Norwich Farm Creamery (NFC) was part of the Town Manager's report last Selectboard meeting, as Herb Durfee reported meeting with two representatives of an “ad-hoc citizens committee” supporting NFC. After that meeting, Mr. Durfee was of the view that the three parties, Norwich Farm Creamery, Vermont Technical College (VTC) and Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) need to sit down and reach agreement.
Making a deal always sounds good in the abstract. However, at what cost and who pays? Norwich Farm Creamery cannot cover the complete operating costs of the property and needs someone to fund the difference. I asked NFC about the amount it needs, in emails of March 23 and April 11, but the Creamery declined to provide details. When lobbying the Selectboard and Town Manager for public or municipal support, transparency is a must. Complicating the equation is that VTC plans to remove the creamery equipment from the site. See UPDATE On Norwich Farms: VTC To Remove Creamery Equipment In May.
Town Manager Durfee mentioned a fundraising effort might be in the works. But in my email of April 11, I asked: “Is there an effort by you to tap popular support to raise money, either privately or through Go Fund Me type websites?” Norwich Farm Creamery declined to provide details. Over 2000 people have signed the change.org petition Save Norwich Farm Creamery. If each of the 2000 persons that signed the petition donated on average $100, the gives the Norwich Farm Creamery $200,000 in working capital.