ACTR nets $100K college grant

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College recently awarded Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) a $100,000 grant. These funds are a contribution toward the 20 percent local matching requirements of a $2.85 million federal grant previously awarded to ACTR for the construction of its Community Transportation Center, which will be located off of Creek Road next to the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) maintenance facility.
“We are honored to receive this gift from Middlebury College in recognition of our contribution to the economic, social and environmental health of the Addison County region,” said Jim Moulton, executive director of ACTR. “We have now raised 97 percent of the funds needed to create this center, which will enable us to continue meeting the growing community transportation needs in the region.”
“We believe in the importance of public transportation, and are pleased to see ACTR rising to the occasion to meet this challenge,” said Patrick Norton, vice president for finance and treasurer at Middlebury College. For every $3 ACTR raised from state or town resources, Middlebury College provided $1 up to $100,000. “Middlebury College supports ACTR’s mission and encourages its employees, whenever practical, to use public transportation to commute to work,” said Norton.
The gift comes after ACTR recently secured a combined total of more than $710,000 through two grants to help build its proposed $4.2 million Middlebury headquarters. One of the grants is a state award of $356,250. The second grant, for $360,000, is federal money that will cover inflationary increases for the project that have accrued since 2009, according to Moulton. This means that ACTR will not have to cut portions of the project to meet the $4.2-million budget that had been established three years ago. The $360,000 grant includes a $40,000 local match requirement.
Both of these grants will be funneled to ACTR through VTrans.
During the past 10 years, Middlebury College and its students have been key partners in providing local matching funds for ACTR’s daily operations. This support has significantly benefited the community as well.
In 2004, the college worked with ACTR to expand service to the Snow Bowl, the college’s ski area, so that both students and community members could have increased access. The college’s Center for Campus Activities and Leadership redirected its ski transportation funds to serve as a local match for a grant to launch this service.
In 2006, ACTR launched its Saturday Link service, which gives students and locals the opportunity to go to Burlington during the weekend. This route was spurred by student initiative, and helped leverage a government grant to create service for the greater Addison County community.
In 2010, ACTR expanded its bus system by 40 percent and the college and students provided local matching funds. “We have a track record of working with ACTR and will continue to encourage our students and employees to choose a convenient and environmentally friendly way to travel,” said Ron Liebowitz, Middlebury College president.
“Middlebury College’s ongoing support of ACTR is an important partnership for both the College and the community,” said Dean George, president of the ACTR board of directors. “We are pleased they have extended their track record of investment in ACTR as we near the end of our fundraising goal for the Community Transportation Center.”
ACTR plans to operate out of the new Community Transportation Center by March 2013, shortly after marking its 20th anniversary of service to the region. To learn more about ACTR’s services, or contribute to the capital campaign for the Community Transportation Center, go to www.actr-vt.org or call 388-1946.

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