April 08, 2015
Five Vermont communities will be able to make their downtowns safer and more beautiful, thanks to grants from the state's Downtown Transportation Fund. Windsor, Bristol, Rutland, Waterbury and Barre were awarded a total of $388,245 for transportation-related capital improvements, including bike paths, sidewalks, and landscaping.
"We are delighted we can make these opportunities available to help continue to make our downtowns strong. Congratulations to these communities for their hard work and success," commented Patricia Moulton, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
Noelle Mackay, Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said competition for the grants was fierce. "This year we received a record-breaking 13 applications requesting $919,043 in funds, which was an 89 increase from 2014," said Mackay. "People understand that streetscape improvements help make downtowns more accessible and attractive to visitors. The response to the grants clearly identifies the need for funding these types of projects."
The Downtown Transportation Fund supports revitalization efforts in Designated Downtowns each year, funding investment in public spaces that creates a sense of identity and pride in downtowns across Vermont. The Downtown Transportation Fund helps municipalities pay for transportation-related capital improvements, including streetscape improvements, parking facilities, utility relocation and access improvements. Since its inception in 1999, the program has completed over 84 capital improvement projects in 20 different communities, leveraging over $10 million.
The applications for the 2015 grants were reviewed and scored by the Downtown Board which represents a variety of state agencies, organizations and communities. Five projects were awarded funding this year:
Windsor's Main Street Sidewalk Project ($89,076) improves the visual entrance into downtown through sidewalk improvements, utility location, and lighting. This project is part of a continued effort to improve accessibility and beautification of downtown Windsor.
Bristol's Village Green Lighting, Safety and Enhancement Project ($37,169) will help to create a safer and inviting pathway to the downtown for pedestrians and bicycles by installing benches, bike racks, and vintage lighting. The project is scheduled for completion in early summer.
Rutland's Downtown and Pedestrian Gateway Project ($100,000) along Strong Avenue and Merchants Row addresses pedestrian safety issues that have resulted in multiple accidents over the past several years. The new crosswalks, bump outs and sidewalks will significantly improve the safety of pedestrians. New trees, green space and a gateway sign will enhance the entrance to downtown.
Waterbury's grant ($100,000) will help fund site improvements to the new Municipal Complex, which was identified as a high priority project following the flooding of Hurricane Irene in 2011. The site will add 50 new public parking spaces, landscaping, energy efficient lighting, pedestrian walkways and a new Waterbury gateway sign.
Barre's Enterprise Alley Project ($62,000) is a brownfield clean-up site that will get 25 much-needed parking spaces, street improvements, improved storm drainage, curbing, sidewalks, a bus slip, attractive lighting fixtures, a bike path, and landscaping.
For more information, please visit: http://accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/opportunities/funding/downtown_transportation_fund
Contact: Gary Holloway, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development; 802-828-3220; firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Department of Housing and Community Development
Last Updated at: April 08, 2015 15:30:17