Middlebury approves Cross Street bridge bond, local option tax

03/05/08 12:50PM By Melody Bodette

Middlebury approved a $16 million bond for a new downtown bridge yesterday and approved a charter change to allow a local option tax to fund it.

The charter change must now go to the Vermont legislature for approval. Town Manager Bill Finger says voters will still get to have a say whether or not they want to implement a local option tax. But Finger says without it the bridge won't move forward:

(Finger) "The whole thing is actually dependent on the local option tax, being voted in by the town voters, so if that funding is not available, then we'd have to drop back and find another source of funding."

(Host) Plans for a new village bridge have been in the works since the 1950's, but funding has been a problem. Recently Middlebury College pledged to pay for a large portion of the project.

Finger says if the local option tax is approved, the town hopes to start construction in the spring of 2009.

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