Brattleboro, Burlington and Hartford win transportation funding

Vermont Downtown Development Board Funds Transportation Projects
Three communities were awarded grants this week by the Vermont Downtown Development Board to fund local infrastructure improvements such as new sidewalks and signage.

The Vermont Downtown Development Board announced the awards totaling $108,423 for Brattleboro, Burlington, and Hartford (White River Junction). The funds, which are from the states Downtown Transportation Fund, are available to communities that are part of the Vermont Downtown Program. Established in 1994, the Vermont Downtown Program helps invest in the economic growth and cultural landscape of Vermonts cities, villages and towns.

Awards were made to:

* Brattleboro $15,600 to support improved directional, or wayfinding signage. A total of 21 signs will be installed, guiding visitors to key destinations within Brattleboros Designated Downtown.
* Burlington $17,960 for Lake Street improvements associated with the Moran Plant redevelopment. The street will be extended, the bike path relocated and improved, and additional parking will be built. The Downtown Board also approved $30,000 to create two new constructed wetlands, providing natural treatment for stormwater in the project area.
* White River Junction $74,863 for sidewalk improvements along South Main Street. An additional $18,874 was provided to construct a rain garden on Bridge Street, associated with construction planned for the railroad bridge. The rain garden will help filter and reduce stormwater runoff in the area.

These awards are part of our on-going commitment to support the states downtowns, and the improvements needed to make them pedestrian and visitor friendly, said Noelle Mackay, Commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development and Chair of the Downtown Development Board. The projects funded by the board are important improvements that will encourage investment in downtown businesses and housing, which are critical to the success of our downtowns.

The Burlington and White River Junction projects both included low impact development elements, with state capital funding provided by the Agency of Natural Resources through the Downtown Board. Burlingtons constructed wetlands will collect, store and filter stormwater from the adjacent street and parking areas, reducing pollution to Lake Champlain. The rain garden in White River Junction will intercept and filter stormwater along Bridge Street and adjacent parking area, reducing pollution in the White River. The rain garden and the constructed wetlands are among a number of strategies designed to treat and filter stormwater on site, rather than piping it to a wastewater treatment plant or letting it contaminate adjacent streams.

At the same meeting, the board added Bakersfield and Danville to the growing list Designated Village Centers, and renewed the Village Center Designation for Bethel. The 103 village centers participating in the program are able to access tax credits to help rehabilitate older and historic buildings, as well as priority consideration by several state programs.
Vermont Downtown Development Board
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