MONTPELIER -- The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $476,000 in Municipal Planning Grants (MPGs) to help cities and towns realize their visions for building more livable, walkable and sustainable communities. Grant applications are due September 30, 2014 with funding decisions announced in December. Funding priorities for this year support local work to improve downtowns and neighborhoods and minimize the damage from future floods.

Since 1998 MPGs have invested over $10 million to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. Recently completed MPG projects continue this tradition, including the following:

  • Mad River Valley towns of Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston collaborated on a study to understand underlying economic conditions in the Valley and chart a path towards prosperity in line with community values. More than 200 recently attended a summit to discuss next steps.
  • Westford's village offered little potential for growth or redevelopment, but once the Town arrived at a plan for sewage treatment, MPG funding helped the town retool its zoning and subdivision regulations so new development will support the historic development pattern valued in the community.
  • After experiencing devastating flooding in 2011, Pittsfield used an MPG to craft and adopt flood regulations that will help prevent future losses. The town also designed a simple village park with access to the West Branch riverfront where flood prone buildings had been removed through a buy-out program.

"Vermont's municipal volunteers work incredibly hard to improve their communities." DHCD Commissioner Noelle MacKay said. "These grants provide our local leaders the expertise and resources to implement important changes that build local economies and strengthen the places we call home."

For information about MPGs and eligibility requirements, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/opportunities/funding/municipal_planning_grants/mpgfy14 or contact Annina Seiler at annina.seiler@state.vt.us or 802-828-1948.