News Releases

March 26, 2015

Dept. of Housing, Community Development Seeks Recommendations to Reduce Flooding and Protect Businesses in Brandon

Getting Ready for the Next Irene

Before the next big storm hits, Brandon businesses and residents are invited to attend a community forum to discuss ways the town can recover quickly from devastating floods and remain open for business.

The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission will hold a meeting on Monday April 6, from 7:00-9:00 PM, at the Brandon Town Hall. Department of Housing and Community Development Commissioner Noelle MacKay will review the results of a study that identifies a range of policies and projects that will help Brandon recover quickly from future floods.

"We've learned a great deal from the adversity of Tropical Storm Irene," said Mackay. "These recommendations will help Brandon apply those lessons and make changes that will help families, local businesses, and the town bounce back when the inevitable happens again."

The community meeting is part of the Vermont Economic Resilience Initiative or VERI. VERI is modeled after a successful project in Bennington that sped community and business recovery from Tropical Strom Irene and saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in cleanup and repair costs.

At a meeting last fall, Brandon's local leaders, business owners and citizens identified areas and infrastructure prone to flooding and failure, as well as ideas and projects to minimize future floods. The project team combined that information with analysis of the Neshobe River and identified a number of opportunities to improve local policies, as well as projects to reduce the economic impacts of future floods.

The team would like to hear what Brandon has to say about the draft recommendations that include replacing the Neshobe River bridges at Route 53 in Forestdale and at Wheeler Road. Other projects to help reduce damage to property and infrastructure include stabilizing the river bank and restoring the river's access to undeveloped floodplain.

The draft recommendations and other resources will be available at the Department of Housing and Community Development's website at Plan Today for Tomorrow's Flood (http://accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/opportunities/planning/resiliency) by April 1. If community members are unable to attend the forum, they can review the report and email comments and suggestions to wendy.rice@state.vt.us by April 28.

VERI is a project funded by the US Economic Development Administration. It is led by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, in partnership with regional planning commissions and the Agencies of Natural Resources and Transportation, plus a team of consulting river scientist from the following firms: Bear Creek Environmental, DuBois & King, Fitzgerald Environmental Associates, Landslide Natural Resource Planning, and Milone & MacBroom.

Contact: Noelle Mackay, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, Noelle.mackay@state.vt.us, 802-828-3080

Source: Department of Housing and Community Development
Last Updated at: March 26, 2015 14:57:26