On behalf of the Friends of , I’d like to extend our sincere thanks to the voters of Wilton for supporting the proposal earlier this month to provide $250,000 over the next two years to restore the 200-year old Raymond Ambler Farmhouse. During the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and other informational meetings preceding the vote, a number of questions and comments about the project indicated some confusion regarding key points, which I’d like to address here:
(1) The owns the 22-acre Ambler Farm property and all the buildings and structures on it;
(2) When the Town purchased the property in 1998, it incurred an obligation, as defined in the deed, to restore all the structures in a way that preserves their original architectural character and that also makes them compliant with code and safe for public use;
(3) This is not a new project: the Town first allocated funds for it in 2008. On the recommendation of the Board of Selectmen, the funding will be broken into two equal portions of $250,000, the first of which was approved at the beginning of this month, and the second of which will be requested in 2014.
(4) These two rounds of town funding will cover roughly half the amount needed to complete the restoration. The Friends of Ambler Farm, a volunteer organization active in our community since 2005, has pledged to raise the other half, in effect matching the town's funding from private sources.
(5) The restoration of the entire Farmhouse structure, front and back, is essential to fully maximize the use and utility of the building.
A fully restored Raymond Ambler Farmhouse will provide benefits of great value to many in our community and beyond. Among the beneficiaries are the 15,000 children and adults who visit the Farm each year for its programs and its natural beauty; the students of Wilton’s and neighboring school systems who come to the farm for its unique educational offerings, which a restored farmhouse will greatly enhance; and all those who believe that an active link with our history and traditions contributes to the health and happiness of our community.
Thanks once again to everyone who voted in favor of the funding proposal, and to all those who, in the months and years ahead, will consider making a donation as the restoration effort progresses.
Friends of Ambler Farm