Three county towns earn municipal planning grants

MONTPELIER — Three Addison County towns were among 45 communities around Vermont that recently were awarded Municipal Planning Grants to help them tackle issues facing their towns. The kinds of issues the $478,000 in grants will address include things like where to locate new housing, how best to protect the community from floods or bring needed infrastructure to support new businesses and economic vitality.
“Issues like how to make a village more vibrant, planning for the cost of new infrastructure, and reducing homelessness are complicated” said Noelle MacKay, commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development, which awarded the grants. “Solving these and other local issues takes hard work and this program has a proven track record in helping communities overcome their challenges and charting new directions.”
Hancock, Panton and Middlebury each received funds.
Hancock was awarded $7,950 to develop and gather public input on the five-year capital improvement plan that identifies and funds high priority public improvements.
Panton will provide a $1,000 local match to go along with a $10,087 grant to work on its town plan. The grant funds will help update the town plan to address issues of flood resilience, stormwater management, shoreline protection and water quality.
The $20,000 grant that Middlebury won will be used in planning. Considering the limited parking downtown, the town will use grant funds to study and evaluate its options for a downtown parking garage. The total cost of this planning pocess is projected to be $26,000.
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 $11 million to 232 cities and towns across Vermont to help breathe new life into communities, plan for future growth and development and improve Vermont’s quality of life.

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