The Shumlin administration and lawmakers had to put the state’s psychiatric system back together after Tropical Storm Irene damaged the Vermont State Hospital in August 2011. Rather than restoring the existing mental health infrastructure, Gov. Peter Shumlin decided to build from scratch.
EPA recently announced that Vermont has been one of five selected recipients of the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program nationwide. This program will offer assistance to help understand new or cutting-edge development issues. With this SGIA assistance EPA will help communities in the Mad River Valley recover from flood damage, become more resilient to future natural disasters, and plan for future growth.
The House Transportation Committee proposes a record-breaking $639.4 million spending package on roads, bridges and other modes of transport next year. Much of the increase comes from federal funding the state has been able to tap because of the flood damage Tropical Storm Irene wreaked in August to roads and bridges.
The Vermont Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the first "Report Card" of its kind in Vermont. The Report Card provides an evaluation and letter grade for Vermont’s roads, bridges, dams, municipal drinking water, and municipal wastewater systems. Of the five areas of infrastructure, grades ranged from a “C” to a “D-“, with roads and municipal wastewater scoring the lowest.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has awarded grants totaling nearly $285,000 to help establish four new bus routes under the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Program. The competitive grants were awarded to Chittenden County Transit Authority (CCTA), Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR), Deerfield Valley Transit Association (DVTA), Green Mountain Community Network, Inc. (GMCNI) and Rural Community Transportation (RCT).
ermont earned top honors when it comes to pedestrian safety, according to a new report from the Alliance for Biking & Walking. The state ranks first among states for pedestrian safety, and third among states for walking to work. Investment in bicycling and walking likely explains the high rankings.
Up to 250,000 smart-grid meters, which allow energy consumers to monitor their electiricy use, are coming to under-served areas of Vermont during the next two years. Their success will depend on expanded broadband technology to transmit information. Green Mountain Power Corp, Central Vermont Public Service Corp., and Vermont Telephone Co. are all partners in the deal.
FairPoint is one of a handful of companies that is working to lay fiber-optic cable to homes even in the most remote areas of the state.Link to full article
For the students in Hannah Estey and Rebecca Zavadil’s fifth-grade classes, Christmas came a bit early this year. On Thursday, the Bristol Elementary School fifth-graders all received new Dell netbooks to use at school and at home through the end of the school year as part of the education portion of the “e-Vermont” grant awarded to the town earlier this year.Link to full article
Vermont's congressional delegation and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday the release of $50 million in federal stimulus money for upgrades to the Amtrak passenger track from St. Albans to Vernon. Recently approved by the Federal Railroad Administration, the improvements to the 190-mile stretch will allow trains to decrease travel time by roughly an hour through Vermont and Massachusetts in the country's single largest rail improvement project.Link to full article
US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Saturday secured a commitment that virtually all Vermonters will have affordable access to broadband Internet service within three years. The Vermont Telephone Co., which won the biggest slice of $172 million of federal stimulus funds to bring broadband service to Vermont, pledged to help bring 21st century computer access to Vermont businesses, schools and hospitals. .Link to full article
A $5.5 million federal grant and loan package to Waitsfield and Champlain Telecom will help connect its most rural and remote customers to high-speed fiber optic Internet access, members of Vermont’s congressional delegation said Wednesday.Link to full article
Marlene and Mike McCarty, real estate brokers who do much of their work at home less than four miles from the Statehouse, say they spend hundreds of dollars and hours each month on things they wouldn't have to if they had broadband Internet access. Despite promises for years by state officials and phone and cable companies that they would have broadband by 2010, they're still waiting.Link to full article