New England-Flooding

In this photo provided by the Brattleboro (Vermont) Fire Department, floodwaters wash out a bridge and trap a car on Aekly Road in West Brattleboro, Vt., on Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

(The Center Square) – Vermont will be awarding grant funding to communities where flooding has negatively impacted the environment, the governor said.

In a news release, Gov. Phil Scott announced Flood Resilient Community Grants in the amount of $2.6 million will be awarded to towns, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations in an effort to reduce flood impacts that cause public safety and water quality issues in climate-related flood hazards.

“These are investments in Vermont’s future,” Scott said in the release. “By removing at-risk structures and taking other steps to mitigate the impacts of flooding, we make our communities safer and avoid repetitive repair costs to roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure.”

According to the release, 11 projects will be receiving funding, which will be used to purchase properties in a flood-prone area and planting trees along a culvert. The projects will improve streams and provide for water retention. Property is being purchased with consent of the property owner.

The Flood Resilient Community Fund, according to the release, was developed in 2021 and the $4.88 million initiative is funded with American Rescue Plan Act dollars. Another $2 million will be made available in early 2022 for a second round of awards.

“We want cities, towns, non-profits, and other potential applicants to know that money is still available,” Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann said in the release. “We encourage towns to think creatively about what types of projects could make a difference in their communities.”

Funding has been awarded to Berlin, Brandon, and Randolph for purchase of flood-prone structures. Rockingham will use funding to purchase a structure that is threatened by landslides, and the Brattleboro Housing Authority will perform floodplain restoration.

Johnson will use funding for purchasing a vacant parcel of land to perform floodplain restoration, and Two Rivers-Qttauquechee Regional Commission will undertake a floodplain restoration project. Friends of Mad River will conduct the planning, scoping, and outreach on a development of priority projects. Cabot will perform a riparian tree planting in a culvert project.

For more information on the program, potential applicants are asked to contact the Vermont Emergency Management agency at 802-989-6793 or email stephanie.a.smith@vermont.gov. Application deadline for the next round of projects is Jan. 31, 2022.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.