WRC Releases Report on Undeveloped Waters in SE Vermont
Windham Regional Commission (WRC) has just released the report “Undeveloped Waters in Southeastern Vermont.” It is the result of several years of work by Commission staff to identify and characterize the nature of the undeveloped rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds in the southern portion of the Windham Region and a small area in the adjacent Bennington County Region. Undeveloped refers to the state of the land adjoining these water bodies.
Forty lakes and ponds, with shoreline totaling nearly 100 miles, and over 1,400 miles of rivers and streams, were analyzed. What did we find?
Complete Streets Implementation Guidance for Municipalities Now Available
In May, 2011, the Complete Streets Bill was signed into law. The guidance as to how the law is to be implemented at the municipal level has now been released. Complete Streets – A Guide for Vermont Communities was developed by the Vermont Department of Health in cooperation with a variety of transportation, health and aging organizations in order to demonstrate and provide examples of Complete Streets projects already in place, as well as overarching planning guidelines for future initiatives. Hard copies have been distributed to each town by the WRC. The guide is available from the Vermont Department of Health here, or AARP here.
EDA awards $470,000 in disaster funding to Regional Commissions for Capacity Building in Southern Vermont
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 17:41
The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) and the Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC) have been notified by the Vermont Federal Delegation that they have been awarded $472,000 in disaster recovery funds by the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. This EDA investment supports disaster recovery capacity building for the Southern Vermont region. The project will establish two flood recovery offices that will expand the capacity of public officials and economic development organizations to work effectively with businesses and encourage the development of innovative public/private approaches to economic restructuring, revitalization and resiliency.
Windham Regional Mobility Study Completed
Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2013 15:12
Over the past year, WRC staff has been working on the Windham Region Mobility Study: Coordination of Transportation Services to Improve Mobility for All of the Windham Region’s Residents. This Study came about through a collaborative effort among public transit providers, school supervisory unions, youth service organizations, institutions of higher education, human service agencies, non-profits, economic development agencies, and others. This diverse group of stakeholders came together to promote the common goal of increasing mobility in the Windham Region through the coordination and integration of current and future transportation services, including public transit and school buses.
Southern Vermont Rivers Conference a Success!
Approximately 60 people attended the Southern Vermont Rivers Conference on Oct. 16 in Wilmington. The day-long event provided information to road crews, town officials, zoning administrators, Development Review Board members, and other from from Bennington and Windham Regions, and VT Road Scholar and Certified Floodplain Management (CFM) credits were provided. For more information, contact Dinah Reed at (802) 257-4547 ext. 109 or
Copies of the presentations in PDF format are below (we will be adding more as we receive them):
From the Director, August 2012 - HUD Approves $4.5 million for Windham County
In the last newsletter we explained that the Windham Region would have to compete for a very small pool of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. On Thursday, July 19th we learned from Jen Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development (DEHCD), that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved the state’s request that up to $4.5 million in CDBG-DR funds be made available to Windham County out of the $17,328,169 that had been targeted exclusively to Washington and Windsor Counties. We appreciate the hard work of everyone at the state, federal and local levels to make this happen!
Report: Recommended Aesthetic Criteria for the Replacement I-91 Bridge Over the West River
Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 12:18
On Thursday, August 16th the WRC hosted a public outreach meeting to gather public input on the aesthetics and design of a new bridge that will replace the current I-91 bridge over the West River and Route 30. Background information as to how this meeting came about is available here. Approximately 35 residents, local officials, professionals, and interested individuals participated in the meeting. Facilitated by WRC staff, the meeting began with a presentation of the history of the project, the task before the public at the meeting, and a review of design precedents to expose the participants to different types of structures and materials and how they relate to the surrounding context. The meeting participants as a group were then asked about qualities of the current bridge within the context of the surrounding landscape, and the current and desired experience created by the bridge by travelers on Route 30, I-91 and the West River.
More Census Tracts Eligible for New Markets Tax Credits
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 16:29
The good news is that more census tracts are now eligible to participate in the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. The bad news is that this eligibility has come about due to increasing rates of poverty and relatively low family income in the Windham Region. Congress created the NMTC program in 2000 to spur investment of private capital for economic development in both rural and urban low-income communities. Individuals and corporations receive a tax credit against federal income taxes for making investments in certain low-income properties or businesses when those investments are made through a “community development entity” (CDE). Prospective NMTC projects generally need to be located in qualified census tracts.
WRC Comments on Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds Action Plan
Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 10:18
The Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development (DEHCD) of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has developed a draft action plan that describes the proposed use of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
WRC Director Testifies Before Vermont Senate Committee on Economic Development, General and Military Affairs
Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 16:48
On March 30th Executive Director Chris Campany provided testimony about decommissioning concerns related to Vermont Yankee, and town planning needs in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, before a community-based hearing of the Vermont Senate Committee on Economic Development, General and Military Affairs.
New West River Watershed Maps Released
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:13
WRC has just released a 2 page map of the West River Watershed. The first page is a richly detailed map of the entire watershed, showing every named river, stream, lake, and pond, along with wetlands, roads, buildings, villages and hamlets, public lands, and major recreation areas and trails. The second page introduces the concept of a watershed, and presents information on water quality and special designations of lands and waters in the watershed.
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) Efforts Advance
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2012 10:50
The Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies Group (SeVEDS) is an organization driving the regional economic development dialogue for the Windham Region. SeVEDS, affiliated with the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, envisions an economy that generates long-term growth and prosperity, improves our quality of life and sustains our quality of place. Members of the SeVEDS Board (Barb Sondag and Bob Stevens) presented the latest findings about the state of the economy of the Windham Region and economic development planning strategies going forward at the February 2012 WRC meeting.
Remembering Melinda Bussino
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2012 10:50
It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our Chair, Melinda Bussino, over the weekend. Melinda gave so much of herself to so many, and the Windham Regional Commission counts itself as fortunate to have benefited from her active participation and leadership since she began serving as a Commissioner from Westminster in 1995. During that time she served as Vice Chair for 3 years, and this year was her fifth term as Chair, a position she assumed in 2008. Melinda was a tireless advocate for those in need and the importance of community, and an undeniable force for change. In addition to her work, Melinda shared with everyone an incredibly positive disposition and a beautiful smile. Our thoughts go out to her family for their loss, and we thank them for sharing Melinda with us. She will be missed.
Melinda's viewing will be held on Friday from 4 to 7 pm at Ker Westerlund at 57 High Street in Brattleboro. Please stop in and express your condolences to her family. Her memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church on Main Street in Brattleboro. It is also open to the public.
The family has asked that donations be given to the Drop In Center in lieu of flowers.
Vermont's Complete Streets Law and What It Means to You
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2012 10:49
For two years dozens of Vermont organizations, led by AARP Vermont, advocated for a Complete Streets law in Vermont. The Governor signed Vermont’s Complete Streets bill (H.198, Act 34) into law, effective July 1, 2011. What does this mean for you? To some extent the answers are a work in progress.
Irene by the Numbers: Town Road, Bridge, and Culvert Damage in the Windham Region
Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 11:28
From the day after Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont, WRC has worked with towns to gather information about damage to their transportation infrastructure. Though the following figures are only initial estimates—the real numbers will come to light after towns and FEMA have tallied the final damage costs—they offer insight into the magnitude of the storm and its impact on the Region.