Dear Constituents –
May 15 marked a transformative day for Franklin County VT. The Scott Administration sent 15 agency and department heads and their deputies to Richford for a round table presentation and Q&A on ARPA funding and other grant opportunities. Municipal and community leaders attended from across Franklin County to learn about money that is available to their communities and organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight grant opportunities, but the biggest takeaway from the meeting is that the Administration isn’t a group of State employees working in a vacuum in Montpelier; they are people who live in struggling communities like ours who want to see rural Vermont communities access the types of programs advancing economic growth that they have built in their portfolios with the help of federal and state funding. The VT Rural Caucus ( https://www.vtruralcaucus.com/), of which I am a Co-Chair, under tri-partisan leadership, successfully advocated for inclusion of $3M in Rural Technical Assistance for the most underserved Vermont communities. Although no towns in Franklin County pre-qualify to receive technical assistance (based on metrics developed by the Administration with input from various stakeholders), several of our towns will qualify if they apply for consideration. Please reach out to them at [email protected]. This team dedicated to assisting municipalities with their ARPA funding needs have held these forums in almost every county of the State over the past year, and other communities have found their guidance to be informative and timely. I highly encourage all Franklin County municipalities to reach out to them.
After the round table discussion, several groups went off in different directions: Richford Natural Forest Products and Kaytec in Richford; the Perley Block in Enosburg; the Franklin Co State Airport; Swanton Village; Fletcher; and several area libraries. These events were organized with the goal of introducing the Administration and their programs to municipal and community leaders and reinforcing those connections through their State Representatives and Senators. The message that was sent to communities is that there is money for assistance, and if you don’t know where to look for it, reach out to your elected officials, and they will connect you with the right government entities to assist you with your projects, from brain-storming to conceptualizing to implementation.
I would like to thank the Scott Administration, Richford Town Administrator Michael Olio, Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, and the Representatives and Senators who attended the events for their roles in planning and organizing the day’s events. I would also like to thank Greenwood’s bakery for preparing refreshments, FCIDC for providing the funding, and various businesses and municipalities for opening your doors and leading tours.
Please feel welcome to reach out to me at [email protected]. As we are not currently in session, it may take longer for me to respond, but I will do so as my availability allows.
Rep Lisa A Hango, Franklin-5