News Releases

December 02, 2014

Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Winners of $475,000 in Municipal Planning Grants

The Department of Housing and Community Development is pleased to announce over $475,000 in Municipal Planning Grants (MPG) to 44 municipalities across Vermont to help dedicated local leaders overcome their challenges, identify their goals and create action plans to grow and prosper.

“Making the places we call home better takes hard work and this program has kicked off hundreds of community-based initiatives that helped communities and entire regions to thrive,” said Noelle Mackay, Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development. “For example, few people outside of St. Albans know that its remarkable $30 million downtown transformation began with a $15,000 Municipal Planning Grant to develop a new vision for the downtown.”

This year, St. Albans City together with St. Albans Town received a Municipal Planning Grant to develop regulations concerning stormwater management. “The Municipal Planning Grant program has a history of providing meaningful support to the City of St. Albans and other Vermont communities,” said St. Albans City Mayor Elizabeth Gamache. “I am especially appreciative of today's announcement, which will enable both the City and Town of St. Albans to plan together to reduce stormwater pollution and improve water quality in St. Albans Bay."

Whether developing rural road maintenance standards to improve water quality or creating economic development plans to enhance local tourism -- the program helps communities assess their needs, evaluate data and make informed decisions about their future. Recently, the towns of Barton and Glover applied for a grant to examine the feasibility of restoring village hydropower. “In an age of rising seas and energy prices, local interest has grown in this potential source of clean, renewable energy, “said Ed Helm, Chair of the Barton Hydro Re-Examination Committee. “Without the help of this program, we could not have hired an expert to analyze the costs and benefits of restoring this community asset on the Crystal Lake Falls.”

This year, grants ranging from $3,800 to $35,000 will help towns like Bethel update their zoning regulations, support the creative economy in Middletown Springs, help Wolcott respond to the loss of a prominent business and identify important natural resources in Plainfield. Around the state, grant funding will help many small towns develop strategies to reduce damage from flooding and make the places where people gather – their downtowns and villages – stronger and more resilient.

Awarded annually and administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Municipal Planning Grant program supports local community revitalization and planning initiatives. Since 1998, the program has provided over $10 million to 230 cities and towns across Vermont to help breathe new life into communities, plan for future growth and development and improve our quality of life.

Media Contact: Noelle MacKay, Commissioner, Department of Housing and Community Development, 802-828-3080

Source: Department of Housing and Community Development
Last Updated at: December 02, 2014 11:35:19