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Middlebury awards riverfront contract

MIDDLEBURY — At an Aug. 14 meeting, the Middlebury selectboard agreed to contract with DeBisschop Excavating to make substantial improvements to public property bordering the Otter Creek Falls in the Marble Works.
The so-called “Riverfront” project will include the construction of pathways, re-grading and landscape restoration, tree and shrub plantings and new seating and gathering opportunities with a small amphitheater-like environment, noted Middlebury Assistant Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay.
The project, to be completed this fall (pending permitting), is expected to cost around $59,000, which will include a combination of town conservation funds and private donations.
In other business, the selectboard:
•  Awarded Champlain Construction, with a low bid of $394,731, a contract to do extensive water main work in the Painter Hills neighborhood.
•  Received a revised town plan from the planning commission that will be the subject of a Sept. 18 public hearing (see story in Aug. 16 edition.
•  Approved refinancing of the remaining indebtedness on the Middlebury police station bond, expected to save the town almost $83,000 on payback. The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank consistently reviews outstanding bond portfolios and seeks to re-issue bonds issued at higher interest rates than those currently available, Ramsay noted. This year the bank re-issued its 2004 series bonds, which included the Middlebury police headquarters bond.
•  Learned from Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger that major work on Middlebury Fire Stations 1 and 2 is progressing smoothly. Expansion and renovation of Fire Station 1 on Seymour Street is expected to be done in January, while a new Station 2 in East Middlebury should be done within the next month or two.
•  Heard concerns from Rolling Acres resident Sara Daly about a municipal ditching project that she said has damaged her septic system leach field. Town officials said they will review Daly’s complaints in concert with public works staff.
•  Heard concerns from property owner Valerie Hastings-Smith about traffic circulation problems she noted at the intersection of Cross and Court streets. The signal timing a traffic patterns inhibit drivers from turning into properties (like Hasting-Smith’s) near the intersection, she said.

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