FY 2011 Transportation Enhancement Grants

The 2011 Transportation Enhancement grants are now available. Letters of intent are due by June 4, 2010. Completed applications are due to VTrans by August 20, 2010. These grants can fund such projects as new sidewalks, bike paths, historic preservation, environmental mitigation, and aid in the creation of a multi-modal and environmentally sustainable transportation system that encourages non-motorized use and enhances Vermont’s historic landscape and development. The application document is available online at www.aot.state.vt.us/progdev/Sections/LTF/Enhancements%20Program/EnhancementsHomePage.htm or go to www.aot.state.vt and search under grants. CVRPC is here to assist you in formulating your project and can provide some assistance with the application process. Contact Steve Gladczuk at gladczuk@cvregion.com or 229-0389. These applications do require a 20% local match and require a letter of support from CVRPC. Let us know how we can help.

Vermont “Renewable Energy Atlas”

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), in conjunction with the Vermont Center for Geographic Information and Fountains Spatial, Inc., announced the launch of The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont, a state-of-the-art GIS-based web application that identifies, analyzes, and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects.

“The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont will be an important tool in helping us all to consider the responsible energy options when thinking about our renewable energy future.” – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States to enable users to choose their town or county and then select from a suite of renewable energy options including biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind. With a click of the mouse, users can map their selection.

Existing and potential renewable energy sites, renewable energy installers and consultants will appear on the map, and an analysis panel will summarize the results. The simple to use web application can be accessed anywhere and users can save their maps and analyses as unique URLs or export them to a PDF document.

The Atlas can be viewed and used at: http://www.vsjf.org/resources/renewable-energy-atlas. The Atlas will be active as of April 22, 2010. For future reference, there will be a link on Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission’s web site: www.centralvtplanning.org.

Challenges for Change — Comments to the Legislature

Jeff Carr is looking for comments on Challenges for Change and is surprised that more Vermonters haven’t spoken out. If you want to read what the Challenges for Change includes and/or want to send a comment to the Legislature and Administration, this is the link. It should take you right to the Legislative Council’s page of the State’s web site and in the right hand side column you will see Challenges for Change and a link to send an email.

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/

Municipal Education Grants until May 15, 2010

Depatment of Economic, Housing, and Community Development is accepting FY10 Municipal Education Grant (MEG) applications until Saturday, May 15, 2010 (postmarked). Up to $800 reimbursement is available per training. One grant per town per year.

If you’ve been wanting to hire a trainer for local board/commission training on land use issues and procedures here’s how.
1. Review MEG program description and guidelines – http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MEG.htm
a. Decide on a training topic (review Menu of Training Topics in Grant Application Package)
b. Find a qualified trainer (review List of Trainers on website for a list of possible trainers)
c. Determine a training date
2. Complete application and obtain necessary signatures (Don’t forget to sign in the gray box on Page 7 of the application)
3. Mail to DHCA, postmarked by May 15, 2010
4. If approved, you will receive your grant agreement by the end of May
5. Conduct training within 120 days of executing the grant agreement
6. Within 30 days of training, submit request for reimbursement, financial documentation, copy of sign-in sheet and copies of training evaluation forms.

MEG funding can be used for training local volunteer planning commissions, development review/zoning boards and/or for all-boards training on topics related to statutory roles, responsibilities and functions. (Please see page 4 of the Grant Application Package for more on eligible topics.)

If you have any further questions about eligible topics or the grant guidelines please feel free to contact me. Brenda Greika is also available to assist you at 802-828-3243. Thank you!

MORE Energy and how to access it!

Renewable Energy Atlas
You’ve Got the Power

On April 22, 2010, The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont will be unveiled. The new state-of-the-art GIS-based web application identifies, analyzes and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects. The Atlas was developed in collaboration between the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Vermont Center for Geographic Information (Waterbury), Fountains Spatial (Montpelier), and Overit Media (Albany, NY).

The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States that enables end users to click on their town (or several towns or county/counties) and select from a thorough suite of renewable energy options: biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind.

With the proliferation of energy committees in over 90 towns and cities, it’s clear that Vermonters want a renewable energy and efficiency based economy. To support such efforts, a variety of new programs and funding sources have become available, including the Clean Energy Development Fund, Vermont Community Climate Change Grant Program and Community Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants. Two additional opportunities — the state’s new feed-in tariff program and the enablement of ‘clean energy assessment districts’ — will also result in the development of new renewable energy projects in the state.

Despite these opportunities, and the growing interest in taking advantage of them, Vermonters struggle with how to best navigate the process of moving projects from concept to reality. How, for example, can we assess the renewable energy and efficiency possibilities in our communities? How much local renewable energy generation is theoretically possible? How can Vermonters influence local energy planning and the decision making process?

The Atlas will assist town energy committees, the Clean Energy Development Fund and other funders, educators, planners, policy-makers, and businesses in making informed decisions about the planning and implementation of renewable energy in their communities – decisions that ultimately lead to successful projects, greater energy security, a cleaner and healthier environment, and a better quality of life across the state.

The Atlas is a collaboration between VSJF, Vermont Center for Geographic Information (Waterbury), Fountains Spatial (Montpelier), and many helpful experts. “Our Vermont office is particularly excited to be working on a project that supports the maturation of Vermont’s green economy,” said Mark Haberle, Senior Project Manager at Fountains. “The Atlas is a unique, forward-thinking, and important tool for analysis and review of alternative energy solutions. It is our goal to create a solution that facilitates influencing the decision-making process at all levels through robust information discovery and dissemination. It is our hope that the Atlas will cement VSJF’s position at the forefront of sustainable jobs development and innovation in Vermont and, through this effort, become a national leader in deploying pioneering solutions for responding to a carbon constrained future.”

E-Vermont

This information just came to us today and the deadline for applying is April 30!

e-Vermont is a new $4 million initiative to help rural Vermont towns take full advantage of the Internet and advance a wide variety of local needs including economic development, school innovation, job creation, downtown marketing, community engagement, and e-commerce. Community applications due April 30. Details at VT Council on Rural Development web site: www.vtrural.org, or call 802 223-6091.
e-Vermont partners are the Vermont State Colleges, the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Department of Public Service, Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Snelling Center for Government, Front Porch Forum, and Digital Wish.

U. S. Census Information

Do you or your neighbors have questions regarding the Census survey? Here’s where you can find many of the answers.

The State Data Center front page at http://crs.uvm.edu/census/ is dedicated to helping Vermonters with some of the Census questions that are being asked the most often. For more information, please contact: Will Sawyer, Manager, Vermont State
Data Center at the Center for Rural Studies, http://crs.uvm.edu/census.