Governor Douglas Awards $1.3 Million In Community Development Grants
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Governor Douglas Awards $1.3 Million In Community Development Grants

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Ten Communities To Receive Funds For Housing, Economic Development Projects

MILTON, Vt. – Creating affordable housing, jobs, and alternative energy sources in Vermont were on the agenda as Governor Jim Douglas on Monday announced the award of $1.3 million in community development grants to ten communities.

“These grants will rehabilitate affordable housing; create new elderly housing units and adult day care; help plan for responsible future housing projects and promote job creation in Vermont,” Governor Douglas said.

The $1,345,498 in Vermont Community Development Program grants will also leverage $10,152,714 in other private and public resources, he said during a ceremony in Milton.

A $297,500 grant to Meadowlane Housing Associates and Housing Foundation Inc. will be used to purchase and rehabilitate 20 units of affordable housing and create 16 additional new units of affordable elderly housing.

“Our existing affordable housing stock must be maintained, but we must also expand that, including housing for our aging population,” Douglas said. “And we must encourage the production of new housing that working Vermonters can afford.”

The Town of Middlebury was awarded the largest grant, receiving $412,498 to rehabilitate the Hill House Group Home, which provides housing and other services to the homeless who are struggling with mental illness or substance abuse.

“These eight units of housing are critical to meeting the needs of these extremely vulnerable Vermonters,” Governor Douglas said. “In addition, the septic failure at the facility will be addressed by connecting to municipal sewer and water, and energy efficiency and ADA improvements will be made.”

A $250,000 grant to the Town of Colchester will be sub-granted to the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), an incubator affiliated with the University of Vermont, to support the expansion of services in a new facility in Colchester.

“By working with more new businesses to help them create jobs at its new Colchester location, the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies will help entrepreneurs in our state bring their ideas to the marketplace, and employ their neighbors,” Governor Douglas said.

A $200,000 grant to the Town of Bennington will be used by Bennington Project Independence for the construction of a State certified, not-for-profit Adult Day Care center serving Bennington County and the surrounding region.

“Assisting older adults in the Bennington area with day care means they will be able to live more independent lives outside of nursing homes, closer to their families,” Governor Douglas said.

Two towns, Sutton and Bridport, will each receive roughly $30,000 in grant money to study the feasibility of setting up a wood or fiber fuel pellet production plant in those towns.

“These grants represent an investment in green technology that could pay huge dividends later in terms of jobs and our environment,” Governor Douglas said.

The Village of Waterbury and City of Montpelier will each use $25,000 grants for planning, the former for economic development and housing plans, and the latter for work on a mixed use development on the site of the former Salt Shed on Stone Cutters Way.

“Waterbury is a growing community, and this grant will help it plan for growth that is responsible and that ensures future prosperity,” Governor Douglas said. “Montpelier’s Stone Cutter’s Way has been a wonderful example of redevelopment incorporating retail and office spaces, and this grant will help further that effort.”

Finally, the towns of Warren and Worcester will receive $50,000 and $25,504 respectively to make renovations to their Town Halls to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“These grants will make an important public space – the Town Hall – accessible to all residents for important activities like Town Meeting and conducting government business,” Governor Douglas said.

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development awards the competitive grants based on the recommendation of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary Kevin Dorn.

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

Implementation Grants

$412,498 Town of Middlebury: Subgrant to Addison County Community Action Group to rehabilitate the Hill House Group Home on 290 Route 7 North. The home provides transitional supportive housing services to mentally ill homeless persons.

$297,500 Town of Milton: Subgrant to Meadowlane Housing Associates and Housing Foundation Inc. to acquire and rehabilitate the existing 20 units of affordable housing at Meadowland Apartments in order to modernize the facility and to meet current life/safety code requirements. Also planned is the development of 16 additional new units of affordable elderly housing on the same parcel.

$250,000 Town of Colchester: Grant to Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) to support the start-up operations of their Colchester Facility and its technology based business incubator program.

$200,000 Town of Bennington: Subgrant to Bennington Project Independence for the construction of a State certified facility, not-for-profit Adult Day Care serving Bennington County and the surrounding region.

Planning Grants

$30,000 Town of Sutton: Grant to conduct a feasibility study of the Old Burke Lumber Mill site for reuse as a wood-chip and wood-pellet production facility.

$29,996 Town of Bridport: Subgrant to Addison County Regional Planning Commission to study the feasibility of producing fiber fuel pellets and the viability of a fiber fuel pellet production plant in Addison County.

$25,000 City of Montpelier: Grant to continue studying the feasibility of implementing the Riverside Center as a mixed use development on the site of the former Salt Shed on Stone Cutters Way.

$25,000 Village of Waterbury: Grant to develop a comprehensive plan, including economic development and housing options, for the future growth of Waterbury Village and identify strategies for implementation of the plan.

Accessibility Modification Grants

$50,000 Town of Warren: Grant to provide accessibility to all three floors of the Warren Town Hall by installing an elevator and bringing it into ADA compliance with state and federal regulations.

$25,504 Town of Worcester: Grant to provide accessibility to the Worcester Town Hall and bring it into full ADA compliance with state and federal regulations.

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