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2019 Update #9

Launch Pit Skating Rink, Heads Up on Pop-Ups

Excavators and cranes wintering over in Printer’s Alley swung into action on Monday as the ECI crew returned to town and began the final phase of work on the new downtown stormwater system.

The first order of business is clearing several feet of ice and water that accumulated in the Launch Pit during the past six weeks. Once that’s done (and I think we’ve probably all heard that more snow arrives on Friday and Saturday), ECI can get to work on finishing the Launch Pit.

All work on the new drainage system will be completed by mid-May.

Tree Update

The clearing of trees in the downtown rail corridor has continued, with most of this week’s work taking place along the rail line behind South Pleasant Street between Cross Street Bridge and the Battell Block.

The final phase of tree clearing involves cutting down the box elders on the St. Stephen’s side of the rail abutment between the Merchants Row and Main Street bridges—that took place on Thursday—and then taking down the three maples that sit on federal property between the Post Office and the rail corridor. That work is necessary in order for the State to install a new sewer line for the Post Office. Those three trees will be replaced at project’s end with several native shade trees as recommended by the Middlebury Tree Committee and the Town’s Design Advisory Committee.

The above photograph shows the view from the lower Ilsley Library parking lot looking out across Otter Creek to South Pleasant Street on Wednesday afternoon. The visual impact of the tree clearing can be a little disconcerting. Some familiar landscape is disappearing, to be replaced by new landscape that won’t fully take shape until 2021 and beyond.

Before we leave the trees, I wanted to let you know that I met with HOPE Executive Director Jeanne Montross and we finalized arrangements for Trees Incorporated to deliver all of the downed trees to Boardman Street for HOPE’s emergency firewood shelter.

Pop Up Redux

Did you have a chance to visit the “pop-up” store at 60 Main Street (formerly Clay’s) during our Christmas Midd Night Stroll? It proved really popular and so our Neighbors Together community action group is bringing it back this Spring with funding provided by the Vermont Agency of Transportation. This is part of a larger Neighbors Together downtown business support plan for this Spring developed in collaboration with the Better Middlebury Partnership and approved by the Selectboard at its last meeting. I’ll provide the full story once the final details are ironed out between the Town and the BMP, which will oversee the program.

Finally, speaking of Main Street, you may have noticed or read in The Addison Independent that Parlour has relocated its beauty and hair salon business from the corner of Elm and Seymour to 57 Main Street (next door to Autumn Gold). Parlour opened up its new storefront on Monday. You can learn more about their products and services here.

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.

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