Monday, April 26, 2010

Dexter Farm Project update

Dexter Regional Development Corporation (DRDC) has been busy over the winter months working with regional farmers, farmer friends and QA13 Architects with plans for the rehab of the Fossa General Store.

A lot of GREAT businesses in the Dexter area have been helpful in giving us their expert advice on everything from heating systems, wood products, siding, flooring, environmental issues and more AND they expect nothing in return! They realize with our CDBG grant, almost everything has to go out to bid and it will be up to the General Contractor chosen to choose companies they will be working with. (in most cases)

We would like to thank them for their advice on quality, pricing and practicality in the commercial space: Steve Wintle our environmental guy, Louis Easler at Dexter Lumber, Matt Scott of Dave's World, for heating systems, Mark & Tom from AE Robinson, Jay Bradley of Bradley Heating, George McCourt, Tillson True Value, John Higgins at Yoder Lumber, Kris Kowel and so many more. Many have offered FREE services or "at cost" because they believe in our project!!! We appreciate all those people and more for their time in providing us with knowledge.

DRDC and supporting staff continue their efforts in writing grants and brainstorming on raising funds for the store. Currently Jason has applied for a USDA Grant for our Commercial Kitchen appliances & fixtures. If you have any fund raising ideas, let us know. We are currently looking for refrigeration units, display cases, etc. Donations are accepted for this Non-Profit project that reaches out across a 25 plus mile radius of Dexter and supports the local farmer while creating an agricultural economy.

On Saturday, April 24th 2010 we held our 1st work day when volunteers from DRDC, Farmers and friends got their hands dirty at the future home of the Fossa General Store.
The energetic crew demo'd some of the ceilings, took down some wall partitions out and hauled trash. We worked hard until our trash trailer was overly full and didn't want to just stack trash only to move it again. Craig P. took 1 or 2 loads of old metal to the Transfer Station.
Everyone was dusty, dirty and we worked hard in those hours and got so much done AND had fun. (LOTS MORE TO GO)
We will be having another work day soon, but really good news, in the meantime, Dave has arranged for the Charleston Correctional Center work crew to put in a full day at the store.
We set up an account at Tillsons and Norma and I kept running across to pick up tools, trash bags, broom etc. They joked with us every time we went in because we were dirtier than the previous visit.
Workers included: Steve Wintle, Fred Wintle, Jason Bird, Courtney Brown, Josh Doore, Norma Batchelder, Dave Pearson, Steve Craig, Lauraine & Craig Piquette, and Judy Wilbur Craig.
Supporters behind the scene or showing up later: Fred Sherburne brought his trailer & picked it up to take to the dump, Roger Brawn did behind the scenes planning (both had to work at real jobs, but helped a lot) and Sue Watson, Jonathan Wilbur, Amanda Flagg Lupo showed up to help, but the rest of us were done and spitting dust.
I think I am speaking for most of us, despite the dirty work, we had a great time and it is a step closer....
We have lots more to do before the General Contractor is chosen, so let me know if YOU can help and when. The RFP will be issued in the very near future for the GC and will be advertised for those interested.
Here is a link to some pictures taken on Saturday, April 24th:
If you would like to get involved in this community project or would like to learn more about it, call Judy at 924.3067, email or check out the website at
The next monthly meeting is Tuesday, May 4th at 7 PM at the Dexter Town Council Chambers. The informal meetings are open to farmers, friends of farmers and consumers. The Dexter Farm Project meetings are held monthly on the 1st Tuesday of every month.

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