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Community Visits In the News

Wallingford set for brainstorming ‘community visit’
By SUSAN SMALLHEER as seen in the Rutland Herald: WALLINGFORD — Residents are invited to come for dinner later this month to kick off the Wallingford Community Visit Day, a... more
Bennington Select Board backs renewed arts council
By Ed Damon, as seen in the Bennington Banner: BENNINGTON — Leaders behind a newly energized Bennington Area Arts Council have the support of the Select Board. Members... more
Proctor’s last store is ready for auction
By Katelyn Barcellos as seen in the Rutland Herald: PROCTOR — The West Street Market will be sold in a real estate auction April 6, even as the town contemplates how to... more
Lyndonville: Downtown Revitalization Groups Hoping For USDA Grant - Town Asked to Be Fiscal Agent for $100K Grant for Wifi, More
By Amy Ash Nixon as seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDONVILLE — The Economic Development task force that came out of last year’s Lyndon Community Visit with the Vermont... more
Lyndon News February 2018 - Should Lyndon have a Rec Dept? Is better Internet coming? Co-working and Moon Glow Walks!
In February 2017, the Vermont Council on Rural Development conducted a series of community meetings out of which four community task force groups were formed to help shape the future of Lyndonville. The groups have met throughout the year and... more
Paul Costello Commentary: Democracy and community leadership
Yeah, these are disturbing times. During this period of political division and antagonism nationally—when the ideals of democracy are undermined and skepticism is rampant, and when social media blasts us with endless iterations of bad news—our own... more
Island Pond cel­e­brates win­ter and com­mu­nity
By Elizabeth Trail, as seen in the Barton Chronicle: IS­LAND POND — Fat snowflakes drifted down over Is­land Pond as a line of snow­mo­bil­ers waited their turn for the an­nual bless­ing... more
Town Debates Possible Uses of Donated Farm
As seen in the US News & World Report: PITTSFORD, Vt. (AP) — Residents of a Vermont town are deciding what to do with a former dairy farm that is being offered to the... more
Pittsford Residents Want Community Center And Economic Development At Village Farm
By Nina Keck, as seen on Vermont Public Radio: About 70 people gathered at the Lothrop School in Pittsford Thursday night to winnow down a wish list: What to do with the... more
Pittsford cuts Village Farm proposals to 3
By Susan Smallheer, as seen in the Rutland Herald: PITTSFORD — A community center and gathering place, community gardens and agricultural hub, and a commercial and retail... more
Friends of Vernon Center embark on village planning effort
During the "Town Visit" visioning program carried out in Vernon during 2016 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Vernon residents, in a collaborative process, settled on a number of initiatives they would like to see carried out to move the... more
ReNewport narrows projects down to four
By Joseph Gresser, as seen in the Barton Chronicle 1/24/18: NEWPORT — Things did not go exactly as planned at the second reNewport meeting. The gathering on January 17 drew a good crowd... more
Pittsford Residents Come Together To Dream Big About Future Of New Village Farm
By Nina Keck, as heard on Vermont Public Radio: What if 20 picturesque acres of land in the center of your town became available, and you and your neighbors got to decide... more
Newport City Community Picks Top Priorities: Task Forces In February Will Focus On Attracting Business, Tourism, Events, Plus Health, Early Ed & Welfare
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: NEWPORT CITY — Nearly 100 people gathered Wednesday evening to pick the top priorities they can do to improve life in... more
Lyndonville Coworking Space Proposed
As seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDONVILLE — The former Bag Balm building may soon have new tenants thanks to an idea borne last year during the Vermont Council on Rural... more
Breathing new life into Northeast Kingdom downtown areas
By AMY ASH NIXON, as seen in the Caledonian Record: ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — Downtowns across the Northeast Kingdom are hurting from some of the same forces impacting... more
Ideas for Revitalizing the city thrown out at ReNewport
by Joseph Gresser as published in the Barton Chronicle: NEWPORT — Residents of Newport defied a cold stormy day and gathered to dine and discuss important issues affecting their city. Over the course of six... more
Hundreds turn out to brainstorm future of Newport City: Community Visit draws hundreds despite the cold to weigh in on the city’s assets and challenges
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: NEWPORT CITY — Several hundred people gathered on a cold and snowy Wednesday to brainstorm about the future of Newport... more
Community visit comes to Newport December 13
By Joseph Gresser, as seen in the Barton Chronicle: NEWPORT — Jenna Koloski was scurrying around Newport Tuesday taping television interviews, meeting people, handing out fliers... more
