by Mickey Smith
The Town of Johnson has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $309,000 to be loaned to a new grocery store planned for the former Grand Union location.
The CDBG Disaster Recovery Awards were made by the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development and totaled $1,509,000 statewide.
The grants are awarded to municipal or non-profit organizations, but can be disbursed to for profit businesses. Johnson has stated the money for the grocery store will be given in the form of a loan to Mike Comeau's Village Market of Johnson. The money will be used primarily for the purchasing of equipment for the store. According to the grant award information, $802,670 in other resources will be used in the project.
The Village Market will be located in the same location as the former Grand Union, which closed in May of 2011 due largely to spring flooding that year that dumped about a foot of water into the store. Pomerleau Real Estate, the Burlington-based owners of the building, plan to modernize the building and make it harder for water to get into the space during flooding.