*The classification for “Flood Impacted” towns was determined by FEMA and is information that they compiled and released in a report to the State of Vermont.

We’ve had a busy few weeks at the Vermont Digital Economy Project! Not only were Sharon, Rob and I getting to know each other and beginning the great work we will be doing for the next 18 months, but on top of starting out, our first round of application were due on March 15. We are definitely hitting the ground running!

By reaching out to town clerks, local chambers of commerce, libraries, senators, and representatives across the state, we spread the word about our application. By the March 15th deadline, we had received 24 applications. Our priority is to go to towns that were hit the hardest by Irene and the pre-Irene 2011 floods. These towns will receive the most immediate attention. We’re still sorting through the applications, but we wanted to share a little about who the towns were, and what they requested.

The Vermont Digital Economy Project is offering a number of services, and the towns can choose which of these services they need. These include: Strategic Consultations with Non-Profits, Small Business Workshops and One-on-One Advising, Free Public Internet Access, Digital Literacy Education, Town Websites, and Front Porch Forum.

After sending the applications far and wide, we heard back from towns all over the state. Here’s how our applications broke down by county:

applications by county

The nice thing about the Vermont Digital Economy Project is that towns can choose only those services that they want. They do not need to request all of our services in order to be considered. This meant that in the applications, some services were requested much more than others:

Popularity of Services in Vermont Digital Economy Project Applications

As you can see, downtown Wi-Fi zones and hotspots, and municipal websites were two of our most requested services. We’ll be hard at work with these two services, (our partners at the Snelling Center have agreed to take the lead on the site builds) and we’ll make sure to follow up with more information about the successes of these projects as we go. In the meantime, be sure to browse the list of success stories from our predecessors at E-Vermont.