Town without a village gets Village Center designation: Nonprofit, other groups seek to create community 'from the ground up'
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in the Commons Online: VERNON—Vernon has no village. In spite of that, the town received Village Center Designation from the Agency of Commerce... more
Broad Brook Grange enters a new era: New nonprofit plans to purchase historic building and transform it into a new town community center
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in the Commons Online: GUILFORD—On a recent Sunday afternoon, about 60 people gathered to snack on homemade apple pie and ice cream at the Broad... more
Lyndon Task Force Hoping for Town Rec Department
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDON — A task force formed in May, after the Community Visit process conducted by the Vermont Council on Rural... more
Guilford groups leverage $400K to transform historic Grange Hall into community center
Press Release as seen in GUILFORD, VT–Exciting things are happening in Guilford Center, and on Sunday, October 22, from 3-5 p.m., the townspeople of Guilford... more
Community ‘Visits’ To Focus On City’s Future: Vermont Council On Rural Development To Host First Meeting In December
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: NEWPORT CITY — Recommendations about downtown’s potential for economic development will form the baseline for community... more
Community Visits Produce Tangible Results: Child Care Center, Warming Shelter, Among Achievements
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: The 2015 Community Visit process in the town of Craftsbury has led to a new child care center, opened earlier this month... more
NEK - Helping Towns Help Themselves: Community Visits to Brighton, Burke, Craftsbury, Lyndon, St. J
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: Teams from the Vermont Council on Rural Development have visited several Northeast Kingdom communities in recent years.... more
Vernon receives Village Center designation
As seen in An area in the Town of Vernon has been designated as a Vermont Village Center by the Vermont Downtown Development Board. The designated area... more
One Burke Process Passed to Citizen Task Forces: Infrastructure in W. Burke to be Major Focus
By Amy Ash Nison, as seen in the Caledonian Record: BURKE — The One Burke community visioning process brought to town by the Vermont Council on Rural Development on Tuesday... more
State aid 'helps pay the bills' for construction -- Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development sends more than $300,000 in tax credits to four projects in county
By Wendy Levy, as seen on The Commons: By Wendy M. Levy/The Commons BRATTLEBORO—The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has awarded more than $300,... more
'Now or never': Family to open general store in Vernon
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: VERNON — Residents missing the community store need worry no longer. Construction is visible at 67 Governor Hunt Rd.,... more
Former Greensboro Garage to Become Food-Ag Center
By Sally Pollack as seen in Seven Days: The big yellow building on Route 15 in Hardwick, the former Greensboro Garage, will become a food and agriculture center, thanks to... more
Village Infrastructure, Traffic Safety, School Needs Top Priorities in Burke
By Amy Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: BURKE HOLLOW — More than 80 community members turned out Tuesday night for the second in a three-part community visit... more
Amid controversy, residents decide on five town projects
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: — About 120 town residents whittled down a list of proposed community-oriented projects from 16 to five, but not... more
Community looks to unite around ‘One Burke’
By Alan Keays, as seen BURKE — Uniting east and west, as well as the mountain resort and the village below, was a common theme as residents, business owners and... more
Lyndonville Working On Downtown Rejuvenation
As seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDONVILLE — A new committee is at work on trying to rejuvenate the downtown. The group was borne from the recent Community Visit... more
Local Economy, Downtown, Recreation Are Among Lyndon Priorities, School-Community Partnerships Focus, Too
By Amy Ash Nixon as seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDON — The three-part Lyndon Community Visit Process brought to town through the Vermont Council on Rural Development (... more
Lyndon’s Community Planning Meeting April 25
As seen in the Caledonian Record: The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Lyndon Community Visit process on April 25. All residents... more
Vernon halts fiber optic work
By Mike Faher, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer:,504885 VERNON — Despite years of planning and research, it appears that a high-speed fiber optic network isn't coming to Vernon... more
Video ~ Paul Costello Keynote at the 72nd Annual Vermont Town Officers Education Conference
VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello gave the keynote address at the annual Town Officers Education Conference. Tune in to hear him talk about VCRD's Community Visit process in service to Vermont towns.
