Middlebury officials look to the future of downtown

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectboard members at a Tuesday evening meeting considered the future of downtown and next year’s municipal budget.
Board members approved Middlebury Planning and Zoning Director Jennifer Murray’s proposed grant application for funding from the Better Connections Grant Program for development of a “downtown master plan.”
The master plan would address such things as downtown traffic circulation and parking, street design, train station alternatives, open space and planning for targeted projects — including the municipal complex and future Economic Development Initiative project.
Murray placed the total master plan cost at $50,000 to $60,000, with a required town match of up to $6,000.
Separately, the selectboard received an update on a proposed fiscal year 2018 municipal budget. As originally presented, the spending plan would have increased the tax rate an estimated 3.5-cents. But Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay recommended some cuts — and the use of $150,000 in surplus from Middlebury’s local option tax fund — that would have the combined effect of reducing the town’s municipal tax rate by a quarter of a cent. The selectboard will revisit the budget its Jan. 10 meeting.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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