Archive - Feb 18, 2008
By ANDY KIRKALDY
ADDISON COUNTY — While a series of winter storms has made snow days and cases of cabin fever even more common than usual in February, local road crews and highway budgets may have been the hardest hit of all.
Compounding problems for town managers, highway foremen and truck drivers has been a shortage of salt. That shortage, a problem officials said stretches across the northern United States, has meant icier roads, more trips out of town garages for workers, and more headaches for drivers and town officials alike.
Ferrisburgh road foreman John Bull said first and foremost drivers should remember circumstances have limited what highway crews can do: Speeding, tailgating and approaching intersections carelessly are even worse ideas than normal.
“The big thing we want to get out there to everybody is you just have to slow down. It’s not business as usual,” Bull said. “It’s slippery, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
BY JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury citizens last Wednesday got a chance to see the first conceptual designs of a proposed Cross Street bridge that town officials hope will be in place before winter of 2010.
The plans were unveiled on Feb. 13 in the municipal gym during an informational meeting at which town officials vastly outnumbered citizens on a rainy, slushy evening.
Despite the dismal turnout at the meeting, selectmen are hoping residents become intimately familiar with the plans before they cast ballots on Town Meeting Day on a $16 million plan to build the bridge as a link between Main Street and Court Street over the Otter Creek via Cross Street. The project — which would include a roundabout intersection at Main and Cross streets — would receive $9 million in funding from Middlebury College. Town officials would like to bankroll the remaining $7 million in costs through local option taxes on meals, rooms, sales and alcohol sold in Middlebury.
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — The Gailer School’s quest for a permanent home sustained another setback last week when the Middlebury Development Review Board (DRB) voted 4-0 against a proposal for the school to settle in the town’s industrial park.
The DRB on Feb. 11 voted against the proposal, which called for the Gailer School to relocate from the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society (CVUUS) campus on Water Street, into a 6,000-square-foot office building at 88 Mainelli Road. That structure has previously housed Bread Loaf Corp., the National Bank of Middlebury and law offices, among others.
Gailer School officials realized from the outset that their proposed move would be a tough sell. Schools aren’t permitted in Middlebury’s industrial zone, even as a conditional use. And several business owners in the park had been candid about their opposition to the plan, citing the potential dangers resulting from students walking along roads heavily traveled by large trucks.