The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced the availability of approximately $450,000 in Municipal Planning Grants (MPGs) to create stronger, more sustainable communities. Grant applications are due September 30, 2013 for grants that will be issued in the 2013 calendar year. Funding priorities for this year support local planning efforts to improve neighborhoods, plan for infrastructure, and minimize the impacts of future floods.
MPG grants fund a wide range of projects to help local communities realize their own vision. Examples of past projects include the following:
• Responding to a steady decline in local businesses, residents of the small town of Peru focused on actions to revitalize their village and now look forward to the re-opening of a beloved general store.
• In Burke, where mountain biking now drives tourism, recommendations for improved bicycle and pedestrian connections in the Village of East Burke helped position the town for state funding to upgrade sidewalks, crosswalks, on-street parking and make intersection improvements.
• Rutland City surveyed conditions of blighted downtown housing which led to legislation creating local tax incentives to help revitalize vacant and underutilized properties identified in the survey.
“How Vermont grows matters,” DHCD Commissioner Noelle MacKay said. “These grants build the local capacity to assure that local planning and development decisions make communities, regions and the entire state more sustainable, livable and prosperous.”
In a recent survey, 85 percent of local officials said this program was a critical tool to help communities turn their visions into reality. The survey findings also indicated more money was needed to get things done, so this year municipalities may apply for up to $20,000 – an increase of $5,000 over previous years.
For more detailed information and eligibility requirements, visit the website or call Wendy Tudor, 802.828.5249.
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development helps Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. For more information: www.accd.vermont.gov.
Media Contact: Noelle MacKay, Commissioner, Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Dept. of Housing and Community Development, Noelle.MacKay@state.vt.us, 802.828.5216