National Endowment for the Arts Webinar – Our Town Grants

Guidelines  and application materials are now available on the National Endowment for the Arts website for Our Town, the agency’s primary creative placemaking grants program. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000.  Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with arts and/or design organizations and artists, seek to: improve their quality of life; encourage greater creative activity; foster stronger community identity and a sense of place; and revitalize economic development. 

Click here to learn more about the types of arts engagement, cultural planning, and design activities will be considered.  The application deadline is  January 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET. A webinar will be held on November 4 2013, 2:00 pm EST to provide more information.  Click here for Q&A’s about Our Town. 

Funds available to Vermont Communities for Hazard Mitigation

WATERBURY, VT – The State of Vermont has received an extension from the federal government to distribute Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds in connection with Tropical Storm Irene. The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is now accepting a new round of HMGP applications from towns and agencies in all Vermont counties.

HMGP grants cover up to 75% of the costs associated with lessening the potential damage from a future disaster. Projects like flood-proofing of public buildings, culvert replacement, riverbank stabilization and many others have been completed in the past under the HMGP with local jurisdictions paying for 25% of the work.

This is the sixth application period for funds made available to the state after Tropical Storm Irene. Since Irene the state of Vermont has approved $38-million in projects to municipalities and other eligible organizations. Due to federal rules, the exact amount of money available in this round is based on a number of contingencies, but could be between $2-million and $4-million.

“We strongly encourage towns to identify potential hazard mitigation sites in your communities and apply for funds under the HMGP grant program,” DEMHS Director Joe Flynn said. “Flood-proofing public buildings, fixing frequently flooded roads, and replacing culverts now can go a long way toward saving taxpayers in your community money down the road.”

Other eligible projects include home or property acquisition (buy-out), structural elevations or relocations, and remediation of stream bank erosion, among others.

Applicants may download the HMGP application from our agency’s website at http://vem.vermont.gov/mitigation. DEMHS staff will assist in the application process; towns can contact Ray Doherty, at 802 241-5258 or ray.doherty@state.vt.us, or Misha Bailey at 802 241-5362 or misha.bailey@state.vt.us for assistance.

CVRPC staff is also available to assist Central Vermont towns with the application process – contact Kim McKee (email Kim) or Dan Currier (email Dan) at 802-229-0389.  Deadline for applications is November 18, 2013.

 

Deadline for Watershed Grant Applications is November 22

Applications are available for the 2014 Vermont Watershed Grants Program to fund projects that help Vermonters protect, restore and enjoy the state’s watersheds.  Applications are due to the Vermont Watershed Grants office by Friday, November 22.

“Watershed grants are available to municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and water-related citizen groups,” said Rick Hopkins of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC).  “Watershed grants can be awarded for many types of watershed projects, including those that protect or restore water quality, shorelines or fish and wildlife habitats.”

“In light of the damage and lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene and other recent Vermont floods, plus our ongoing efforts to better manage runoff containing nutrients and sediment, we are very interested in projects that implement practical measures or involve education affecting stream habitat protection, restoration, flood resiliency and related topics,” added Hopkins.

Rod Wentworth, of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, explained that watershed grants provide a way for local people to make a difference.  “This program, now in its 16th year, is a great opportunity for sporting clubs or watershed groups to undertake a project to help their local stream or lake, such as planting trees or developing a watershed conservation plan or outreach program,” said Wentworth.  “Many Vermont rivers sustained damage as a result of recent floods and in some cases the recovery work that followed.  The more we can do to spread the word about best practices for flood remediation and better runoff management, the better.”

Vermont Watershed Grants Program is a joint project of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and VTDEC.  The program is funded by sales of the Vermont Conservation License Plate.  The program has funded close to 320 watershed projects statewide since 1998.  For the 2014 program, $100,000 is available to fund three categories of projects. The three categories of project types and the maximum amount for each project type are: education and outreach ($7,500), planning, assessment, inventory, monitoring ($5,000) and on-the-ground implementation ($15,000).

“When Vermonters purchase a Conservation License Plate they’re helping protect healthy streams and lakes as well as conserving wildlife and important habitats for future generations,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry.  “Proceeds from the sale of Conservation License Plates fund the Watershed Grants program and help support the Fish & Wildlife Department’s Non-game Wildlife Fund.”

The Watershed Grants application guide and application forms are available on the web at: www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/lakes/htm/lp_watershedgrants.htm

Applications for the Vermont Conservation License Plate are available on the Fish & Wildlife website: www.vtfishandwildlife.com/support_plates.cfm and at offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles.