Year Created: 2018
Type: TIF Plan Approved by VEPC under TIF Authority 32 VSA 5404a(h)
Split of Increment: Education = 70%/30% and Municipal General Fund = 100%/0%
The City of Montpelier was originally chartered in 1781 as a grant to settlers from Massachusetts. The first settlement was established along the North Branch in 1787, during the time Vermont was an independent republic. The settlement grew quickly and by 1805 had a population of 1,200. That same year the State Legislature sought a permanent home and Montpelier was selected to be the capital of Vermont. In 1811, it was further selected to serve as the shire town for Washington County. For nearly its entire history, Montpelier has played host to all levels of government. Beginning in 1828 with the establishment of the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Montpelier began a long history of being a center for finance and insurance businesses. The economy expanded when rail lines were extended to Montpelier and Barre in 1849 enabling the growth of manufacturing and related industries.
Over the next 150 years, Montpelier survived fires and floods to grow to its current population of 7,855 (2010 Census). Its economy has been based on a mix of public and private employers, industrial and professional businesses, and urban and rural jobs. It continues to hold the distinction of the smallest state capital in the United States.
As discussed in the TIF District Plan, the economic and housing development conditions of the recent past have not been fully positive. Since 1960, the population has declined steadily from 8,782 to 7,855 while the number of jobs has only recently started to approach what existed prior to the 1988 recession (UI yearly data 1988 – 2016). Thus, 30 years later, Montpelier is still looking to fully recover the jobs lost in that recession. The decline in population and lack of overall job growth has not gone unnoticed by officials and residents in Montpelier. The City Council established a council goal in 2013 to study the issue and commissioned an Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) that was completed in 2016. Thus study resulted in the creation of the Montpelier Development Corporation and seeks to focus on the City’s strengths in higher education, food processing and advanced manufacturing, entrepreneurs (particularly in software development & IT), finance/insurance, not-for-profit services, professional, business & technical services), specialty retail and tourism, hospitality and the arts.
VEPC Review of TIF District Application
June 28, 2018 Regular VEPC Meeting:
TIF District Powerpoint Presentation by White & Burke and the City of Montpelier
Eileen Peltier, Executive Director, Downstreet Housing and a Montpelier resident
Joe Castellano, Montpelier resident
Lilli Cain and Fred Bashara, Co-Owners of Capitol Plaza Hotel
Cari Clement, Montpelier Downsizing Group
Jay Ancel, Black River Design Architects and Montpelier resident
Douglas Zorzi, Property Owner
Laura Gebhart, Executive Director, Montpelier Development Corp.
Dan Groberg, Executive Director, Montpelier Alive
Richard Sheir, Montpelier resident