Liebowitz, Cararra & Sons honored as citizen/business-of-the-year

MIDDLEBURY — At its annual meeting Thursday night, the Better Middlebury Partnership honored Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz as Citizen of the Year and J.P. Carrara  & Sons, Inc. as Business of the Year for their significant roles in building the Cross Street Bridge — a town goal that has been 50 years in the making.
Liebowitz was instrumental in stepping forward to make it possible for the town to finance the bridge with a $9 million pledge, amounting to almost $18 million counting interest. The town taxpayers will pay another $7 million over the next 30 years. Middlebury selectman Dean George made the presentation, noting Liebowitz’s personal effort in convincing the college trustees and his many hours of work on the project.
J.P. Carrara & Sons, builders of the precast concrete bridge, were honored for working closely with the town to reduce the impact of its construction project (less than half the time the state would have taken to do a similar job), and doing it within a budget that again is far less than it would have cost through conventional channels, as well as for being one of the leading manufacturers in the Northeast for its innovative and high quality precast/prestressed concrete  products.
The business was also lauded for its 50-years of bringing economic vitality to the town through its construction of many of the manufacturing buildings in the town’s industrial park — dating back to the early 1970s. Presenter Angelo Lynn noted that Paul Carrara Sr. and other town leaders in the late 1960s and early 1970s had the foresight and initiative to plot the Exchange Street corridor, buy the land and set up what later became the town’s industrial park — drawing hundreds of high-paying jobs to the town at its peak.
Outgoing President Sarah Stahl was lauded for her multiple years of service on the board, while in-coming President Donna Donahue will assume leadership of the Better Middlebury Partnership. New board members were elected and Executive Director Gail Friedin was honored for her decade-plus years of service in that capacity.

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