Archive - Dec 6, 2007
NOAH QUESNEL, 5, of Middlebury gets in the spirit of the occasion during a visit with Santa Claus Saturday morning at the Community House in Middlebury.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
December 6, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Aldi will not proceed with a plan to locate a 17,000-square-foot discount food store in the Middlebury South Village (MSV) housing and retail development off Court Street.
Jeffry Glassberg, one of the developers of MSV, confirmed the news on Tuesday — two weeks after the Middlebury Development Review Board convened its first formal review of the Aldi store plan. Some board members at that meeting voiced concerns about the scale and design of the proposed store, as did several community members.
Glassberg stressed, however, Aldi’s decision to reconsider a Middlebury store was not based on negative feedback at the November hearing. Rather, it relates to a shift in the company’s business plan for Vermont.
“Our understanding from a broker involved is that Aldi is retrenching from Vermont and has terminated its pursuit of four or five other sites in the state as well,” Glassberg said. “This is primarily a staffing decision for Aldi.”
Founded in Germany during the 1940s, Aldi in an international retailer offering a “no-frills” shopping experience at 3,500 stores worldwide, including one location in Bennington.
Aldi officials last year expressed interest in establishing a store at MSV, a planned unit development that has already received approval for 56 single-family homes, 30 townhouse apartments, a new Chittenden Bank, and a total of 34,000 square feet of office and retail space, including a bank and sit-down restaurant.
MSV developers had hoped to recruit several small retailers and firms to occupy the commercial/office space, but that strategy did not yield the results they were hoping for. They shifted gears, hoping to make Aldi MSV’s anchor retailer.
December 6, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Vermont Transportation Secretary Neale Lunderville on Monday credited the town of Middlebury and Middlebury College for joining forces in trying to finance a new in-town bridge, adding that such collaborations will be key if the state is to whittle away at the many construction projects that are languishing on the drawing board due to a lack of funds.
“I commend both the town and the college for their willingness to look at creative and innovative ways to finance transportation projects,” Lunderville said during a telephone interview.
“The college and town were able to combine their resources to solve a mobility and safety issue that is important to them both,” he added. “I applaud their collaboration.”
The collaboration to which Lunderville is referring involves a pledge by the college to give $9 million toward a new in-town bridge that would link Main Street with Court Street via Cross Street, across the Otter Creek. The college’s commitment to back a $9 million bond the town would float, actually would add up to total payments from the college of $18 million ($600,000 annually over 30 years) to cover the interest and principal on the bonds. The college’s payments would kick in when and if the bridge is completed, perhaps as soon as 2011.
Officials are estimating a total project cost of $16 million, when one includes related road and intersection work, as well as the expense of acquiring four properties within the proposed bridge right-of-way. Middlebury officials will seek federal funds, donations, property tax dollars and “creative financing” to gather the remaining $7 million for the project.
December 6, 2007
By MEGAN JAMES and CYRUS LEVESQUE
ADDISON COUNTY — The Christmas season is a time of buying and giving gifts to friends and family, but there are a large number of people who have difficulty finding the money for even the meanest gifts for family members, not to mention bare necessities.
There are many local efforts that go beyond just helping provide bare necessities to offer a little something extra during the holidays to people who are struggling financially.
“There are people that find themselves all of a sudden in a difficult financial situation, and we try to be there (for them),” said Helen Haerle, who coordinates a Christmas shop at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Middlebury, which will welcome those in need from around the county this Saturday and on Dec. 15.
Children are often the focus of the holiday season, especially when it comes to giving gifts. But in addition this year, a group of area agencies are collaborating with corporate sponsors to make sure isolated seniors also have something special to unwrap.
“I’m often struck by the number of seniors in our community who don’t have family,” said Deborah Foster, development coordinator for Addison County Home Health and Hospice, one of the partner agencies. “They often have no one to provide them with a little happiness.”
Foster’s agency has teamed up with Home Instead Senior Care in South Burlington and the Rite Aid store in Middlebury for the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program, which coordinates the collecting, wrapping and delivering of holiday gifts to “elder orphans,” seniors without family nearby, or at all.