$800,000 In State Grants Available For Planning Projects

first_img$800,000 In State Grants Available For Planning ProjectsMunicipal Grants Program Now Administered Entirely OnlineMONTPELIER, Vt. – The state is making more than $800,000 in grants available to communities across the state for municipal planning and other special projects.Officials at the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) announced the Municipal Planning Grants of up to $15,000, which can be used for a variety of planning projects.”These grants help Vermont’s cities and towns craft plans that promote economic and housing development in our downtowns and village centers, while protecting Vermont’s working landscape from sprawl,” said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, whose agency includes DHCA.Through a competitive process, towns can be awarded grants for such traditional planning activities as updating town plans, maps and zoning bylaws.As part of Governor Jim Douglas’ E-State Initiative, these grants will now be applied for, approved, and administered completely on-line.”This is an excellent example of how we can use technology to be more efficient in state government,” Douglas said. “By eliminating the paper involved in applying for and administering grants, we make the process faster, less costly, and less time-consuming.”The Municipal and Regional Planning Fund was first established in 1988 and funds technical assistance for town planning, zoning bylaws, implementation of town plans, encouragement of citizen participation and education, and innovative demonstration planning projects.Municipalities may apply for any amount up to $15,000 or $25,000 for multi-town “consortia” projects. Funds for the municipal planning grants are allocated by the Vermont Legislature from revenue generated by the property transfer tax.With no local matching funds required, this is one of the few state grant programs accessible to even the smallest of Vermont municipalities. Communities have 18 months to complete their planning projects.The application deadline for this program is October 31, 2008. The Municipal Planning Grant site went live on September 2nd, and can be accessed at: www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MPG.htm(link is external)last_img

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