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Bank offers Printer’s Alley property to Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectboard last Tuesday agreed to consider an offer by the National Bank of Middlebury to convey to the town (at no charge) Printer’s Alley.
That alley connects Main Street to the Marble Works complex. It has come into sharper focus in recent months because of its proximity to the ongoing downtown rail bridges project. Printer’s Alley was closed to one-way vehicle traffic this past spring when a temporary bridge was installed on Main Street. The alley has remained open to pedestrian traffic.
Ownership of the alley could give the town more flexibility in coordinating the railroad bridges project, which will include some micro-tunneling on the former Lazarus building site for a drainage system serving the construction area.
Bank officials have asked, among other things, that the bank be granted a 5-foot buffer extending from the northeast edge of the building into Printer’s Alley.
“This area will likely be a green space managed by the National Bank of Middlebury,” reads the bank’s proposal.
The selectboard on Tuesday gave its preliminary approval of the Printer’s Alley transaction. If final terms are hammered out by the two parties, the town could take possession of the alley within 30-60 days, according to Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay.
In other action on Tuesday, the Middlebury selectboard:
•  Unanimously approved, subject to some minor language changes, an updated Middlebury Town Plan. This updated plan is a precursor to what will next be a major re-write of the document. The town plan is meant to serve as avisionary document for all aspects of what the community would like to see happen to it during the next five years.
•  Unanimously appointed Dana Hart as the new director of the Ilsley Library. As previously reported in the Independent, Hart, 28, has for the past three years served as administration manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Thomas J. Watson Library in New York City. Prior to that, she was a worker in the map division of the New York Public Library. She and her partner have family and friends in Vermont.
•  Unanimously agreed to appoint Middlebury College student Sullivan Barth to a vacancy on the Middlebury Energy Committee.
•  Nominated Barbara Doyle-Wilch to fill a vacancy on the Ilsley Library Board of Trustees. That vacancy was created by the recent departure of member Skylar Atkins.

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