The Town of Vernon has been selected to receive a 2018 Municipal Planning Grant from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, it was announced yesterday by Katie Buckley, Commissioner of the department.

The purpose of the grant is to support the process of developing the area designated by the state as a Vermont Village Center earlier this year. The designated area includes the Town Office building, the elementary school, the Governor Hunt House, a number of residential properties and some undeveloped land.

In congratulating the town for receiving the grant, Buckley (who lives in Guilford) said: “Vernon is undergoing a transformation unlike any other Vermont town. From my perch as neighbor and state official, it is so exciting to watch your local leadership and broader community embrace change with a clear vision and positive approach.”

The town, in partnership with the non-profit organization Friends of Vernon Center, will use the grant to prepare a conceptual master plan, including a detailed action plan to bring new businesses, homes and vitality to the village.

The state’s grant is for $20,000, which will be matched with $4,000 from the Friends of Vernon Center, and $2,000 from the budget of the town’s Planning and Economic Development Commission, for a total project cost of $26,000.

According to Buckley, this planning round was competitive, with 50 proposals requesting over $600,000 from towns and cities across the state for funding to improve their communities. Grants totaling $464,920 were awarded to 37 projects.  (Click here for additional details on all of the funded projects.)

After grant paperwork is completed in December, the Town and the Friends will  begin finding and engaging planning consultants. As part of the process, there will be community meetings for residents to provide input on the types of development to be pursued in and near the Village Center area.