SWANTON — Swanton continued to plan for its future at a meeting on Thursday in which consultant presented an assessment of where Swanton has been and what it has to offer businesses, with the focus on the western entrance to the community from Route 78.

Consultants Dan Voisin, a senior geologist from Stone Environmental, and Peter Fairweather, the president of Fairweather Consulting, presented their analysis at a meeting of the Swanton Targeted Area Wide Plan Steering Committee.

The Northwestern Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) hired the firms, as well as Environmental Design & Research, on behalf of the Town and Village of Swanton. Their goal is to “identify ways in which the revitalization of key sites can serve as catalysts for economic growth for the Swanton community.”

Voisin created a “story map,” an interactive digital communication tool identifying potentially limiting parameters within the 72-acre study area, such as infrastructure, flood zones, historic land use, Brownfield aspects and hazardous waste sites.

“Swanton grew up as a river community,” Voisin said. “It’s been linked to the Mississquoi its entire history.” That means many floods, one potential issue. Swanton’s water treatment plant could be another. The plant produces 400,000 gallons per day at its peak. Voisin said that could be a problem if an enterprise comes into town that uses large amounts of water.

On the other hand, the wastewater treatment plant has “a ton of capacity,” Voisin said. Right now, the plant is operating at about half its 900,000 gallon per day capacity. Voisin noted the state’s phosphorous reduction targets will probably necessitate changes to the plant.

But it was the historic land use portion of the presentation that really gripped those assembled.

“For somebody who’s not familiar with Swanton Village, this is really cool,” Voisin said.

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