Archive - Feb 4, 2008
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — It’s early February and Middlebury is blanketed by snow, but spring thaw will usher in a variety of road, water and sewer-related improvements in Addison County’s shire town.
Chief among them a major rehab of the sewer force main that runs from the Rogers Road pump station under Route 7, north to Charles Street, Water Street and then to Cross Street.
Middlebury Director of Operations Dan Werner explained that corrosive soils have caused several failures in the force main during the past few years. Those failures have prompted the state to order Middlebury to repair the force main by this August.
Since replacing the line would require a lot of digging — and therefore substantial disruption to traffic — town officials are hoping contractors can simply slide a cured pipe-liner inside the force main. Werner explained this “slip-line” tactic would require less excavation and fewer headaches for travelers.
Unfortunately, the two firms that have bid on the job have submitted proposals that exceed the town’s project estimate of $775,000.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectmen on Thursday made the first of what will be several pitches to the community for local option taxes to partially fund a new in-town bridge, and they learned that not everyone is sold on the idea.
“My concern is that once a tax like this is added, it never goes away,” said Scott Jacobs, owner of the Agway Farm & Garden Store, who said he would prefer selectmen find another funding mechanism for what he said was a worthwhile in-town bridge project.
“An extra sales tax isn’t going to bring in more business,” he added.
Thursday’s hearing drew around 30 local residents, retailers and public officials, some of whom weighed in on the notion of levying the local sales, meals, rooms and alcohol taxes by 1 percent each, to raise upwards of $725,000 annually. That money — along with a commitment of $600,000 per year from Middlebury College — would be applied to debt service on a 30-year, $16 million bond issue to fund a new in-town bridge. The bridge would link Main Street with Court Street across the Otter Creek, via Cross Street.
By MEGAN JAMES
HANCOCK — Developments have been slow coming in Hancock since Thomas Fabbioli purchased the former Vermont Plywood plant at an auction last November. Still, the new owner is working with town officials to ensure his vision — transforming the building into a marble processing plant and business cultivation center — becomes a reality.
Fabbioli, who owns Vermont Verde Quarry in Rochester, hopes to use a small portion of the 118,000-square-foot building for cutting and polishing Vermont Verde’s serpentine marble, a process that will require six to 10 employees, and rent out the rest of the plant to start-up businesses.
“This thing is very fluid right now,” Fabbioli said. “I’m trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together to create something successful.”