Municipal Planning Grants announced!

In recognition of the community planning and improvement efforts taking place in municipalities large and small throughout Vermont, for the first time in many years the legislature increased the amount of funding by 10%, making $450,000 available for Municipal Planning Grants (MPGs). Maximum funding for grants will also increase from $15,000 to $20,000 for a single municipality, thanks to the input received from many of you in our recent survey.

Please see the FY14 MPG Program Description for details on eligibility and funding. Applications are due September 30, 2013. Projects that fit into one of the following priorities will have a higher likelihood of funding:

a. Bylaw updates intended to correct clear conflicts with the municipal plan, bylaw updates that address one or more of the smart growth principles in 24 V.S.A. § 2791 (13), and bylaws that implement the flood resilience recommendations of the plan.
b. Utilities and facilities/infrastructure planning in support of compact centers and smart growth. Projects could include, but are not limited to: capital improvement planning (structured to implement the municipal plan and further smart growth principles); facility inventories, mapping and needs identification; conceptual design/visioning; and developing policies relating to sewer, water, storm water, energy, transportation, green infrastructure and/or communications infrastructure. (For any sewer or water projects, please contact us for guidance before starting your application.)
c. Updating or amending a Municipal Plan for the purpose of addressing inconsistencies with statewide planning goals or the Regional Plan. (A recently expired plan or pending expiration of a plan alone is not considered a priority.)
d. Planning and implementation for achieving greater flood resilience: Updating a municipal plan to meet the new statutory requirement for a flood resilience element integrated with river corridor and hazard mitigation planning. See 24 V.S.A. §4382. Projects that implement the flood resilience recommendations of the plan are also priorities.

The online application system is now ready for use but we strongly recommend that you first develop your project off-line using the page-by-page Application Instructions and the Sample Application, both located on our MPG webpage. Wendy Tudor, our MPG administrator, will be happy to assist you. Please feel free to contact her at: wendy.tudor@state.vt.us or 802-828-5249.

We very much appreciate the 181 local officials and planners who responded to our MPG and Community Planning Survey. Over 85% of those respondents consider MPGs to be essential or very important to achieving their planning goals. We feel honored that you value the program so highly and consider it a privilege to serve so many dedicated local volunteers and staff people working together to keep our communities strong, resilient and places we can continue cherish for generations.

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