Priorities Chosen for VT Rural Development Process in Lyndon
As seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDONVILLE — The community planning process initiated by Vermont Council on Rural Development continued this week with more than 70... more
YMCA partnership is a win for Bennington
As seen in the Bennington Banner: The town has known about its need for improved recreational programs since at least 2012 when the Vermont Council on Rural Development... more
Bennington to contract with Berkshire YMCA
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Berkshire Eagle: Jacobs and Hurd said the impetus for the effort dates to the 2012 Vermont Council on Rural Development Community... more
Officials, Residents Begin Community Visioning Process
As seen in the Caledonian Record, by BY AMY ASH NIXON Staff Writer: LYNDONVILLE — The first leg of a process aimed at helping the community identify priorities to improve... more
Rural Development Council Coming To Lyndon
As seen in the Caledonian Record: LYNDON CENTER — The entire community is invited to take part in a forum focused on making positive changes for the future of Lyndon and... more
Town offers land to ease purchase of Grange: Creation of community center was 'top priority' in community visioning process
By Wendy Levy, The Commons. As seen on: GUILFORD—Members of the nonprofit Broad Brook Community Center recently got one step closer to possibly purchasing the Broad... more
Brighton Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 8th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Brighton Community Visit process on December 8th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On November 4th... more
Vernon eyes Vermont Yankee property
By Mike Faher, as seen on VERNON — Town officials see an “amazing opportunity” in potential reuse of Vermont Yankee property, though it’s not the property some might initially... more
A cup of cheer: Vernon's Community Café debuts in Town Hall lobby
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in The Commons: VERNON—A group of locals trying to open a community café are so intent on meeting their goal, they won’t even let a lack of a... more
Brighton brainstorming session Oct. 4: Event about the future of Brighton Town, Economy, and School also includes free community dinner
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: BRIGHTON — The entire community around Island Pond is... more
Vernon committee finds 'interim' space for community store
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: VERNON — A committee exploring the prospects for opening a community store has found an "interim" space in the lobby... more
Brighton / Island Pond Community Visit Program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
On October 4th 2016, all members of the Brighton/Island Pond community are invited to kick off the Brighton Community Visit process, an opportunity for residents to actively participate in examining issues, deciding their top priorities and... more
Paul Costello Commentary: Vernon is building its future
All Vermonters know that the town has taken a hard blow with the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee. The closure has had direct economic impacts on jobs, employee relocations, declining home values, and lost taxes and fees to the town that support... more
Vernon's power production future debated
By Mike Faher, VERNON - As residents try to imagine Vernon's energy future, some say the former nuclear town should think small. Officials and experts gathered... more
Manchester River Walk: Showcasing the natural beauty
In 2013, VCRD ran a Community Visit process in Manchester. One of the priorities chosen by the town was to "Redevelop the Riverside and Open a Riverwalk." We're so happy to see this story sharing the progress so far. Or visit WCAX website: http... more
To Fill Void Left By Vermont Yankee, Vernon Looks For New Energy Projects
As heard on Vermont Public Radio. Listen to the story here: Energy leaders from across the state met in Vernon this week to help the town plan for life after Vermont Yankee... more
Residents say they want a community store
As seen on The Commons: VERNON—Is a general store in the town’s future? At least 175 residents think so, according to information provided by Annette Roydon, chair of... more
Business incubator, fiber optics eyed for Vernon’s future
By Mike Faher, as seen on VERNON — In a basement meeting room just a short walk from the front gate of Vermont Yankee, federal, state and local officials... more
Vermont gets $1.2 million in federal aid for northern border communities
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: As part of a continuing effort to bolster economic development in Northern Vermont, Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders... more
Community Visit draws to a close; final meeting will set task forces
By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer: VERNON >> The Community Visit process is coming to a close in one sense. But community action is just beginning in another. Task... more
Audio ~ WKVT radio podcast: Vitalizing Vernon
Jenna Whitson and Art Miller update the Vernon Community Visit process in advance of the July 7th meeting.
