Thanks to the Community Visit process, Derby began evaluating steps toward a town/village merger and solving water sewer infrastructure issues. Read the Report and Action Plan.
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VCRD chose the subject of the 2007 Conference based on the growing momentum in Vermont (and globally) to identify our unique local assets and use them as essential building blocks to strengthen our rural economies. VCRD’s 2004 report Advancing the Creative Economy, and the “Creative Communities Program” (CCP) VCRD led over the past two years, laid the groundwork for this high-energy State House event. This day-long event succeeded in identifying the next essential steps in keeping Vermont communities vital and competitive. Vermont is well situated, through its brand identification, cultural heritage, and artistic depth, as well as its human and intellectual capital, to be a leader in innovation and creativity. The Conference discussions reflect and celebrate the progress we are making today and the dedication Vermonters share in realizing the opportunities ahead. Read the Report (pdf).
At the beginning of 2008, the VT Agency of Agriculture and John Merck Fund asked VCRD to manage a strategic planning process designed to advance farm businesses and agricultural enterprises in the state. “Moving Vermont Agriculture Forward,” began with two working task forces: Branding and Marketing and Business Development. The task forces were designed to look for key opportunities to support long-term business profitability in agriculture and value-added ventures, dairy and non-dairy, and to identify signature projects that could advance agricultural development to the next level.
The Branding and Marketing Task Force developed a platform with three key ideas:
- Expanding cross agency support for agritourism;
- Building a “Vermont Farm and Food Festival,” to showcase VT agriculture; and
- Establishing an on-line center for agritourism and Vermont product sales.
The Business Development Task Force evaluated the potential for the creation of a Vermont Agriculture Development Corporation to rally technical advice, site and regulatory assistance, business planning and financing help, and equity capital to eligible agricultural entrepreneurs.
VCRD deeply appreciates all the task force members and the assistance of Helen Labun Jordan of the Agency of Agriculture in this effort.
The Vermont Rural Energy Council (VREC) was developed by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to provide a non-partisan analysis of opportunities in rural electric generation, fuel development and energy efficiency in Vermont.
Based on inputs and on the knowledge and experience of Council members, the Vermont Rural Energy Council crafted a set of recommendations for actions that would advance rural energy generation, fuel development and efficiency in Vermont. These recommendations include:
- Expanding Net Metering
- Adopting Clean Energy Policies
- Constructing an All Fuels Efficiency Program
- Improving Transportation Efficiency
- Targeting Economic Development Assistance
- Building a Green Investment Strategy
- Adopting Time of Use Rates for Electricity
- Beginning a Vermont Carbon Plan
- Expanding Property Tax Incentives for Renewable Development
We ran a second Community Visit process in Richford in 2007. Community members formed task forces on Job Creation and Retention, Law Enforcement, and Image and Communication. Read the Report and Action Plan.
The Manchester Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Create the Infrastructure for State-of-the-Art Communications Technology; Establish a Local Foods Retail Center; and Establish Manchester as a Leader in Sustainability and Green Business.
The Middlebury Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Establish a Business Incubator; Establish Middlebury as a Pioneer in Alternative Energy Production and Management; Found a Community Creative Economy Umbrella Association; and Make Better Use of the River.
The Richmond Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Develop and Market a Richmond Trails System; Form an Alliance for Creative Development of Existing Properties; and Hold a Harvest Festival to Celebrate Local Agriculture.
The Plainfield Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Establish Plainfield as a Learning Community; Form a Local Creative Economy Association; and Make Downtown Plainfield More Welcoming to Pedestrians.
The Randolph Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Create Stronger Collaborations Around the Creative Economy with an Ongoing Process to Support Creative Economy Projects; Improve Internet Access; and Promote Environmental Initiatives that Define Randolph as a Green Community.