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By the way for Sept. 29

Commercial housing spaces in Vergennes and Middlebury were among the businesses sharing some of the $4 million in funding announced by Gov. Scott on Tuesday to support rehabilitation projects throughout Vermont’s designated downtown and village centers. In all, 49 project awards will help generate over $95 million in building improvements and public infrastructure around the state, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. In the Little City, the historic Shade-Roller Mill building on Vergennes Falls has sat vacant for years, but now state tax credits will support its adaptive use to much-needed housing, with 19 new units planned. For project estimated to cost $2.43 million, the governor awarded $117,500 in tax credits. In Middlebury, a $56,466 tax credit was award for the $112,891 project to replace the historic Battell Block’s 65-year-old elevator, ensuring continued access to the building’s upper floors and its many residential and commercial tenants including the Middlebury campus of the Community College of Vermont. 

Looking for something a little different to do next Friday evening? You could take a friend to the top of McCardell Bicentennial Hall on the Middlebury College campus for a stargazing event at the Mittelman Observatory. If there aren’t a whole lot of clouds in the sky, go between 8:30 and 10 p.m. to look at a variety of fascinating stars, planets, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies through the observatory’s telescopes. Due to COVID-19 policies and best practices, not all telescopes may be open and masks may be required. This is free and open to the public.

The Vermont Arts Council is offering a new grant program to provide meaningful arts learning experiences for older Vermonters, an effort that hopes to ease the social isolation that sometimes arrives as people age. Creative Aging Grants provide up to $4,000 for organizations to provide skill-based arts instruction and intentional social engagement led by experienced teaching artists for older adults aged 60 and over. Applicants may hire artists on the Council’s Creative Aging Teaching Artist Roster, which comprises experienced teaching artists that trained with Lifetime Arts to design creative programs for the aging. But artists don’t have to be on the roster Grant applications are due Nov. 1. For a lot more information go online to tinyurl.com/VAC-65-plus-grants.

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