Vernon Community Action Plan to Be Developed on July 7
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its third, and last, major session in the Vernon Community Visit process on July 7th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. At the... more
Vernon's Community Visit tackles what's next: Residents to vote on action items
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: VERNON — Sound the bells for round two. Vernon's Community Visit — funded through the Windham County Economic... more
Collaborators For Community Improvement Gather To Celebrate Progress: Committees Developed Through Community Visit Process Give Update
As seen in the Caledonian Record: ST. JOHNSBURY – A flame of volunteerism sparked in St. Johnsbury last spring continues to burn in the name of community betterment. More than 60 people Thursday attended an update... more
Community: Swanton on the Move
From the May 2016 newsletter of the Vermont Arts Council The arts are alive and growing in this small Franklin County town. In the first two months of 2015, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) had the privilege of working with the... more
Morrisville Food Co-op Breaks Ground
Congratulations MOCO (Morrisville Co-op) on kicking off their building renovation project. In 2011, VCRD facilitated a Community Visit process in Morrisville that built a local task force to "Develop a Morrisville Coop." We are SO excited to see... more
Planning for tomorrow: Vernon Community Visit process begins
Kick-off event expected to get the ball rolling By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer. As seen here: VERNON >> Life without the nuclear plant Vermont Yankee is going... more
Vernon Community Visit program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
All members of the Vernon community are invited to come together on May 18th to kick off the Vernon Community Visit process, an opportunity for residents to actively participate in examining issues, decide their top priorities and develop concrete... more
Video ~ BCTV Open Studio: Vernon Community Visit Day
As seen on BCTV: Host Chris Lenois sits down with VT Council on Rural Development Community and Policy Manager Jenna Whitson, Vernon Community Visit Process Chair Art... more
Vernon gas plant project on hold after losing fuel supply
By Mike Faher, as seen in vtdigger: VERNON — After more than a year of intense planning and debate, the Vernon natural gas plant project has come to an abrupt halt. Energy giant... more
Post-Vermont Yankee grant program questioned in Vernon
By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer: VERNON >> Frustrated Planning Commission members wondered about the success of a grant program that resulted from a settlement... more
Grant to aid Vernon’s post-Vermont Yankee plan
As seen in the BRATTLEBORO — Since late 2014, state officials have awarded more than $3.6 million from an economic development fund set up to ease the pain of Vermont Yankee’s closure. Now, for the first time, some of that money will... more
Video ~ Hardwick Community Visit Vote: Feb 15, 2016
As seen on: The VT Council on Rural Development returns to Hardwick to follow up on ideas generated in a series of forums on January 20. From “The February 15th... more
Manchester gets $580K to improve busy road
As seen in the Rutland Herald: MANCHESTER — Manchester will receive a grant of $580,000 from the Vermont Agency of Transportation to enhance Depot Street and make it more friendly... more
Cell service, food insecurity, affordable housing raised as issues of import in Craftsbury
By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland, Caledonian Record. As seen on: CRAFTSBURY COMMON -- Residents here lauded community assets while figuring out how to tackle challenges during the first stop in a process called the... more
Paul Gallo: Business owner is driving force in Rutland renaissance
By Helen Whyte, September 2015 issue of the Battenkill Business Journal People who have not visited Rutland in the past few years may be surprised by recent changes - near zero downtown vacancy rate, a diverse and popular selection of programs at... more
New York Post names Killington one of top five summer ski towns in U.S.
We were so pleased to see that the New York Post recently named Killington one of “Five ski towns that are worth visiting in summer,” (the only resort in the northeast!!) alongside the Western resort towns of Park City (Utah), Vail (Colorado),... more
Transportation, Housing, Wages Biggest Impediments To Economic Stability Citizens Brainstorm Ideas For A Healthy Economy At Forum
By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland Staff Writer, Barton Chronicle: HARDWICK -- There are multitudes of services and funding sources available to people in the rural and agricultural economies of the Northeast Kingdom, but... more
Folks Sought To Focus On Town's Future: Community Vision Process Continues
By Taylor Reed, Caledonian Record: ST. JOHNSBURY -- Community collaboration continues following the start of an initiative that brings residents together for the sake of their town's future. More than 80 people have... more
Renters 101 offers training
From the Bennington Banner: BENNINGTON >> Bennington Renters 101 recently offered a free training for Bennington residents. The training included three sessions:... more
Passion, energy at VCRD visit: Seventy gather, begin to build social capital
By MATTHEW PREEDOM, St. Albans Messenger: SWANTON — The smiles were wide and the energy high Wednesday at the third and final community visit from the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD). Roughly 70 people were... more
‘Maple Fest” brings community together
By Josh Ogorman, Times Argus: CABOT — What a sweet way to foster a tighter community. Several hundred people turned out at Cabot School on Saturday for Maple Fest, an annual... more
