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$1 million

Gov. Jim Douglas awarded a $1 million Community Development Block Grant, paid by Vermont taxpayers, to a proposed multi-level retirement community located adjacent to the Porter Medical Center campus in Middlebury.

At a ceremony on the 40-acre site of the proposed Eastview at Middlebury facility Sept. 7, Douglas said it was expected to employ 29 people within the first two years of operation and could create up to 45 jobs although the exact number of new jobs remains vague.

"Not only will these jobs help strengthen the economy of Middlebury, but the seniors of this area will have more options for housing and continuing care in the community," the governor said.

The $1 million Community Development Block Grant will be given to the Town of Middlebury, sub-granted to Eastview at Middlebury, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which will construct the new project. It will include 99 units of senior housing comprised of 30 one-story cottage homes; 32 independent living apartments; 19 traditional residential care apartments; and 18 special care suites for residents with memory loss.

Planned community facilities include a lobby; dining room; private dining room; caf ; country kitchen; media room/auditorium; fitness studio; and hair salon. The center will also feature such services as an emergency response system; 24-hour staffing; dining service; housekeeping; transportation; and a full range of assisted living services.

"These kinds of projects are an important part of Vermont's housing stock, particularly as more of our population seeks to 'age in place' in their communities with friends, family, and services nearby," Douglas said.

Vermont receives about $7 million annually in federal CDBG funds, which are used principally to benefit persons of low and moderate income. The state awards the competitive grants based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn.

"These grants are important because they leverage other financial resources and help address critical needs in our communities," Douglas said. "The $1 million we are awarding will leverage more than $41 million in other funds from private and public sources.".

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