Farmer and pastor Art Miller challenged his community to “think big.”

“I know with the Planning Commission, we had the gas plant we batted around town. That’s suspended as far as I know in this point of time,” he said, referring to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project being shelved. “That’s a big thing.”

With the shutdown of nuclear plant Vermont Yankee comes a significant reduction in taxes paid to the town. And that amount is only going to shrink as time goes on.

Miller, who told residents that a second Community Visit meeting Thursday with the Vermont Council of Rural Development was a chance for them to be “bold and creative” about solutions for Vernon, was selected to serve as chairman of the process. The Community Visit is funded through the Windham County Economic Development Program, which was created in a settlement between Yankee owner Entergy and the state of Vermont to assist with the anticipated loss of about 600 jobs.

Residents decided new priorities should include creating a village center and opening a community store or cafe. Also on the list was improving trails and outdoor recreation with a thought to conservation and developing the riverfront.


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