November 10, 2011
Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced a plan to assist communities recovering from Tropical Storm Irene. Dubbed the Community Recovery Partnership, this initiative will target affected towns and regions with facilitated local and regional conversations and cross-agency State support, as well as collaboration in long-term planning and implementation of recovery efforts.
“We know that all recovery is local and the best role for the State is to support the towns. The first step is to talk with communities about both their current needs and their future plans, in order to better gauge the additional assistance they will need going forward,” said the Governor. “We need to harness the incredible community energy of the past two months and direct it toward rebuilding Vermont into a stronger, smarter and safer state.”
Gov. Shumlin said the recovery needs vary from town to town and region to region. To best understand these needs, the state will ask town residents to share their views and ideas.
“True recovery is a community-powered process and we are eager to have local leaders who emerged during the Irene response be active participants,” said Neale Lunderville, Irene Recovery Officer. "These conversations will inform the state’s long-term recovery plan and help set the direction for the future."
The first round of conversations will begin next week and occur over the next few months. While the State is not in a position to provide direct financial assistance to towns, it can provide time and expertise to help craft a plan for the future. All visits will include a team from the Agencies of Commerce & Community Development, Transportation, Human Services and Natural Resources, as well as representatives from the Regional Planning Commissions and Regional Development Corporations.
Through a combination of public hearings and meetings with stakeholder groups, communities and regions will outline their long-range recovery vision and capacity on issues like housing, transportation and economic development. This, in turn, will enable the Shumlin administration to match needs with existing services in the short term, but also create a long-term state recovery plan that leaves Vermont in better shape than before Tropical Storm Irene hit.
“Our goal is to support communities as they make the hard decisions about recovery,” said Noelle MacKay, Commissioner of Economic, Housing and Community Development, who will spearhead this initiative through her department. “Having cross-agency teams is critical as we help towns identify gaps in capacity and need, as well as trends worth pursuing.”
The Governor will personally lead the first several workshops. The first conversation will be held in the Mad River Valley (details TBA). Towns that are interested in having a community conversation with the State should contact Faith Ingulsrud @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-828-5228. For further questions on the long-term community recovery contact Noelle MacKay at email@example.com or 802-828-5216.
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: November 10, 2011 08:57:56