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Opinion: Now is the time to vote ‘yes’ on town building

I wonder how many people in Middlebury realize how fortunate we are: We reside in the best agricultural area of the state; we are blessed with one of the finest colleges in the U.S., which rewards Middlebury with economic stability, a large stable employment base, and a major attraction for visitors, spectators, parents and corporate leaders; Addison County is No. 1 in the U.S. for senior health care and we are very proud of our medical community, hospital and related institutions. Our industrial park is maturing with continued growth resulting in more local employment opportunities and manufacturing output.
The heart of Middlebury starts with the town green and flows outward toward our main streets which provide unique shops, a variety of restaurants, stores, hotels and inns, theaters, library, museum, the Marble Works complex et al. The Otter Creek flows through town and creates the basin by the falls (a popular attraction for locals and tourists and the main site for the farmers’ market).
In the past few years, the people of Middlebury have come together to improve our fire department with a building expansion and overall improvement along with additional firefighting equipment, a newly constructed ambulance and rescue center has been added. The traffic glut downtown has been reduced with the addition of a second in-town bridge, which is not only functional but attractive as well.
As a result, Middlebury is regarded as one of the best towns in Vermont and a great place to live.
In our opinion, this is the result of a caring community coming together with excellent management, dedicated and intelligent selectmen, a forward-looking planning commission, an alliance with local businesses such as Carrara & Sons, Bread Loaf  Architects, Planners & Builders, and many others, as well as a community that wants to participate and be a part of the solution.
Currently, we are focused on making Middlebury even more attractive with new improvements to our community, most of which are long overdue.
•  A town office, new and efficient with low maintenance costs, taxpayer friendly with the college’s support. Closer to the town center and surrounding parking areas.
•  A new recreation facility located in exactly the right spot. Off the main streets, easily accessible to all the residents and students, a huge benefit to the existing Creek Road facility, more economic benefit and efficiency with lower maintenance costs.
•  Opportunity to acquire the Lazarus building and implement the existing plan to improve the vehicle and pedestrian access into the Marble Works area. We can’t wait to walk down Merchants Row and look over the grass covered railroad tunnels into the new wider and more attractive entrance to the Marble Works complex.
•  An attractive green area separating the town and Middlebury College providing more public access without sacrificing parking.
Now is the time to acknowledge the work, thought and diligence of our elected officials. They have been working hard toward solutions that are the best for our community. We thank them for their service and have complete trust and faith in their recommendations and decisions on our behalf. We are proud of the decisions they have made regarding the improvement of our fire department, ambulance services, and second in-town bridge. We hope you feel the same. We are all part of this community and it’s time for us to take the responsibility to come out and give our support to those who have given their best because they love this community as much as we do.
The fate of the new, badly needed Middlebury town office and gym will hinge on the outcome of the vote of the UD-3 voters at the Addison Central Supervisory Union (UD-3) meeting that will be held in the Middlebury Union High School gym on Tuesday, Feb 25, at 6:30 p.m. At that time the voters of UD-3 will decide by voice vote whether to ratify the agreement between the UD-3 board and the town of Middlebury to allow for the construction of the new gym on Creek Road. Middlebury will not get its new town offices unless the gym is approved by UD-3 at the Creek Road site.
We are definitely in support of our selectmen’s decisions on this project and we appreciate Middlebury College for their continued financial support.
Peter and Kathy Hubbard
Middlebury
 

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