Local News

Poultney receives planning grant

$9,000 grant will help develop a guiding vision for the town following closure of Green Mountain College

The town of Poultney received $9,000 in state planning grants to develop a guiding vision for the town and explore updates to the regulations to support the downtown following closure of Green Mountain College.

Poultney was one of 31 towns that received $468,552 in Municipal Planning Grant awards. They are being used to find solutions that address local community issues.

Locally, Castleton, Manchester, Rutland, Middlebury, Randolph, Reading, Rockingham, Rutland, Sharon and Springfield, also received awards. Some are using them to develop new town plans or update existing language in zoning regulations.

In Washington County, Berlin is working to create a new, mixed-use and walkable town center in the area encompassing the Berlin Mall and the Central Vermont Medical Center. Middlesex and Waitsfield are also pursuing projects to create lively, walkable and economically vibrant town centers.

“Reinforcing town and village centers is critical to growing our economy. Like so many towns in Vermont, Berlin, Middlesex and Waitsfield rely on the work of planning commissioners, select board members and other volunteers to strengthen their communities for future generations,” said Scott. “I’m pleased we can support their efforts through these grants.”

“These funds will help towns focus on building, enhancing and making connections in the community to develop the town centers of the future where both businesses and residents can thrive,” said Bonnie Waninger, executive director of the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission. “In Berlin, the grant will help make progress towards creating a new town center in the mall area with a wide range of uses including new housing and a childcare center.”

Other municipal grants awarded will fund a wide range of projects in municipalities large and small throughout Vermont, including a study to resolve the childcare shortage in Randolph, evaluating the potential for inter-town firefighting in and around St. Johnsbury, and recovering from the loss of Green Mountain College in Poultney.

Several towns will use grants to revise zoning regulations and take other steps to improve local housing opportunities.

The Municipal Planning Grant program is administered by the Community Planning and Revitalization Division in the Department of Housing and Community Development and has been funding local initiatives since 1988.

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