Voters will decide the fate of the Hope & Main kitchen incubator once and for all during an all-day vote planned for this coming Monday, Oct. 29, at Warren Town Hall.
Though voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of the Main Street School to the incubator group last week, voting nearly 383 to 10 to sell the school for $125,000, that vote did not end the matter; town charter dictates that the sale of town property must also be approved by voters at an Adjourned Town Meeting. Next Monday’s meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at town hall, and voters who wish to vote for or against the sale can come in at any time. Unlike Financial Town Meeting, when there must be a quorum of 125 voters to make it official, there is no turnout required Monday; just a simple majority wins.
The Hope & Main kitchen incubator would be the state’s first. The plan is to transform the old school into a training facility where entrepreneurs with ideas and good recipes can develop their ideas into salable, marketable products. With help from a $3 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, Hope & Main officials will install kitchen equipment, classrooms and more at the school, with “incubees” paying $20 or so per hour to use the facility.
In addition, the school will be used as a hub where incubees can sell their products, and regular farmers’ market-type sales will be held in the rear of the building.