Seven Designated Downtowns Received $565,000 in State Grants.

17 May 2021

 

Contact: 

Gary Holloway
Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development
802-522-2444; gary.holloway@vermont.gov

 

SEVEN DESIGNATED DOWNTOWNS RECEIVE $565,000 IN STATE GRANTS
$498,320 Grants to make downtown areas more welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists.
Montpelier Receives $67,000 in clean water grants for Confluence Park.

 

Montpelier, Vt.—The Vermont Downtown Board has allocated $498,320 in grants to Brattleboro, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Poultney, Springfield and St Albans.  This funding will support projects to improve the safety, access, and comfort for people walking and riding bicycles in downtowns.

Josh Hanford, Chair of the Downtown Board and Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said increasing public investments in our downtowns are now more important than ever. “As more and more Vermonters get vaccinated, these types of access improvements are just what our downtowns need to help draw people back to local businesses and rebuild community life harmed by the pandemic.”

“Vermont downtowns have worked incredibly hard to respond to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists,” said Michele Boomhower, Vermont Agency of Transportation Director of Policy, Planning & Intermodal Development.  “These needs have far outstripped demand for many years and I am thrilled the legislature is supporting the Governor’s proposals to boost the Downtown Transportation Fund by $5M.”

Grants will support access improvements to trail stations in Brattleboro and Middlebury, new wayfinding signage in Springfield, enhanced lighting in Newport, new sidewalks in St. Albans, and create new public spaces in Poultney and Montpelier.

Montpelier will receive $67,000 in special clean water grants to help mitigate storm water runoff in the new Confluence Park.  “The downtown clean water fund encourages communities to identify opportunities to install green stormwater management practices when planning improvements,” said Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. “Pairing stormwater projects with other infrastructure investments are cost effective ‘win-wins’ that improve water quality and the vibrancy and sustainability of Vermont’s downtowns.”

The Vermont River Conservancy has collaborated with the City of Montpelier on the development of Confluence Park, a significant community development project connecting the downtown to the North Branch and Winooski Rivers. “Connecting with green space and waterways is a critical part of healthy communities, and we are so excited to help bring this connection to downtown Montpelier,” said Steve Libby, Executive Director of the Vermont River Conservancy.

The Downtown Transportation Fund supports revitalization efforts in Designated Downtowns each year improving parking facilities and making these areas more pedestrian, bike and transit friendly. Since its inception in 1999, the program has invested over $11 million to support 143 projects in 23 different communities leveraging over $49 million in additional funding.

Summary of 2021 Grants:

Brattleboro’s Depot Street Parking Lot Expansion ($81,548):   The new station and parking lot will bring Brattleboro's Union Station into full compliance and be the first and only level boarding platform in the state of Vermont.  Local Contact:  Patrick Moreland, pmoreland@brattleboro.org or 802-251-8101

Middlebury’s Amtrak Platform Sidewalk Extension ($90,000): The sidewalk extension along Middle Seymour Street and Maple Street to the future Amtrak Rail Platform and parking lot adds a critically important connection to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bicycles.  Local Contact:  Jennifer Murray, jmurray@townofmiddlebury.org or 802-388-8100 x210

Montpelier’s Confluence Park ($100,000):  This new park at the confluence of North Branch and Winooski Rivers is at the heart of downtown Montpelier on the newly expanded Siboinebi Path that runs through the city’s commercial center.  Local Contact:  Kevin Casey,

KCasey@montpelier-vt.org or 802-272-3266

Newport’s Downtown Ornamental Streetlight Replacement ($90,500):  Replacement of ornamental streetlighting in downtown will increase visibility making downtown safer and more accessible to all. Local Contact:  Laura Dolgin, laura.dolgin@newportvermont.org or 802-334-5136

Poultney’s Slate Quarry Park ($17,240):  A new park in downtown Poultney will provide space for the community to gather for cultural events, arts performances and seasonal events.  Local Contact:  Paul Donaldson, poultneymanager@comcast.net or 802-287-9751

Springfield Downtown Wayfinding Project ($20,675):  The addition of wayfinding signage will help visitors identify places of interest and support economic activity within the downtown area.  Local Contact:  Jessica Martin, springfieldonthemove@gmail.com or 802-885-1527

St Alban’s Center and Stebbins Street Sidewalk Reconstruction ($98,357):  The sidewalk enhancement and extension will improve access and help connect a missing sidewalk link within the business district.  Local Contact:  Chip Sawyer, c.sawyer@stalbansvt.com or 802-524-1500 x259

For more information, please visit:

https://accd.vermont.gov/community-development/funding-incentives/downtown-transportation-fund

 

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