Residents Asked to Name Quechee Park

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/26/2018 12:03:29 AM
Modified: 7/26/2018 12:03:33 AM

Quechee — Town officials say just one more touch is needed to complete the seven-year effort to build a small municipal park off Quechee Main Street: a name.

Hartford residents are asked to submit suggestions to the town, with the winning entry worth a $100 gift card that was put up by Friends of the Quechee Covered Bridge, the nonprofit that formed to protect the bridge that overlooks the park.

Ever since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 tipped a building that once occupied the site into the Ottauquechee River, efforts to transform the resultant eyesore into a park have been slowed by community disagreement and a thicket of regulations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which contributed to the project.

Town Manager Leo Pullar told the Selectboard during a July 17 meeting that the total cost of the project has been finalized at $396,691, which is more than the $350,000 budget cap originally authorized by the Selectboard in 2016, but less than the $415,000 modified cap the Selectboard authorized in May 2017.

Because the town was able to successfully leverage grant funding from FEMA and the state’s Community Development Block Grant program, its out-of-pocket costs were $191,487, significantly less than the $250,000 in municipal funds that was included in the budget as recently as February.

Simon Pearce, the neighboring business, donated and installed four benches in the multi-tiered park, while the Quechee Community Church donated and installed one additional bench.

The town is soliciting naming submissions through the Parks and Recreation Department, which has posted a nomination form on its Facebook page, and which is accepting entries at

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hausler said that only one submission had been received as of late Wednesday morning.

During the meeting, Pullar and Selectboard members referenced an infamous public naming contest for a scientific research boat operated by the British Antarctic Survey. In a 2016 poll, “Boaty McBoatface” won overwhelming support, and that name was eventually bestowed on the boat’s lead underwater autonomous vehicle.

“It could be Boaty McBoatface Park,” Pullar said, according to CATV video. But, he clarified, this naming contest can’t be dictated by the voting public.

“What we did is, we ultimately give you the approval,” Pullar said. “So if it’s Boaty McBoatface, that’s on you.”

“I’d like to make a motion,” Selectman Alan Johnson joked.

Entries must be received by Aug. 20, and must “be original, appropriate and free of any private or trademarked wording,” according to the entry form.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be reached at or 603-727-3211.

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