Middlebury town office bond revote set for May 13

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday set a reconsideration vote for the $6.5 million town offices-recreation center project for Tuesday, May 13. That Australian ballot vote will be preceded by an informational meeting on Monday, May 12, at 7 p.m. in the municipal gym.
The reconsideration vote was petitioned by resident Howard “Skip” Brush, who opposed the project (Article 6) that voters approved on Town Meeting Day by a 915-798 tally. Brush and several helpers gathered 280 signatures — well over the 230 required — to force a reconsideration of Article 6.
That article calls for a new municipal building to be built at 77 Main St. and a new recreation center to be erected off Creek Road. Middlebury College has agreed to underwrite $4.5 million of the $6.5 million in construction costs in exchange for the current municipal building/gym property at 94 Main St. and another town-owned parcel at 6 Cross St. The college would also pay up to $1 million to move its Osborne House from 77 Main St. to 6 Cross St. and to clear the 94 Main St. site for use as a park.
Brush is hoping that residents defeat the current plan and give consideration to his own proposal that calls for new town offices and a senior center to be built at 105-111 Court Street and a new recreation facility to be added on to the Memorial Sports Center off Buttolph Drive. Brush’s plan has not been reviewed by town officials and will not be part of the reconsideration vote. College officials have also said that Brush’s plan would not be eligible for financial support from the college.
Middlebury Selectman Brian Carpenter said he and his colleagues believe May 13 would catch voters before graduations and summer vacations and still provide ample time for the public to become informed about the issue. Carpenter said some citizens at Tuesday’s board meeting had hoped for a later vote date, but ultimately acknowledged the soundness of May 13 after studying the calendar.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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