Governor Peter Shumlin announced the recipients of approximately $450,000 in Municipal Planning Grants that will assist 46 local communities plan for future growth and development, revitalize cities and towns, and help protect communities from future floods.
"These grants provide local communities with the tools they need to map their economic future while protecting their natural environment. The downtown development and job creation in Newport, for example, would not be moving forward today without the planning grant assistance that helped the community develop a vision for their future and then work to bring it to fruition," Governor Shumlin said.
Some of this year's project highlights include funding to support community studies and forums in Pittsfield and Windsor to turn the lessons learned from Irene into policies that promote safe development, assistance to Barre to modernize and streamline the local permit approval process in its downtown, an economic development study for the Mad River Valley to help better diversify the workforce and improve the local economy, and a study to identify and quantify the housing needs in Bennington.
Area communities to benefit from the funding are Barton, Norton and St. Johnsbury.
The Town of Barton was granted $8,000 to revise and update the zoning bylaws to align the flood hazard area regulations with the state's model regulations and provide updates to the Town Plan.
The Town of Norton was granted $5,550 to update the Town Plan, zoning bylaws, and flood hazard regulations for greater flood protection and allow participation into the National Flood Insurance Program.
St. Johnsbury -- Growth Center Plan
The Town of St. Johnsbury was awarded $14,993 to create a development-ready plan and develop strategies to guide development and improve the local economy in downtown. There is a required local match of $3,487.