Swanton gets fix on future: Meeting selects 4 ideas for community action
By Elodie Reed, St. Albans Messenger: SWANTON — For a town looking to come together as a community to better itself, Swanton seems off to a pretty good start. About 100 residents,... more
And now is the time to watch Swanton grow
St. Albans Town has Walmart and two growth districts open for development. St. Albans City is in the homestretch in its effort to rebuild its downtown through a $41 million building project. Now, eight miles north, the community of Swanton is coming... more
Swanton Community to Set Priorities for Action on March 5th
All members of the Swanton Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Swanton. The meeting, to be held on Thursday March 5 6:30 – 9:00pm at the Swanton Village... more
Townspeople seek help to create and cultivate community
By Alana Fichman/The Commons: VERNON—Some of the 44 people who assembled in the combined auditorium/cafeteria at Vernon Elementary School were disappointed at the... more
Vernon considers 'community visit'
By Michael Faher, Brattleboro Reformer: VERNON >> What should Vernon's future look like? It's a big question, especially given last month's closure of the Vermont... more
Southern Vt. town revisits fluoridation
By Patrick McArdle, Times Argus: BENNINGTON — Voters in Bennington will be asked in March to weigh in on whether they want the town’s water supply fluoridated but the question is only... more
Swanton residents will have their say: VCRD visit aims to prioritize wants and needs
By MICHELLE MONROE, St. Albans Messenger SWANTON — The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) this month will make a community visit here. Among the issues certain to face discussion are hopes for a revitalization of the downtown district.... more
Rutland's Wonderfeet Children's Museum Expands, Hopes To Become A Destination
By Vermont Public Radio: VCRD comment: The idea for the creation of a children's museum in Rutland, was sparked during VCRD's Rutland Creative Community project. The... more
Cambridge Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 1
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major sessions in the Cambridge Community Visit process on December 1st; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On October... more
Guilford studies future of Broad Brook Grange
By Michael Fahar, Brattleboro Reformer: GUILFORD >> At a recent Guilford Selectboard meeting, there was much debate about whether Broad Brook Grange should accept a... more
Cambridge Community to Set Priorities for Action on October 27th
All members of the Cambridge Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Cambridge. The meeting, to be held on Monday, October 27th 6:30 – 9:00pm at the... more
Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont nets $2.3 million for rural development
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) announced $2.3 million in funding for rural development in Vermont. The funding, under the new Farm Bill, has been awarded to 13 organizations across the... more
Cambridge Community Visit program invites the full community together
Cambridge community members will be coming together over the next few months to review challenges and opportunities before the town, set priorities, and advance action plans to ensure the future vitality of the community. The process kicks off with... more
State farm, business groups share $2.3 million in USDA grants
BURLINGTON, Vt. —During a visit to Burlington, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $2.3 million in grants and loans intended to create jobs in rural Vermont. Krysta Harden said Friday that 13 organizations will... more
USDA Announces Investments to Increase Economic Activity in Rural Areas and on Native Lands: Funds will help capitalize rural businesses and create jobs in economically distressed communities
Vermont Council on Rural Development has been awarded a Rural Business Opportunity Grant of $100,000 from USDA Rural Development to bring community leaders together to identify their towns' strengths and challenges, and determine action items and... more
Bennington’s downtown now a Wi-Fi zone
By Patrick McArdle BENNINGTON — It’s a digital world, and visitors and residents alike can now get free access to it through the public Wi-Fi zone in downtown Bennington. People using laptops, tablets and smartphones can connect to the Internet... more
Costello Commentary: Vergennes on the Move
Vergennes — With all its assets, Vergennes epitomizes so much that Vermont communities statewide strive for: a strong village center, surrounded by a beautiful working landscape, strong, committed community members, a dynamic and balanced downtown... more
Time bank thriving after one year
BENNINGTON -- What started out as five people thinking a time bank would be a neat idea has grown over the past year to boast 84 members who have exchanged 343 hours between each other. Hour of Our Community The Hour of Our Community time bank... more
Vergennes residents rank community priorities
Vergennes — Over 100 Vergennes residents gathered in a community meeting last week to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Vergennes Community Visit process and to set priorities for action. At the Community Meeting participants... more
Vergennes dedicates Task Forces to address priorities; Resource Meeting May 21 to build action steps
On April 16, over 100 Vergennes community members gathered in a community meeting to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Vergennes Community Visit process and to set priorities for action. At the Community Meeting participants... more
Video ~ Info about the upcoming Vergennes Community Meeting Day
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is facilitating a Community Visit process in the City of Vergennes that helps area residents discuss, set, and then implement common goals for the future of the city. On Wednesday, April 16th, VCRD will... more
