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Swanton Energy Initiative to kick-off on October 10 with forums and a community meal - all are invited to participate

2018-10-02

SWANTON - Vermont Council on Rural Development will launch the Climate Economy Model Communities Program in Swanton with a Kick-Off on October 10. The program, named the SWANTON ENERGY INITIATIVE by a local planning team, will begin with a series of forums and a free community dinner during the afternoon and evening. Full details of the schedule are below. This event launches a process for residents to identify and advance priorities that improve economic opportunity and affordability and strengthen the community in the face of climate change.

Swanton applied for the Climate Economy Model Communities Program in a competitive process last fall and was selected as one of two communities to participate in 2018. The application was submitted by the Swanton Enhancement Project with support from both the Swanton Village Trustees and the Town Select Board.

“We are excited to launch this effort in Swanton,” noted VCRD’s Program Director, Jon Copans. “This is a community that has a great asset – their own municipal electric utility. We are looking forward to working with Swanton Village Electric along with our other partners and the citizens of Swanton to develop some innovative approaches to saving on energy costs.  With the help of a great local team, we will bring people together to brainstorm, prioritize, and implement community-driven initiatives.”

“The Swanton Energy Initiative represents a great opportunity for our town to work with some great partners to improve the affordability and livability of our homes and the strength of our local businesses” noted Village Manager Reg Beliveau. “I am looking forward to seeing what ideas local citizens come up with through this process, and what priorities we select as a community.”

The kick-off event will feature six forums on different topics that were developed by a planning committee made up of local residents. There will also be a free community dinner (see the full schedule below). Joining community members at the Kick-Off and dinner will be an invited Visiting Team of agriculture, energy, business, recreation, and economic and community development leaders from around Vermont who will come to listen and learn about what is happening in Swanton and to provide some reflection about what they have heard. In subsequent months, the community will gather again to choose from a list of possible action ideas brainstormed by local residents, and then will form task forces to implement the chosen initiatives.

ALL members of the Swanton community are invited to participate. For more information, visit www.vtrural.org or contact VCRD at 802-225-6393 or jon@vtrural.org or visit the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/282626069016247/

The SWANTON ENERGY INITIATIVE is a community-driven process with local leaders, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), Swanton Village Electric, Vermont Gas Systems and Efficiency Vermont coming together to cultivate economic development, innovation and affordability in the face of climate change. The Climate Economy Model Communities Program is made possible thanks to financial support from VLITE, the High Meadows Fund, Jane’s Trust Foundation, and VCRD’s members.

VCRD is a non-profit organization supporting the locally-defined progress of Vermont’s rural communities. To learn more, visit us at http://vtrural.org.