State agencies announce funding opportunity for municipalities

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) today announced that the Better Connections grant program is open to applications. The program grants approximately $270,000 bi-annually in planning funds to help cities and towns (outside of Chittenden County) build more livable, walkable, and welcoming communities.

“Transportation is critical to the economic vitality and overall health of our communities,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “The Better Connections program provides communities with the tools to plan for inclusive and resilient transportation systems and provides funding to help build out those systems.” 

“The design of our communities and streets has a direct effect on the equitable and accessible transportation options for Vermonters,” said Josh Hanford, Commissioner of Housing and Community Development. “This program empowers local leaders to design and build safe and revitalized streets that are welcoming, vibrant, and walkable.” 

The Better Connections program is a partnership among the AOT, ACCD, and the Agency of Natural Resources and provides technical assistance and funds to local communities to help them achieve their goals and plan for growth. The program funds planning efforts to increase multi-modal transportation options and to improve land use, water quality, public health, and economic vitality in Vermont communities.

Interested parties are required to submit a pre-application form electronically and schedule a pre-application interview by January 30, 2022. Grant applications are due by February 17, 2023. 

In 2021, Better Connections funded three projects that are in progress:  

  • The Town of Bethel is creating an action plan to improve accessibility and safety in the village, strengthen connections to their recreational assets, and leverage economic opportunities to revitalize their village center. 
  • The Town of Lyndon is using a complete-streets approach in developing a village master plan to improve the safety, walkability, and vibrancy of their historic commercial center. 
  • The Town of Poultney is creating a master plan to better connect the downtown to recreational centers by enhancing the streetscape and improving the economic vitality of the downtown. 

For more information, visit the Better Connections webpage.

12.5.2022. Barre, Vt.—Vermont Agency of Transportation

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