ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — The town of St. Johnsbury is going to lease an unused Main Street armory so the community's History and Heritage Center can open a museum of local artifacts.
Town officials approved the $1 lease for the building at a recent meeting.
There is an option to buy the property, but that decision would depend on the results of a study to determine if there is any contamination on the site.
People involved with the center, which was created in 2010 and has been considering the armory as a site for a museum for some time, say the lease is a huge step.
The town has agreed to provide up to $20,000 for contaminant remediation if the center purchases the armory.
"It's been slow because we haven't had any final commitment on anything," said Peggy Pearl, the organization's unpaid director. "Now we're going to pick up the pace. We're going to do more fundraising, more grant writing. And we're just trying to get ourselves in a situation where we can move, literally."
If the study is favorable, officials are confident they can raise $500,000 for renovations to the armory.
Some of the artifacts that would be housed at the museum would come from the town's Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, which is shifting its focus toward astronomy and natural history.