Guilford looks at town plan, village center
By MIKE FAHER / Reformer Staff GUILFORD -- Last year, with help from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Guilford residents came together at two well-attended meetings to brainstorm ideas for the town's future. Members of the Guilford... more
Community Visit - One Year Later
by Anna Boarini - Staff Writer for the Manchester Journal MANCHESTER - A little over a year ago, on March 11, 2013, the first of three community forums fostered by the Vermont Council for Rural Development and the genesis for the Manchester 2020... more
Joint town/school budget presentation to be held next week
BENNINGTON -- It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but for the first time the local school district and the Select Board will host a joint budget presentation. "Better informed" The presentation is on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Bennington Fire... more
Guilford plans for future
GUILFORD (By MIKE FAHER) -- Having decided where they want to go, Guilford residents now will try to figure out how to get there. As the latest step in a planning process organized by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, residents have settled... more
Town looks at creating wi-fi 'hot spot' at Broad Brook Grange
By John Snyder/The Commons: GUILFORD—The Selectboard said it is on the fence about whether to invest in a public Internet wireless “hotspot” at Broad Brook Grange, and... more
$18K grant heading to Manchester
MANCHESTER - An $18,000 grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation could result in a new sidewalk and improved crosswalks in downtown Manchester, according to a town official. "We're looking at opportunities and constraints to building a new... more
Riverwalk work party set
MANCHESTER - The Manchester Riverwalk Association will be holding a Riverwalk Work Day on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting at the town green. This spring, after a visioning exercise with the Vermont Council on Rural Development,... more
The Northeast Kingdom growth surge
Commentary by John McClaughry On June 15 some 120 people from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom came together for a session at Lake Region High School on “building action to advance the health and prosperity of NEK communities while maintaining their... more
Bennington’s First Fridays back on track for July
BENNINGTON -- Throughout the summer season and into October, Downtown Bennington will hold "First Friday" celebrations on the first Friday of every month. The concept for Bennington’s First Fridays stemmed from a Vermont Council on Rural... more
Morrisville Food Co-op to hold meeting
The Morrisville Food Co-op (MoCo) Task Force is holding a community meeting, “Community Engagement 2013,” on June 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Peoples Academy in Morrisville, to launch its member/ownership pledge drive and talk about the next steps in... more
Community sets action steps
MANCHESTER - Tuesday night marked the final of three meetings in Manchester's 2020 Community Visit series. The gathering brought the community back together to focus on their four defined priorities - developing a small business incubator, becoming... more
Community Visit sets four goals
MANCHESTER, by staff writer Brandon Canevari - After a three hour session, Manchester residents as well as some from surrounding towns narrowed the vision for the future of Manchester during the second Community Visit last Thursday night. More than... more
Manchester sets four community priorities
MANCHESTER — At the second public session for Manchester’s community visit, the community narrowed down a list of goals to four priorities for improving the town’s draw for tourists, economic future and educational opportunities. By the end of the... more
Community Visitors return
MANCHESTER, Andrew McKeever - The time is approaching for Community Visit, the sequel. Three weeks ago more than 300 area residents converged on four locations across town to take part in one or more community forums and discussions on issues... more
Manchester Community Visit
There was so much to reflect on following last week's Community Visit organized by a local group of community leaders and the Vermont Council on Rural Development that it's hard to know where to start. So we'll start from the beginning. First, the... more
Manchester explores its future
MANCHESTER -- On the one hand, challenges - youth emigration; lack of nightlife; a need for more regional transportation; more integrated communication. On the other hand, opportunities - beautiful natural scenery; a vibrant arts and cultural scene... more
Focusing on opportunities, challenges
MANCHESTER - More than 300 people from Manchester and the surrounding area participated in nine different discussions on Monday, part of a "Community Visit" organized by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The nine topics of discussion around... more
Video ~ Manchester 2020 Community Visit Day
Produced by Greater Northshire Access TV (GNAT), this video filmed during the Manchester 2020 Community Visit day dinner gives a great overview of the day, and includes interviews of visiting team members and community members.
Community visit comes to Manchester today
MANCHESTER — Residents of Manchester are encouraged to come out today and take part in the Community Visit process by helping to set priorities for the town and bringing their views to discussions about what steps Manchester should take in the... more
Video ~ Front Page on GNAT-TV about the upcoming Manchester 2020 Community Visit Day
Andrew McKeever talks about the Manchester 2020 Community Visit event on March 11th. All community members are invited to share ideas. A series of forums will begin at 2:15 with a FREE community dinner at Burr & Burton Academy at 5:45pm.
