In the spring of 2005, Jen Kramer’s 6th grade class at Guilford Central School made a slideshow presentation for the Friends of Algiers Village, Inc. This slideshow showed the highlights of Algiers Village in Guilford, Vermont in its present and past days. The students collected old photos of Algiers, interviewed community members and wrote short essays on specific historic buildings in Algiers. I sat down with FAV member, Fred Humphrey and interviewed him about any new information about the progress of FAV over the past two years.
The basic plan for FAV has stayed the same. The group’s plans include improving the triangle of land formed by Guilford Center Road, Gristmill Road and Route 5 by renovating existing historic buildings, creating green space and providing additional services to the Guilford community. According to Fred Humphrey, over the past two years, FAV has had three main highlights. The first was that the Town Selectboard has given FAV a $30,000 grant towards hiring a planner to create a master plan for the triangle and to help set up public meetings. The second highlight is that on January 23, 2006, Fred and FAV president, Eric Morse traveled up to Montpelier, Vermont’s capital, to testify on FAV’s behalf and were granted the designation of the Algiers area as the official Village Center. With this at hand, the people who live in Algiers will be entitled to tax benefits, low interest rates and rehabilitation housing. The third is that the FAV, after a long struggle, has received the 501c3 code. That means that, “none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” Internal Revenue Service; United States of the Treasury
As you can see, FAV is well on their way to uplifting Algier’s true beauty. To achieve this goal, FAV will be demolishing the existing warehouses, blocking the existing Grist Mill Road, developing a small park and providing plenty of on and off-street parking. FAV is also planning to turn this project over to the Brattleboro Community Land Trust in 2007 to further the plan. But until then, FAV is doing all they can to help make the “Gateway to Guilford” a beautiful place to be, like it was so many years ago.
For more information about FAV, call Eric Morse at (802) 254-8277. Or if you would like to get a copy of the students’ slideshow, call Jen Kramer at (802) 254-2271.