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Businesses eye local presence in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Jamie Gaucher, director of the Middlebury Office of Business Development & Innovation, last week updated the Middlebury selectboard on economic development efforts in the shire town.
He reported, among other things, that a financing group based in North Carolina has asked for a financial estimate for a new Vermont Livestock headquarters in Middlebury’s industrial park.
Gaucher also said that a telecommunications firm founded by a Middlebury College alum is considering laying down local roots, and that the principals of an international recycling company are considering investing $15 million for a new plant in Middlebury.
Also, the town of Middlebury is a finalist in a “best places to live” competition organized by Outdoor Magazine, Gaucher reported.
Selectboard members noted upcoming public input sessions on the so-called Economic Development Initiative, involving the use of town-owned land off Bakery Lane, behind the Ilsley Library.
Those hearings are planned for Monday, May 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the community meeting room of the Ilsley Library, and Wednesday, May 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Middlebury Regional EMS headquarters at 55 Collins Drive.
These meetings are the third and fourth meetings in a series of four planned public meetings in preparation for the release of a Request for Proposals to pre-qualified firms for the development of the property. All sessions will be facilitated by Mary Hurlie of LeaderScope Consulting, in collaboration with Gaucher.
In other recent action, the Middlebury selectboard moved forward with park ordinance and changes to the junk ordinance (see story on Page 1), and also:
•  Agreed to discuss the prospect of adding, to a future town meeting warning, the question of whether future municipal budgets should be voted by Australian ballot.
•  Heard an update from Middlebury Area Land Trust officials on the concept of acquiring — for conservation purposes —  the 108-acre Sabourin property from Middlebury College, as well as maintenance of the Boat House Bridge on the Trail Around Middlebury. The board said it would include an inquiry about the Sabourin property on the agenda for its next meeting with college officials. The board supported MALT’s request for $2,500 in town funding to help share the cost of the bridge work, which will be completed this year.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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