On March 14, 2023, the first round of approved grant applications for projects that spur economic recovery through Vermont‘s Community Recovery and Revitalization Program (CRRP).
This program of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) is administered by the Department of Economic Development (DED).
It aims to revitalize communities across the state by reversing the harm caused by COVID-19 through assistance with capital investments that will help businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities to recover, retain existing jobs, and grow the economy.
“My administration remains focused on our continued economic recovery and increasing economic equity in all regions of the state,” said Governor Phil Scott.
“These grants will help businesses and organizations critical to their communities continue to recover and grow, increasing critical support like housing, childcare, and wastewater to more Vermonters. These projects represent ARPA dollars at work and are making long-term investments in our state’s future. We must continue to look toward smart investments that will have a lasting impact through the CRRP program and other economic development tools I am advocating for in FY24 budget,” he added.
Thirty-one projects have been approved by an inter-agency committee, resulting in a proposed award amount of $10,328,196 which is expected to support $153,515,054 in total project costs.
The 31 projects are expected to support 354 existing jobs and enable the creation of 205 new jobs, 79 new affordable housing units, and 196 new childcare slots for low- to moderate-income families.
The awards are spread across 12 counties, with priority given to four BIPOC-supporting projects and 16 projects in towns with stagnant or declining grand lists.
“This first wave of approved applications represents projects that will provide assistance to households, help businesses in impacted industries to recover, and strengthen communities throughout the state,” said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein.
“We look forward to announcing additional approved projects in the coming weeks and will continue to review applications until the funding is depleted,” she continued.
On March 20, 2023, Governor Scott and members of the Cabinet participated in several events as part of their work to revitalize communities across the state, including a public safety and human services summit in Bennington, forums in Lamoille County to engage communities on available infrastructure funding, and a trades education and recruitment event in Randolph.
Reflecting on these events, which are part of a sustained and coordinated commitment to outreach and engagement, the Scott Administration issued the following statement: “Restoring the vitality of communities all across the state – with a focus on those that have been left behind for too long – is a top priority of the Scott Administration. As Governor Scott has said, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase equity between regions, giving every region the chance to catch up and act on their vision for a brighter future.
To achieve this, we continue to take a holistic approach, focusing on the financial security, economic opportunity, health and safety of people and their communities. This includes investments in the basics, like infrastructure, housing, jobs and workers; and giving workers, families and kids the foundation, skills, and opportunities they need to get ahead.
Today, our team participated in several events that hit the heart of his work. In Lamoille County, we continued to make sure communities have access to critical infrastructure dollars and learn more about how to level the playing field and increase regional equity. In Randolph, we joined Vermont Technical College and building industry leaders to help kids learn about rewarding careers in the trades. In Bennington, we took a deep look at efforts to align social services with public safety because we know addressing the root causes of crime and substance abuse, and creating more economic opportunity, will increase safety and well-being. And tomorrow, we’ll join municipal leaders, rural planners, and homebuilders to call for reforms needed to build more housing.
This Administration is working to address all these community revitalization issues together, with a clear vision, specific actions steps, measurable outcomes, and a disciplined focus on the fundamentals. This is how the State of Vermont can ensure the historic, once-in-a-lifetime level of one-time state and federal funding available has a truly transformative impact, putting all our communities on stronger footing for generations to come.”
A sample of approved applications include:
Town Hall Theater, Inc. (Middlebury)
Transforming the community theater into a regional performing arts center through construction of a new 3-story wing.
Total project cost: $6,500,000
CRRP grant support: $500,000
Neck of the Woods, Inc. (Waitsfield)
Expand childcare and early education center.
Total project cost: $2,500,000
CRRP Grant Support: $468,400
Ledgenear Farm (Glover)
Diversification of a dairy farm through investments in maple, beef, flower production, and agritourism activities including a self-pick apple orchard and farm-stays.
Total project cost: $1,007,800
CRRP grant support: $201,450
Town of Manchester
Main Street sewer and water extension and installation of Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) to service a mobile home park, single family homes, and commercial properties.
Total project cost: $3,018,880
CRRP grant support: $603,776
“We are thrilled to receive this critical funding from the State of Vermont and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development,” said JB Weir, the Chair of the Board of Neck of the Woods Childcare and Early Education Center.
“This will help us to continue renovations to our 10,000 square foot building, allowing us to achieve our goal of providing early education and childcare for up to 125 children,” he explained.
The $40 million program, first proposed by the Scott Administration and passed by the Legislature in 2022 through Acts 183 and 185, is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
As of February 1, 2023, DED received 83 complete applications (31 approved) requesting more than $36 million in capital investment funding to assist with project costs totaling more than $408 million.
“Ledgenear Farm has been part of Glover for almost two hundred years and this grant will allow us to continue that legacy into the next century,” said owner Nella Cargioli Coe.
“The funding will help us to modernize and diversify the farm, preserve working lands, bring agrotourism, create jobs, and provide land-based products to our community. It’s an incredible opportunity for our farm and the State of Vermont’s support is directly impacting the success of this beautiful place,” she concluded.
DED received seven applications for projects owned, managed, or serving BIPOC individuals, 40 applications from projects in towns with stagnant or declining grand lists, and five applications from municipalities for water or wastewater projects.
Applications not approved in this round remain under review for use of the remaining $30 million and will be announced in the coming weeks as they are approved.
Applications will continue to be accepted until all funds are allocated.
Photo of downtown Manchester, Vermont is by John Phelan via Wikipedia.