Middlebury OKs new town office, gym in revote

MIDDLEBURY — Voters in Middlebury have for a second time approved a $6.5 million bond to build a new town office and town gym.
In a revote of a measure that passed on Town Meeting Day, residents on Tuesday OK’d the same question; the vote was 880 in favor, 714 opposed. Residents on March 4 voted 915 to 798 in favor of the plan.
Some observers were surprised at the turnout that was so large when there was only one question on the ballot. Today 1,594 ballots were counted, compared to 1,713 on Town Meeting Day, when there were also a slate of other budget and elected office positions up for votes.
The results of the March 4 vote showed that 53.4 percent of the ballots were in favor of the town office proposal, and 46.6 were opposed. In Tuesday’s results, 55.2 percent were in favor and 44.8 were opposed.
The plan that was approved calls for a new, 9,400-square-foot municipal building to be built at 77 Main St. and a new, 11,500-square-foot recreation center to be erected on land off Creek Road.
The proposal also calls for the town to convey the current municipal building and gym at 94 Main St. to Middlebury College, along with another town-owned parcel at 6 Cross St. The college would transform a cleared 94 Main St. parcel into a public park and relocate its Osborne House from 77 Main St. to the 6 Cross St. property to make way for the new town office building.
In return, the college would assume $4.5 million of the $6.5 million construction budget for the two new community buildings. The college has also agreed to pay the town up to $1 million to clear 94 Main St. and to move the Osborne House.
See a full report in Thursday’s Addison Independent.

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