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2019 Update #16

C U at the UU

Let’s get right to this week’s important news.

The Middlebury Selectboard and the Vermont Agency of Transportation have scheduled a public meeting for Tuesday, June 4.

VTrans and its partners Kubricky and VHB will preview the 2019-20 construction plan, which is scheduled to get underway later this summer.

The event will be held at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society just off Charles Avenue starting at 7 PM.

Several weeks ago the Selectboard asked VTrans to present its plan to the community for the remaining two years of the downtown construction project, in particular Summer 2020’s 10-week closure of both Main Street and Merchants Row during which construction will take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

First scheduled to take place at next week’s regular Selectboard meeting in the Town Offices, the meeting has been relocated to “the UU” to increase seating capacity and to provide better viewing of the visuals that will accompany the presentation. I hadn’t seen the CVUUS Sanctuary Building before last week. It’s a beautiful space and there should be plenty of parking at MUHS.

At the meeting, Kubricky will walk us through the construction activities that are planned, the timeline for these activities, and the impacts of the work on our community. We’ll hear about the plan for making sure every downtown building is always accessible during construction, for keeping cross-town traffic moving when Main Street and Merchants Row are closed, and for managing the impact of construction vehicles on downtown roadways.

More broadly, I think many just want to know the answer to a fundamental question: What’s it going to be like in downtown Middlebury in Summer 2020?

This will be another opportunity to get the latest update on the project and ask questions. I hope you plan to attend. If anyone would like to let me know your questions in advance, I’ll forward them to VTrans.

Neighbors Together To Present Its 2019-20 Plan

The State and Kubricky have a responsibility to minimize the impact of construction on Middlebury. What do we as a community plan to do to keep our downtown afloat during Summer 2020?

As VTrans prepares to roll out its final construction plan, Neighbors Together co-chair Nancy Malcolm and Better Middlebury Partnership executive director Karen Duguay will ask the Selectboard to endorse its plan for managing the impacts of that construction on the community at the Selectboard’s May 14 meeting.

A little background. In March 2018, the Town of Middlebury and the Vermont Agency of Transportation signed a Grant Agreement that provided the Town with a $75,000 Downtown Business Support Plan grant. Its purpose was to drive local business revenue through marketing and promotions and to lay the groundwork for future investments.

That $75,000 grant has been invested in a variety of initiatives, including organizing and promoting a series of downtown events, displaying public art and flowers downtown and, most recently, launching the Bundle @ 60 Main pop-up event storefront on Main Street and hiring a Digital Media Marketing Specialist to develop web-based marketing promotions.

The March 2018 agreement anticipated additional grant funding and VTrans has now requested that Neighbors Together presents its marketing plan and grant request covering the 2019 and 2020 construction seasons once it has been approved by the Selectboard.

Neighbors Together’s funding committee has developed the plan, sourcing ideas gathered from the community, and the Neighbors Together team, representing the project’s primary stakeholders, has reviewed and approved the plan and budget.

Your Weekly Construction Update

It was a quiet construction week downtown.

Green Mountain Power continued making the connections necessary to run their electrical lines underground at the entrance to the Marble Works. GMP is coordinating with the National Bank, the Post Office, and other local customers to schedule a cut-over to the new underground service. Still no word on when the poles and aerial lines will be removed from the Printer’s Alley area.

The plan to repair the maintenance access road and walking path that sits just above the Otter Creek below the falls in Riverfront Park is taking shape. Repaving of the pathway that leads down to the pedestrian bridge across Otter Creek will take place once the damage from early May’s high water is fixed.

Final word for this week: I’m still full from Tuesday’s Annual Ham Supper at the Waybury Inn. That chocolate cake might have gotten the nod of approval from Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. It was a great community event in support of our Middlebury Fire Department.

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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