After a busy couple of years, what's next for Manchester?
Manchester Journal, 01/23/13 ~ One Roundabout. Check. A Park House. Check. New Visitor's Center. New streetlights, refurbished Adams Park, plus a new parking lot for a historic district. Town wifi - at least for a downtown sliver. Check, check check... more
Vermont's Smallest City Thinks Big
The citizens of Vergennes have set the top three priorities for their city, in an effort to take a big picture approach to planning for the future. More than 100 people turned out to a community meeting last week. It was the second event in a three-... more
'Community Visit' in the works
MANCHESTER - Sometime in early 2013, the Town of Manchester will participate in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's "Community Visit Program," an initiative geared towards connecting community building efforts in Vermont towns with state-wide... more
Rutland Creek Path gets $295K
In 2006, VCRD brought its Creative Communities program to Rutland. Rutland community members embraced the concepts and remain committed and energized as they continue to advance projects designed to make Rutland a more dynamic, exciting, and fun... more
Update on Bennington's "Downtown as a Destination" project
Members of the "Downtown as a Destination” task force have been meeting since it's formation through the VCRD Community Visit process in 2012. John Shannahan, chair of the committee, reports some progress being made: For those who have been... more
VISTA volunteers to work with local community
BENNINGTON -- A pair of volunteers from a federal program will be attached to the local hospital for the next year, working with youth to address poverty and nutrition in the Bennington area. thing the students may help with is the expansion... more
Governor Shumlin announces $1.9 million in community development grants: New jobs, affordable homes, and downtown revitalization will result
MORRISTOWN, Vt. — Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that the former Arthur’s department store, a landmark building in the center of Morristown, will be renovated into new commercial space and affordable apartments with the help of a $600,000 grant... more
"Madness" gets Main Street hopping
BENNINGTON -- Downtown retailers were open late for the "most important night of the year to be on Main Street" -- the third Thursday in July, known as Midnight Madness in Bennington. For nearly four decades, since 1963, the once-a-year event has... more
Downtown Morristown battles setbacks
By Lisa McCormack Last summer, it seemed downtown Morristown was about to experience a renaissance. • Two affordable-housing agencies signed a contract to buy and renovate three empty buildings that had housed Arthur’s Department Store. Shops,... more
Work begins on goals set through community planning meetings
BENNINGTON -- Local residents began working Wednesday toward four community goals identified last month as part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Community Visit program. Nearly 100 people attended Wednesday's "resource meeting," which... more
Stuart Hurd column: Communitywide efforts exerpt
On April 12, I attended the Community Day follow-up meeting. More than 100 people came to the Fire Facility to participate in the formulation of tasks/ideas important to the community. Rather than focus this discussion on the four ultimately... more
Hey, let's do them all!
It is too bad the community planning initiative Bennington is undertaking with help from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the many state officials and experts the process will bring to town, couldn't pursue all of the excellent ideas... more
Bennington community defines goals
BENNINGTON -- Residents winnowed more than 20 potential action statements down to four Thursday evening with the help of the Vermont Council on Rural Development as part of that group's ongoing Community Visit Program. The group held nine community... more
Commentary: This is the town's big chance
BENNINGTON ~ I have heard the voice of Bennington, and there is reason for hope. The Vermont Council on Rural Development paid us a visit recently. They held forums to stimulate a discussion on how to improve our community. What was said there was... more
Side Dishes: Morristown gains ground for a co-op
Lamoille County is home to 375 farms — according to the DC-based Environmental Working Group — and not one food co-op. Residents seeking to own a stake in their farm-fresh food have to purchase a CSA, or head to co-ops in Hardwick or Montpelier.... more
A good start with forums: Now, let's build on that
Bennington residents turned out in impressive numbers Thursday afternoon and evening for nine community forums to offer suggestions and comments on broad topics for possible initiatives that would benefit the town. Those residents and others, and... more
Fairfield resident posts on FPF about positive outcome of VCRD's Community Visit process
Here's a recent post on Fairfield's Front Porch Forum. A nice mention of VCRD's recent Community Visit process there and some of the progress made in the communications priority: Hi Fairfield! As someone in town (maybe one of a small few) who... more
Bennington speaks out at community forums
BENNINGTON, NEAL P. GOSWAMI, Staff Writer -- Local officials and residents fanned out in force in nine separate forums Thursday as part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's community visit program aimed at jump-starting discussion on a... more
Video on CAT-TV: Bennington Community Visit
Paul Costello and Joe Krawczyk talk about the upcoming community visit process that kicks on on March 15 in Bennington.
