(The Center Square) – Downtown projects around Vermont will be getting a cash infusion to support public infrastructure.
More than $2 million in grants will be funneled through the Department of Housing and Community Development to sustain 15 projects in designated downtowns and village centers that are eligible for the Downtown Transportation Fund, according to a release from the state.
Since 1999, according to the release, the program has supported 151 projects in 32 communities with $13 million in investments that leveraged $54 million in supportive funding.
“The recent revitalization work in St. Johnsbury, Waterbury and Bennington through Downtown Transportation Fund grants has shown that increased public investment in downtowns attracts private investments, strengthens local economies, and improves the quality of life for its residents and visitors,” Gov. Phil Scott said in the release. “Efforts like this are critical components of our work to grow the economy in all 14 counties.”
The department, according to the release, has been utilizing the program since 1999, supporting investments in public infrastructure. Over the years, the program has aided streetscaping, parking, rail, and bus infrastructure projects, along with bicycle and pedestrian safety, utilities, street lighting, and wayfinding signage.
According to the release, the funding will be used to make needed repairs to a train station and also connecting rail-trails for recreational use. Also included are projects that will replace traffic and pedestrian signals in an effort to create vibrant downtown centers that are pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly.
“Transportation infrastructure improvements can have profound positive effects on communities and the quality of life of individual Vermonters by offering more alternatives and enabling more active lifestyles,” Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn said in the release.