BENNINGTON -- The Bennington Select Board voted on Monday to accept a donation of property on 336 Main St.

Heather Maneely proposed to purchase the 0.03 acre (approximately 1310-square-foot) property, which is assessed at approximately $25,000, and donate it to the town. The property is currently on the market and is owned by a woman from Connecticut. According to a listing on Realtor.com, the owner is asking $19,995 for the property.

"At the present time," said Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd, "the donor has asked that it be used as a public open space for at least the next 15 years."

The property is currently a vacant lot, located between Fiddlehead at Four Corners and Katie Cleaver’s jewelry shop.

Hurd said that the town is, "going to fix it up, and, as the donor requested, turn it into a quiet, restive space in our downtown." While plans have not been finalized, Hurd said the town may hold a design contest in which architects submit ideas for the space. He said that the town would likely contribute some trees and benches.

At the back of the property is a small triangular space that provides access to the back entrances of several local businesses. Hurd said that would have to be addressed as well.

Hurd estimates the town will lose approximately $250 annually in taxes from the acquisition of the property.

"I think this is an excellent opportunity to, once again, enhance the downtown experience," he said.


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Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB