This week Gov. Peter Shumlin stood near a failed retaining wall in Brattleboro to announce the eight towns receiving a combined $2,854,000 in Community Development Block Grants. The grants award federal funds to local communities via the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development.
Brattleboro was awarded $300,000 to replace the downtown retaining wall, between Green Street and the Harmony Municipal Parking Lot. The project will result in reopening a neighborhood street and restoring parking spaces behind the historic Brooks House.
In many cases the block grants are passed through the town and distributed to community groups or nonprofit organizations working on a project, or offered as a loan to a local community-oriented business initiative.
The largest award, of $560,000, went to Milton. The town will lend the money as a deferred loan to Cathedral Square Corporation "to construct 30 units of service-enriched affordable housing for seniors in Milton's downtown."
Bennington was awarded $500,000, which will also be used to fund a deferred loan for an affordable housing project. That loan will go to Shires Housing "to rehabilitate six historic multi-family buildings consisting of 26 affordable housing units on three properties in Bennington."
Other grant recipients include:
- Lyndon: $450,000 subgrant to Rural Edge to extend for an additional year the Northeast Kingdom Housing Rehab Revolving Loan Fund, a three-county housing rehabilitation, services and counseling program.
- Proctor: $300,000 subgrant to The Preservation Trust of Vermont for the environmental cleanup, code violation remediation and major repairs to the Vermont Marble Museum property.
- Randolph: $434,000 subgrant to Randolph Area Community Development Corporation to acquire Armstrong Mobile Home Park and make infrastructure improvements.
- Tunbridge: $285,000 subgrant to the Orange County Parent Child Center to assist in the purchase of the former Wellspring Waldorf School to allow OCPCC to expand its children and family support services.
- Bristol: $25,000 grant to create a development and marketing plan for a potential business/industrial area on Stony Hill.
Vermont Community Development Program funded projects must primarily benefit low and moderate income residents, or address urgent threats of health and safety.