By Lani Duke
Key infrastructure needs upgrades
MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS—Middletown Springs faces a number of challenges as it seeks to develop a new municipal building to serve as its town office. The transfer station also is in need of a new site, one that is not in the center of town, especially as the town fire department and road equipment, including salt and sand shed, are all packed in together. Like many other towns, Middletown Springs has found that new fire and road equipment is larger than its predecessors, but the buildings designed to house the equipment have not grown. Nor does the town garage have water or sanitary facilities.
Creating a creative economy
MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS—The Creative Economy Steering Committee has chosen Middletown Springs resident and independent consultant Kathy Letendre to head up establishing a creative economy organization for the town. Funding comes from a $7,800 municipal planning grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development, awarded to the town in December 2014.
Letendre and the steering committee are to analyze existing data and other research, meet with interested parties, and develop the creative organization, mission, vision, image and marketing plan. People already on the steering committee include Nick Seidner, Rising Meadow Pottery; Ryan Mahar, Mahar Maple Farm; Marie Louka, Madrugada Farm LLC; Nora Rubinstein, Teleidoscope Group LLC; and Beth Miller, independent consultant. Others who want to be involved in this process are invited to join in.
Additionally, Middletown Springs’ Select Board is looking for volunteers to join in the process of completing a feasibility study for a future recreational trail along the Poultney River. Activity may include identifying routes, researching and meeting with other communities who have completed similar endeavors, identifying the process and challenges, potential grant opportunities and weighing community support. Call Mike Lamson, 235-1466, to link up with this group.
Factions split on relocating public offices
CASTLETON—The town still seems torn between opposing views of what constitutes progress as regards its community buildings. One view is to sell currently owned buildings and land other than the library, thereby buying enough land on Route 30 to place all town functions at one site on Route 30.
Where does that leave Main Street? asks the other view. Main Street could become nothing more than “college party street,” lined with rental apartments and stores that sell alcohol. And the old firehouse property might become another college rental/party site. The healthier alternative, this group believes, is to retain as much of the town’s functioning as possible on Main. They say that a town office that includes the police department on Main Street does more than assure an official presence in the heart of the village. It is a part of community life, in use during Monday through Friday as well as part time on the weekend.
Fair Haven plans to update peddler ordinance
FAIR HAVEN—Fair Haven’s Select Board plans a public hearing April 28 to gather public input on updating its peddler’s ordinance. The town initially adopted a peddler licensing regulation in December 2000. The town enacted the ordinance “to prevent crime, promote public safety, convenience and maintain order in all public places in the Town and to prevent traffic congestion and unsafe traffic conditions on highways, along the sidewalks and in all public areas.” Its language commits to a two-business-day period between application and licensing. To review the text, either visit the town offices at 3 N. Park Pl., Fair Haven, or on the town webpage, www.fairhavenvt.org.