One of the seminal programs of VCRD is our Community Visit Process. This process is an opportunity for all of the members of a town or city in Vermont to discuss the future of their community, and to come out with a concrete plan for what steps to take to achieve the goals they identified during the various visit meetings.
We’re thrilled to be starting this process in Vergennes. Often heralded as the country’s smallest city, Vergennes has a lot to offer to both its citizens and visitors. Fourteen years ago, repairs were finished on the Vergennes Opera House, an important downtown gathering place. This revitalization led to the establishment of the Vergennes Partnership, which in turn began hosting events that brought new life to this tiny city’s downtown. Now, a host of boutique shops and delicious restaurants and cafes line Main street, and the city’s green hosts a number of events throughout the year, including a flea market.
Vergennes also participated in our e-Vermont project, receiving new equipment for its library and school, a dedicated Front Porch Forum, and a fully functional downtown Wi-Fi zone that allows travelers to access Internet for free within the town.
With new technology and a group of municipal officials and others dedicated to the success of the city, Vergennes is now beginning to look for its next steps, and we’re excited to help. During the community visit process, residents will be invited to weigh in on issues ranging from the role of municipal government to youth and the future of economic development. See the forum schedule below.
We have already met with a Vergennes Steering Committee of diverse community leaders and have scheduled the Community Visit Day for March 18th when everyone is invited together. We’re assembling our visiting resource team, and we’re excited about the diversity and dynamism that this team will bring to Vergennes. So far the team includes leaders like Mark Snelling from the Snelling Center for Government, Steve Jeffrey from the League of Cities and Towns, Secretary Doug Racine from the Agency of Human Services, Paul Bruhn of Preservation Trust of Vermont , Alex Aldrich from the VT Arts Council and key leaders from each of Vermont’s congressional offices.
Each community we visit in Vermont is unique, and each experience draws on the special capabilities and desires of the individual community that we are helping. We invite all members of Vergennes to participate in working towards a ensuring that Vergennes remains a vibrant city, long into the future.