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Grange Hall work begins

Work began last week on the rebuilding of the Ferrisburgh Grange Hall. The historic landmark was destroyed by a fire set by James Husk in February 2005. Bread Loaf Corp. is the projects builder. The firm has been involved in all steps of the grange project including planning, architecture and building. According to a Bread Loaf source, the new building will be a modern replica of the circa-1868 Grange Hall. The hall, originally used as a church, will house the town offices and a community meeting room. The project will cost $2.8 million. Approximately $2.1 million of the project money came from the towns insurance settlement. Taxpayers are footing $110,000 of a $350,000 bond ok'd by voters. The balance of the funds comes from federal and state grantspaid by taxpayersand private donations. According to Lawyers and Settlements, an online legal news service, the town brought a lawsuit against PACIF, an insurance company, over losses incurred after the town-owned structure was destroyed by an arson fire. The hall was scheduled to be renovated into a town office building and community center. The town had earlier received about $1.03 million from PACIF, the insurance company that underwrote the project and was affiliated with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and its co-insurers. And after more than a year and a half of haggling and delays, an insurance deal was reached that will pay the town another $950,000 for the loss of Grange Hall. Sources claim that the earlier payment was for the value of the existing Route 7 structure, while the additional money goes toward the value of the finished project, including a duplicate grange building up to modern code. The project has faced some opposition in town. News reports, quoting local realtor Carl Cole, claimed a large, silent group had opposed the plan to move the Ferrisburgh town offices into a rebuilt Grange Hall.

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