State To Award $4.3 Million In Grants To Ten Communities

State To Award $4.3 Million In Grants To Ten Communities

RUTLAND, Vt. – October 30, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — A multimillion dollar factory in Barre Town that will produce components for electric and hybrid cars and a blighted public housing project in Rutland were among the winners of $3.6 million in grants awarded by the state Wednesday.

At a ceremony at the Forest Park housing complex, which is receiving $750,000 for rehabilitation, Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie announced Vermont Community Development Program grants to ten Vermont communities.

“Projects like this will help Vermont emerge from the current national economic challenge with a stronger and more resilient economy, and with improved infrastructure and housing,” Dubie said.

The money will be granted to the City of Rutland, then loaned to Housing Vermont and the Rutland Housing Authority for the first phase of the revitalization of the Forest Park housing complex, a nearly $8 million project.

The project will consist of the demolition of 8 of the 16 deteriorated buildings containing 30 units and the construction of 7 new buildings with 33 mixed income apartments, including seven market rate units.

In addition to the construction of new units, the project includes the construction of the associated infrastructure including roads, parking, new water and sewer lines and a new storm water treatment system.

Ultimately, the city hopes to replace all 76 units with 85 mixed income rental and home ownership units.

Barre Town will receive a $1 million grant which will be loaned to SB Electronics to assist in the purchase of equipment for an $18.2 million, state-of-the-art factory to produce innovative “Power Rings,” a capacitor used in hybrids, plug-ins, or other vehicles that use an electric motor.

The new 52,800 square foot facility will be built in the Wilson Industrial Park, and the project expects to create 80 jobs within two years.

The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative” for manufacturing facilities for hybrid vehicle components as part of the federal ARRA stimulus package.

“Our entire congressional delegation played a big role in helping us secure the funding for this project, and it is really going to help not only our economy but the world’s environment as we go forward with more hybrid vehicle production in this country,” Dubie said.

Two large housing projects in Chittenden County also won grants. The Town of Shelburne will receive $750,000 which will be loaned to Housing Foundation Inc. to acquire and develop 42 acres of land into a mixed housing development, known as Shelburne Woods.

The project will provide 22 units of replacement housing for the people who live in Shelburne Wood Mobile Home Park, which is at risk of closing and displacing 50 residents, and will also conserve some 22 acres of land along the LaPlatte River.

A $600,000 grant to the City of South Burlington will go to Cathedral Square Corporation to construct a 28-unit expansion to the City’s award-winning Grand Way Commons Senior Housing development on Farrell Street.

Cathedral Square will acquire and demolish a dilapidated commercial property located next to the existing Grand Way Commons on Farrell Street to build Grand Way II, which will provide coordinated health and supportive services to, allowing residents to “age in place.”

The Town of Rockingham will receive $400,000 which will subgranted to the Windham Housing Trust (WHT), working in partnership with the Rockingham Area Community Land Trust to recapitalize the Southeastern Vermont Revolving Loan Fund.

This loan fund provides loans for life safety, accessibility, and energy rehabilitation to low and moderate income home owners in Windham and Windsor counties, as well as pre- and post-purchase, delinquency, and foreclosure prevention counseling for these home owners.

The town of Springfield will receive $750,000 for refurbishing the Fellows Gear Shaper building, part of a project to convert the historic machine tool facility into a mixed use development that would include space for Springfield Hospital health center offices.

The project includes a new fire alarm and suppression system throughout the building; emergency lighting; a new electrical system; fire doors; and a new elevator and handicapped access.

A $50,000 access modification grant to the Town of Randolph will pay for handicapped accessibility modifications to the Chandler Center for the Arts, as well as other restoration work including adding sprinklers, a fire alarm system, a new fire exit, and a fire wall.

The City of Barre will receive a $30,000 grant which will be subgranted to Central Vermont Community Action Council to conduct a feasibility analysis for a new campus where CVCAC will consolidate its administrative offices and several client services.

The Town of Hartland will receive a $30,000 grant that will be subgranted to Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to complete an all-inclusive update of the East Central Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Plan, as well as Continuity of Operations Planning for some 40 small and medium-sized businesses in flood-prone areas.

An $18,500 planning grant to the City of St. Albans which will be subgranted to Samaritan House, a homeless and transitional housing shelter, to conduct feasibility and design studies for renovating its facility on 22 Kingman Street.

Vermont receives about $7 million annually in CDBG funds, which are used principally to benefit persons of low and moderate income, and this his year the state also received nearly $2 million in additional funds through the federal stimulus bill.

“These grants are important because they leverage other financial resources and help address critical needs in our communities,” Dubie said. “The $3.6 million we award today will leverage more than $37.5 million in other funds from private and public sources.”

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.

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

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