Middlebury joined four other Vermont communities and will share more than $300,000 in state taxpayer-derived funds to improve transportation infrastructure downtown. Middlebury will receive $70,000 for streetscape improvements. The board also renewed the Designated Downtown status for the communities of Brandon and Vergennes. In order to obtain or retain downtown designation, a community must demonstrate a long term commitment to revitalization through planning, capital improvements, economic development, and preservation of historic resources. Last week, the Vermont Downtown Development Board awarded the grants from the Downtown Transportation Fund, which was created by the legislature in 1998 to support the revitalization of the states downtowns. Other awards were made to: Rutland - $75,000 for new streetlights on Center Street; St Johnsbury - $75,000 to support the rehabilitation of the historic train station as a welcome center; St Albans - $66,574 for sidewalk replacement in Taylor Park; Morrisville - $25,000 for new streetlights on Copley Street.