Vermont Business Magazine Rep. Peter Welch and House colleagues representing districts along the U.S. Canadian border have introduced the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would reauthorize the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) for five years. In Vermont, the Commission is authorized to fund economic and community development projects in Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans counties. Between 2010 and 2016, it provided $5.5 million in funding for 33 Vermont projects.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission has played a vital role in spurring development in some of Vermont’s most economically challenged communities,” said Rep. Welch. “Its success demonstrates that providing seed money to boost local economic and community development projects not only sparks local economic activity but also lays the groundwork for long-term investment in the region. It is essential that Congress reauthorize this important commission.”
First authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, the Commission is a federal-state partnership comprised of a federal co-chair and the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Its mission is to stimulate economic development in economically challenged rural areas along and near the U.S. Canadian border from Maine to New York. Currently, the NBRC is required to direct at least 40 percent of its regional grants to transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, and telecommunications infrastructure.
In addition to Welch, cosponsors of the legislation include Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. John Katko (R-NY), and Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
Source House of Representatives