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To the Editor:
I hope others are as concerned as I am about the viability of the businesses on Bridge Street and, of course, our beloved bridge itself. This picturesque historical area is the heart of the Mad River Valley and Waitsfield. For example, it's no accident that the photo given by Win Smith to Peter Shumlin on his inauguration is of the view of Sugarbush from the Bridge Street area!
Without a vibrant Bridge Street business area, our town and Valley would be much less desirable to tourists and all of us would suffer because our property values would decline as the desirability of The Valley as a destination declined.
We need to join forces to take whatever actions are necessary to provide as much protection as possible to the Bridge Street area from future floods, which will certainly come. Whether this involves building some sort of retaining wall along the river in this area or doing excavation work on the river itself or rebuilding the riparian banks or all of the above is beyond my knowledge. We need to assemble a group of people with this expertise to make these decisions and get this process moving as soon as possible. It seems like everything is at a standstill when it comes to what to do about the river, and our farms and businesses are suffering from the uncertainty.
I encourage the select board, our state legislators, Friends of the Mad River, regional planning board and whatever other individuals and organizations should be involved to join forces to move this process along immediately.