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LOCAL POWER: Energy & Economic Development in Rural Vermont - 2006

VCRD chose the subject of the 2006 Summit process based on deep and widespread concerns in Vermont today about global climate change, our dependence on oil, “peak oil,” and perceptions of the growing challenge of national energy policies. Paralleling global and national security concerns are the questions on the future of Vermont’s energy supply, re-licensing the Vernon Nuclear plant, future Hydro-Quebec contracts, the high cost of gasoline, and price of heating oil.

VCRD organized the 2006 Summit conference not to answer all these challenges but to consider together ways to move the mark on in-state generation, fuel development and efficiency -- to expand energy as an economic sector providing major opportunities in rural Vermont. What combination of conservation, efficiency, in-state electric generation and fuel development will effectively provide the greatest leverage to support the prosperity, sustainability and viability of Vermont communities—and, especially as we look at our natural resource capacity for energy, the fate of the state’s most rural communities?

  • The 2006 VCRD Rural Summit, “Local Power: Energy& Economic Development in Rural Vermont” was developed with the goals of: ƒ
  • Defining opportunities for advancing in-state energy development ƒ
  • Building starting points for the deliberations of the newly-formed Vermont Rural Energy Council (VREC) ƒ
  • Bringing together entrepreneurs and developers of the energy sector with policy leaders and supporters ƒ
  • Considering policies and investments needed to expand the sector ƒ
  • Setting recommendations for VREC, the VT Legislature, and Gubernatorial consideration

Read the Report (pdf)

Islands Creative Community Report - 2006

The Islands Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Develop Trails to Tour Local Farms, Arts, and Other Islands Highlights; Expand Options for Indoor Community Space; and Form a Task Force on Increasing Off-Season Activity.

Seasonal Strategies: The Champlain Islands (5:18)

Two new events built on some untapped assets in the Lake Champlain Islands. Both had great starts and offer a lot of potential.

Hardwick Creative Community Report - 2006

The Hardwick Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Create a Business Incubator and Arts Space; Develop the Future of the Town House; Expand Recreation in the Hardwick Lake Area; and Spruce Up Downtown Hardwick. Hardwick is a town on the move, and in 2009 the Vermont Center for an Agricultural Economy received our 2009 Community Leadership Award for building a vision for the Hardwick area as a dynamic center for the future of agriculture in Vermont.

The Next Generation: Restoring the Hardwick Town House and Agricultural Entrepreneurs (4:18)

In Hardwick, young people are bringing in new ideas and sparking creative thinking as they start businesses and re-energize community organizations.

Town:

Rutland Creative Community Report - 2006

The Rutland Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Advance Rutland as a Recreation Center; Build a Central Open Air Mall on Center Street; Rutland as an Arts and Culture Destination; “Sustainable Rutland” – A Model City. Since the program, Rutland has made tremendous progress on all the priorities and in 2012, the volunteers of the Rutland Creative Economy received our 2012 Community Leadership Award.

Revitalizing Downtown: Rutland (4:08)

Friday Night Live turned Center Street in Rutland into a pedestrian-way and broadened support for downtown revitalization. This video overviews the planning and thinking that led to its success in the community.

Town:

St. Albans Creative Community Report - 2006

The St. Albans Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, and lists specific resources for the following priority projects chosen through the 2006 process: Bring Arts and Community Projects to Taylor Park; Organize Evening Events to Bring Activity Downtown after Dark; Build an Arts Center; and Promote the Digital Culture through a St. Albans Technology Service Provider.

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