the pond's restoration in Guilford.
It was a popular recreation spot before being drained in 2011 because of safety concerns about the dam, The Brattleboro Reformer reported (http://bit.ly/1HwgiIV ).
The capital bill will include $90,000 in fiscal year 2016, which will cover planning, engineering, and permitting costs.
In fiscal year 2017— which starts July 1, 2016 —the project will receive another $405,000 for actual construction.
Sweet Pond advocates said the allocation is the result of years of hard work. Guildford's Sweet Pond Steering Committee raised more than $10,000 toward it via a concert, fair booths, T-shirt sales and direct solicitation.
"It's good to have something to celebrate," said Linda Hecker, co-chairwoman of Guilford's Sweet Pond Steering Committee. "The real celebration is going to happen when the pond is full of water."
Rep. Mike Hebert, a Vernon Republican, said he lobbied tirelessly in Montpelier for the project, which he said many in the statehouse grew tired of hearing him talk about.
Hebert said the capital plan is funded on a two-year basis and there is a relatively low possibility that the allocation will be amended during future legislative deliberations.
Information from: Brattleboro Reformer, http://www.reformer.com/