Partnership sets goals for village

Staff Writer
Thursday, August 09, 2018

SHELBURNE FALLS — A diverse and bustling downtown economy, sound infrastructure that supports the village, and a community that works to ensure both Shelburne and Buckland residents have a good quality of life are among the goals that the Shelburne Falls Partnership has set for the village’s future.

This week, Whit Sanford of the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association and the Shelburne Falls Area Partnership presented a draft document of what the partnership hopes to accomplish in the next few years to both Shelburne and Buckland’s selectboards.

Earlier this year, the Buckland board decided not to contribute $5,000 in matching funds for the partnership, saying that the Village Partnership seemed to lack direction in recent years. The Buckland board asked for a mission statement, with specific goals that could be achieved.

The resulting draft proposal lists 22 projects that might be pursued by the partnership, if they have approval by both selectboards. Suggested projects for the Partnership group include:

Parking lot improvement projects in both Buckland (the rail yard lot above Salmon Falls) and in Shelburne (Deerfield Avenue lot below the Glacial Potholes).

River trail development projects.

Village streetscape improvements.

Better signs directing people to attractions and parking.

Perennial downtown issues (trash collection, public bathrooms and employee parking.)

Reuse of vacant/underused commercial property.

More “bread-and-butter” businesses to increase local services.

“Pocket parks” perhaps at vacant lots on Bridge Street.

Sanford said the goals were based on studies by an earlier group a few years ago, coupled with surveys on what people wanted for the village.

Both selectboards said they will study the Partnership’s vision and goals and will discuss them at upcoming meetings later this month.