Middlebury housing plan gets a boost

MIDDLEBURY — At their May 13 meeting, the Middlebury selectboard unanimously endorsed two actions that will assist the Addison County Community Trust’s efforts to improve 22 affordable apartments on North Pleasant Street and John Graham Court.
At issue are the apartments at 31-37 North Pleasant St. and 31-56 John Graham Court, owned by the North Pleasant Street Housing Limited Partnership. Housing Vermont is currently a general partner and ACCT is the property manager for the units, which have been dedicated for low-income families for the past 15 years.
Those units are now in need of substantial refurbishment. Officials last year described a project calling for demolition of the L-shaped, single-story, eight-unit former motel building at John Graham Court, which would be replaced with two energy-efficient structures. Those two townhouse structures would contain a combined total of eight two-bedroom units, plus a handicap-accessible apartment and a three-bedroom apartment. The North Pleasant Street apartments are to be rehabbed.
The selectboard this past Tuesday agreed to extend a new, no-interest loan of $22,000 to the project, which the North Pleasant Housing Limited Partnership will pay back over 20 years. The loan will come in the from a revolving loan fund containing Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) funds already on hand. The board also agreed to extend, from 2029 to 2044, the due date of an existing $170,000 VCDP loan.
In other action on May 13, the Middlebury selectboard:
•  Agreed to move forward with a plan to heat the water in the municipal pool (see story in this issue).
•  Appointed Dean Rheaume as fence viewer and Becky Dayton as a member of the Downtown Improvement District Commission.
•  Discussed feedback received from residents who attended an April 29 meeting hosted by Middlebury on the proposed Phase II Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project. The pipeline would extend from Middlebury to the International Paper Co. in Ticonderoga, N.Y. That meeting, covered by the Addison Independent, saw area residents and landowners voice concerns about how the project might affect their property. The board must submit its concerns about the project to state officials by the end of this month.
•  Awarded a contract to Middlebury-based Structural Energy Corp. (SEC) to perform the long-planned attic insulation/roof replacement project at the Ilsley Public Library. Voters on March 4 agreed to spend up to $200,000 on the project, which calls for insulation work on the attic, along with replacing the north portions of the roof and repair of portions of the slate roof not being replaced. The board awarded the contract to SEC for $135,516. Library Director Kevin Unrath noted SEC was the lowest of three bidders for the project.
•  Heard a proposal from Charles Kireker of Middle Road Ventures to discontinue what is referred to as “old Middle Road.” Middle Road Ventures has been authorized to build a housing subdivision on land off Middle Road. A segment of an existing Class 4 town right-of-way, old Middle Road, runs north/south through proposed Lot 42 of the South Ridge Phase 2 subdivision.
Middle Road Ventures is requesting that this Class 4 right-of-way be relocated to the southerly property line of MRV’s land, connecting to the existing right-of-way at the south end of Meadow Glen Drive near the existing sewage pump station.
The selectboard will conduct a site visit and a public hearing in the near future to further discuss the MRV proposal before rendering a decision.
•  Received an update from Jamie Gaucher, Middlebury’s Director of Business Development and Innovation, on some potential new business leads. They include a German glider company seeking to gain a foothold at the Middlebury State Airport and a company that produces seed oil that is seeking to occupy the former Monahan Filaments plant off Route 116. The Independent will report more details on these projects as they become available.

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