State gets $5.8 million from NBRC for economic development

Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) together with US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) and Governor Phil Scott, and the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), announced Wednesday that 14 Vermont communities will be receiving a combined $5.8 million from NBRC’s State Economic and Infrastructure Development program.

Leahy, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has long championed funding for the NBRC, securing funding increases in each of the past five fiscal years. The NBRC supports economic development in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Maine.

Leahy said: “This current round of grants will once again bring federal dollars to help address real problems, including the need for housing and childcare. These funds will build infrastructure to support future development, as well as workforce development and training. This round of grants is an investment in our present and our future.”

Sanders said: “It is no secret that we are living in difficult times. That is why it is especially important today to invest in our communities and ensure that Vermonters receive the resources they need. This federal funding – the largest investment ever made in community-based projects – will do just that. It will, among many things, expand health centers, create affordable housing, improve public lands and outdoor recreation trails, provide job training in critical fields like early childhood education and health care, and increase child care center capacity. Simply, it will improve the lives of Vermonters all across our state, which is precisely what the federal government should be doing.”

Welch said: “From renovating a beloved community health center in Wells River to revitalizing local infrastructure in Winooski, this round of State Economic and Infrastructure Development awards invests in our communities at a record level. I’m glad to have played a part in securing this essential funding with Senators Leahy and Sanders during the appropriations process. And I’m grateful to the staff at the Northern Border Regional Commission for their leadership and to the Vermonters spearheading these important projects. Together, we can keep working to expand economic opportunity, improve local infrastructure, and build healthier communities across Vermont.”

Scott said: “Vermont’s 2022 slate includes investments into 11 counties, the most geographically varied line-up in years. These awards deploy millions to support economic and Infrastructure development — which are priorities for my Administration. We look forward to the transformational impacts these investments will deliver in the coming years, and I thank Senator Leahy and our entire congressional delegation for their advocacy in Washington.”

“This year’s State Economic and Infrastructure Development awards build upon the natural strengths of our region by investing a record $24.2 million dollars in community-centered projects across the Commission’s four states. With investments in new trails and outdoor recreation infrastructure, workforce development and entrepreneurship programs, and basic water and wastewater infrastructure, these resources will grow economic opportunities for residents of the region” said NBRC Federal Co-Chair Chris Saunders. “The Commission is particularly proud that this year’s slate of projects reach some of the smallest and most rural areas in New York and New England.”

One of the recipients, Otter Creek Child Center, will receive $350,000 as part of an $829,000 renovation and expansion project. “Upon completion, the Community Childcare Expansion Project will increase childcare capacity in rural Addison County by adding 77 childcare slots in a modern, ADA-compliant facility,” said Linda January, executive director of Otter Creek Child Center. “It is our hope that this project will galvanize the corporate, higher education, and non-profit sectors to collaborate in new and creative ways to create a model for the rest of the state of Vermont to address the chronic problem of child care capacity that impacts each sector.”

A $460,020 grant to the Town of Hinesburg will help to pay for a $911,000 expansion of the town’s drinking water system, resulting in an 87 percent increase in capacity and allowing for the construction of 66 permanently affordable homes. “The NBRC award will result in numerous benefits in Hinesburg and the region. Locally, it will enable the town to double its drinking water capacity at a lower cost to its users. Regionally, that additional capacity will help address the housing shortage because the significant amount of planned housing development in Hinesburg requires it,” said Hinesburg Town Manager Todd Odit.

The remaining awards are:

  • Bennington County Industrial Corporation - $350,000: Supports construction of 92,000 square feet of mixed use, energy efficient building, providing space for Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), retail spaces, and the creation of 63 new downtown households.
  • Little River Health Care - $350,000: Supports creation of 10 new exam rooms, two new procedure rooms, eight offices, a lab, a new group medical visit room and a reception area.
  • Lake Champlain Sailing Center - $350,000: Supports construction of boat ramp, universally accessible education pier, safe launch site and deep-water basin hoists, improving functionality and safety, while expanding lake access and educational opportunities.
  • Porter Medical Center - $346,223: Supports creating of a simulation lab to provide entry-level training and upskilling education for healthcare workers.
  • Springfield Area Parent Child Center - $196,732.50: Supports purchase of a nearby building to increase capacity within the Learning Together program, which provides education and intensive job skills training to teen and young parents.
  • Town of Lyndon - $350,000: Supports rehabilitation of the Sanborn Bridge, one of the last Paddleford truss covered bridges in existence in the United States, and one of only two in Vermont, while also creating a 1.5-acre riverfront park adjacent to the bridge, connecting nearby recreational trails and waterways.
  • Town of Greensboro - $153,553: Supports creation of a rail trail hub by adding trail amenities facilities to include a parking area, bike racks, tables, benches, artwork, flower tubs, enclosures for restrooms and vending machines, a pad for a food truck and building for a new business collective.
  • City of Winooski - $817,908.37: Supports the Winooski Falls East Development project and Main Street Revitalization project with sidewalk, water and sewer improvements, undergrounding the telecom and cable lines, allowing for future high density commercial and housing development accessible via walking, biking and public transportation.
  • Rutland Economic Development Corporation - $89,746.40: Supports the creation of over 40 acres of prime developable real estate for manufacturing property inventory, allowing expansion of manufacturers and producers, creating high-quality jobs and benefitting all of Rutland County and surrounding areas.
  • Vermont Agency of Transportation - $350,000: Supports cost-effective freight shipping for rural businesses in the Northeast Kingdom and northern Vermont.
  • Town of Montgomery - $817,908.37: Supports "Montgomery Gateway" project, which will construct 1,600 feet of sidewalk, a bike lane, marked crosswalks, and parking along the north side of Route 118, creating a multi-modal connection between the municipal Recreation Center and the state designated Village Center and businesses.
  • Greater Rockingham Area Services, Inc. - $817,908.36: Supports replacement of an antiquated heating system with a new energy-efficient biomass boiler, a boiler backup, and an exterior wood chip silo.

Created in 2008, the Northern Border Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership whose mission is to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private sector job creation in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. In its 13-year history, including these new awards, the commission has awarded 387 grants, amounting to more than $114 million in direct investment and $416 million in additional leveraged investments, across the four states through its primary State Economic & Infrastructure Development (SEID) grant program and other special initiatives.

Delegation, Governor 8.24.2022.