Waterbury, Vt. Welcomes State Office Complex Construction

Waterbury, Vt. Welcomes State Office Complex Construction

You could almost hear the cheering across Waterbury.
WATERBURY, Vt. - You could almost hear the cheering across Waterbury.

That's because the start of work at the State Office Complex means eventually the return of hundreds of state workers after Tropical Storm Irene.

In basically a day, Waterbury lost about 1600 workers because of the complex being shut down. That is about a third of the town's workforce and it's why so many people and businesses are happy most of the workers will be returning.

Nina Brennan owns Proud Flower and is like many small business owners in Waterbury.

"I'm a two-year Irene survivor," says Brennan.

Brennan says Irene damaged her store. She was hit again when most of the state office complex workers left town.

"I lost a considerable amount of business from the state workers: daily deliveries, people stopping by for flowers on their way home," says Brennan.

For several businesses in Waterbury, progress at the state complex did not happen fast enough.

We were there months after Irene when a candy shop, Sweet Tooth's, shut its doors. Just one of the stores that closed in the wake of Irene and the closure of the complex.

"It was a huge hit and it's still being felt today," says Waterbury's municipal manager William Shepeluk.

Shepeluk says the arrival of construction workers is a good start.

"That will be a big boost the community here and when the state comes back that will be huge too," says Shepeluk.

Business owners hope the flood of state workers back to Waterbury will finally help repair what Irene damaged.

"I'm very happy to see the complex back," says Brennan.

Those businesses still have awhile to wait and all of the state workers are not coming back. It's estimated about 1200 will work at the complex when it opens in 2015.

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