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Town gets Smart Growth' award

The Town of Starksboro has received a Smart Growth Award from Smart Growth Vermont (formerly the Vermont Forum on Sprawl) for re-establishing a vital town center with municipal offices and a general store. The award is given to communities who demonstrate how smart growth principals can be integrated into project design and community planning. In the late 1990s, Starksboro officials became concerned that the small building in which the town offices were housed was growing too cramped. Because of a sharp increase in the amount of paperwork which must by law be stored in the vault it became evident that the town would run out of vault space within a few years. Increasing state regulations also required additional employees and the little office was beginning to burst at the seams. In 2001 a group of citizens began to investigate options to solve the problem and by chance they were afforded the opportunity to purchase a home, barn and a carriage shed on three acres of land right in the village center. The property was perfectly located between the Starksboro Public Library and the Starksboro Village Meeting House. The Starksboro Town Center Project was begun and with the help of the Preservation Trust of Vermont and countless community members, and the approval of the towns voters to supply the funds, the house was restored and converted into new town offices with a new, large vault and plenty of office and conference space. They were also able to construct a parking lot for shared use with the library and the Meeting House, which also houses the Starksboro Cooperative Pre-School. The parking lot alleviating what had been a dangerous roadside parking situation for those organizations. The former town clerks office is now the Starksboro Village Store, a privately owned business that that offers townspeople and commuters a friendly, convenient place to purchase coffee and groceries. The town had been without a store after the former Starksboro stores owners closed its doors permanently several years ago. Smart Growth Vermont is a non-profit organization that works with and recognizes communities that integrate smart growth principals into project design and planning.

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