Community-wide planning effort to launch
Friday February 24, 2012: KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer BENNINGTON -- If other towns are any indication, some changes and new initiatives could be coming to Bennington in the near future. On March 15, there will be a Community Visit Meeting... more
Leaving RutVegas: A blue-collar city reinvents itself — and refutes its reputation
“Let’s talk about RutVegas.” Jim Sabataso is sitting at a small table in Café Terra, “Rutland’s best coffee shop” — and only one, he admits. Sabataso is 28 years old, bearded and friendly. His family goes back a long time in these parts: His great-... more
Council wants to know Bennington’s goals
BENNINGTON -- The Council on Rural Development is planning to bring its Community Visit Program to Bennington to help residents identify and achieve goals for the town. Executive Director Paul Costello said an initial steering committee is being put... more
'The Blood in this Town' screens on Capitol Hill Thursday
“The Blood in This Town,” the documentary about Rutland, Vermont’s grassroots efforts to revitalize itself, travels to Capitol Hill this week for a screening and revitalization forum, bringing the plight and promise of America’s ailing small towns... more
Task forces get to work on Morristown’s future
By next summer, Morristown could boast bustling storefronts, a local-foods co-op, emerging small businesses, and a recreation trail system that attracts both tourists and locals. Nearly 80 citizens are working to make those goals happen. Earlier... more
New Projects Galvanize Morrisville Leadership
Morristown community and municipal leaders are working together on four projects identified this spring to energize the economy, improve the downtown, and advance Morrisville as a dynamic place to live and do business in the future. The Vermont... more
Vermont town's blood drive, film draw notice
RUTLAND, Vt. — When documentary filmmaker Art Jones and his five-man crew set out from New York to shoot footage of a blood drive in a small Vermont city, he did it to satisfy an old friend, one of the organizers. Jones figured it might make a nice... more
Morristown residents set priorities for town's future
MORRISTOWN ~ Morristown residents want to fill empty downtown storefronts, promote local foods, make the town much friendlier to pedestrians, and support new and growing small businesses. Next month, some of Vermont’s top economic-development... more
Rutland Takes a Bow
RUTLAND ~ May 16, 2011. VCRD's Paul Costello hosted a morning session at the Vermont Business for Social Responsibility's annual meeting. There he pointed to Rutland's successful efforts since VCRD's creative economy program there, including the... more
Morristown Selects Top Four Priorities
MORRISTOWN – About 150 people turned out for the second of a series of meetings hosted by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), and as a result the top four priorities for action in Morristown have been chosen. The Morristown community... more
Community visit could spark change for Morristown
Would there be enough customers to support a natural-food co-op in Morristown? How could the town draw business from the thousands of tourists who visit Stowe and Smugglers' Notch every year? Those were just a couple of the issues on the table... more
Downtown Morrisville has vacant look
This article points out the effects of the economic downturn on Morrisville and points to ways the community is addressing the problems there, including our upcoming Community Visit process to begin in March 2011 and the e-Vermont Community... more
Fairfield brand? Town dreams "big"
FAIRFIELD: Community settles on three priorities — Development of a farmer’s market, a buy-local program and ultimately a Fairfield brand were among the projects proposed when about 50 residents met Thursday night to help shape their town’s future.... more
Marlboro's renewable resurgence: Town committee focused on energy use continues to grow
MARLBORO -- The Marlboro Energy Committee is growing and expanding the scope of its work. Energized by the town's recent participation in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Community Visit Program, more residents have recently joined the... more
Marlboro prioritizes its future
MARLBORO -- Building a community center and improving walkability in town were the topics of choice for Marlboro residents at the Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Visit meeting. Held at the Marlboro Elementary School and attended by... more
Marlboro in second phase of discussions of future
MARLBORO -- Entering the second phase of its Community Visit Program in Marlboro, the Council on Rural Development’s community team will meet again with residents and begin to take some first steps toward action on April 29. The community visit is... more
State grant to fund Killington arts center study
Courtesy of a $25,000 Vermont Community Development Planning Grant awarded to the town, a bid will go out to contractors in February to do a preliminary feasibility study of a center, to determine if there's a demand for one in the town and if the... more