Governor Scott focuses on Community Recovery and Revitalization Program grants during weekly briefing

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Vermont Statehouse and Governor Phil Scott
photos by Pat Bradley

Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s weekly briefing today focused on the first projects to be awarded grants under the state’s Community Recovery and Revitalization Program.

The governor had advocated for the program during the last legislative session and secured $40 million in ARPA funding to encourage post-pandemic economic recovery and increase economic equity across the state. The Republican says the first round of grants will distribute about $10 million to 31 projects.

“These first 31 represent diverse areas like housing, child care and agriculture. They’re also supporting the arts, entertainment and hospitality sectors which suffered significant losses during the pandemic. As I’ve long said we must be strategic and make lasting investments with this one-time federal money. My administration has been focused on that goal and this program will help businesses and organizations over the long term.”

Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein said the approved projects are making capital improvements or capital expansions that spur needed economic recovery.

“These projects are expected to support 354 existing jobs and enable the creation of 205 new jobs, 79 new affordable housing units, 196 new childcare slots for low- to moderate-income families. The awards are spread across 12 counties. We had historically underrepresented groups and towns with stagnant or declining grand lists values were looked at first. This program also was made available to municipalities and we’re happy to say three were awarded in the first round and that’s Highgate, Manchester and Killington.”

The Neck of the Woods childcare and early education center in Waitsfield received a grant from the program to help fund an expansion project. Executive Director Moie Moulton says the Mad River Valley area, like much of the state, has a dramatic shortage of child care available for infant to preschool age children. In 2021 they obtained the former Small Dog Electronics 11-acre campus and began a $2.5 million renovation project.

“Many families have to patch together child care options, often with one parent staying home and out of the workforce. Providing high quality child care is a critical component to young working families considering moving to Vermont. This grant that we were awarded of $468,000 will give us the opportunity to continue to expand our facility by renovating the second floor to open up more classrooms, adding handicapped access. And in a county where there are over 1,100 slots needed for infant through pre-school age children to meet the demand for child care we will be able to provide 125 slots for children in these age ranges.”

A total of 83 applications for the grants were received. Those that were not approved in this round remain under review for the remaining $30 million and further awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

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