Opinion: Let’s talk about Middlebury

Recently, Middlebury’s Town Offices and Recreation Facilities Steering Committee formed a Communications sub-committee that will focus on public outreach activities related to the project. The sub-committee will:
•  Respond to inquiries from the public and publish a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the project page of the town’s website;
•  Publish a series of nine newspaper columns dealing with different aspects of the project;
•  Develop a variety of outreach materials, including fact sheets, displays, poster boards and flyers;
•  Work with local radio and Middlebury Community Television (MCTV) to keep the public informed about the projects;
•  Improve and maintain an up-to-date project page on the town’s website; and
•  Coordinate public outreach events and meetings.
The initial list of Frequently Asked Questions will be published to on the Town of Middlebury website (www.townofmiddlebury.org) the week of Dec. 2. They will also be distributed electronically to local media and hard copies will be available at the Ilsley Public Library, the Sarah Partridge Library and at the Municipal Building. The FAQs will be updated regularly as the project details evolve.
The preliminary list of newspaper articles, which will be published every other week, includes: this article on the work of the Communications sub-committee; the project history; the Town-College proposal; a comparison of off-site and on-site construction options; a detailed article on the Town Offices project; a detailed article on the Recreation project; tax impact; parking; and the project in the context of the town’s finances.
The next public meeting on the project will be on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Gym. The meeting is designed to be family-friendly with an open house format and tours of the Town Offices and Gym. There will also be small group presentations and informal discussions about the project.
The Communications sub-committee will also reach out to various community groups including the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, the Fire Department, the Better Middlebury Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce, Eastview, The Commons, The Lodge at Otter Creek, the VFW and the American Legion. We’ll be happy to visit any community group to share information and answer questions about the project upon request.
We welcome your input, suggestions and questions. Please feel free to contact any member of the Communications sub-committee to discuss the project. Members of the sub-committee are: John Barstow, Greg Boglioli, David Donahue and Nancy Malcolm. Contact information for the sub-committee is available on the town’s website, www.townofmiddlebury.org.

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