Governor Douglas Announces $857,000 in Community Development Program Grants

Governor Douglas Announces $857,000 in Community Development Program Grants

BETHEL, VT – December 22, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Jim Douglas today announced that $857,000 in Vermont Community Development Program grants are being awarded to four communities – Bethel, Randolph, Vergennes and Rochester. He made the announcement at a ceremony at the Bethel Town Hall, highlighting an affordable housing project in specially targeted for seniors and the disabled.

“Senior housing and housing for disabled Vermonters is a critical part of keeping our communities vibrant,” Governor Douglas said. “This allows them to live close to family, friends, services and support systems that help them remain independent and active.”

Bethel will receive $300,000 from the program to go toward a $1.6 million overhaul of the Depot II Apartments, an existing 10-unit apartment complex in two buildings with four units serving seniors or disabled individuals and six units serving families. “This funding will help the Depot II Apartments provide much needed affordable housing in Bethel for our seniors and those with disabilities,” said Bethel selectboard chairman Neal Fox.

Governor Douglas also announced a $300,000 grant to the Town of Randolph to assist the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) with providing technical assistance to the Vermont Tech Enterprise Center (VTEC), a business incubator building in town. Those funds will be used by the Enterprise Center to assist growing businesses in the Randolph area, including those locating in VTEC’s new building, which is being rebuilt following a fire in November 2008.

“This grant will help grow businesses and create jobs in the Randolph area,” said the Governor. “Investing in job creation, especially in our small businesses, is a wise use of our limited resources that will pay dividends for families and communities.”

The City of Vergennes will receive a $327,000 grant that will be used as part of a $627,000 renovation of the John Graham Homeless Shelter. The renovation will include foundation repairs; the removal of vinyl siding and repair of the slate roof; installation of sprinklers, wiring, plumbing and a new energy-efficient heating system; and the remodeling the current living space to provide 10 rooms for families and individuals needing emergency shelter.

“This grant is a critical piece of the funding to make these needed upgrades to the John Graham Shelter, so that we can provide residents of Addison County with a safe and welcoming environment during a time of need,” said Marcia Mazeine, chairwoman of the shelter’s board of directors.

“The John Graham Homeless Shelter is an important resource for needy Vermonters in the Vergennes area,” Governor Douglas added. “This will be its first major renovation in 30 years, and will allow it to continue its important mission for the residents of Addison County.”

Finally, Rochester will receive a $30,000 grant to prepare architectural plans, engineering studies, and cost estimates for handicapped accessibility improvements to the Rochester Public Library to bring it into compliance the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Making this important community building more accessible means more people in the area will be able to use the facilities,” the Governor noted. “As in many towns, the Rochester Public Library provides public internet access; lectures; and other programs that enrich the lives of its residents.”

These grants have an even greater impact because they leverage other financial resources, allowing state government to address critical needs in our communities. The $857,000 awarded today will leverage nearly $2 million in other funds from private and public sources.

The Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) money comes from the approximately $7 million Vermont receives annually in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which must be used principally to benefit persons of low and moderate income. The state awards the competitive grants based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn.

Officials with the Vermont Community Development program also thanked Douglas for his support of the program during his time in office. “During his tenure, Governor Douglas awarded more than $64 million to 107 Vermont communities for some 264 worthwhile projects to benefit Vermonters,” said Josh Hanford, VCDP director.

For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/index.htm

Contact:
David Coriell (802) 828-3333

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