NVDA News & Announcements - September 27, 2017

Staff Writer

Announcements from NVDA's 2017 Annual Board of Directors Meeting:

Election of Officers - President Grant Spates (Orleans); Vice President Paul Monette (Orleans); Vice President Reginald Bunnell (Essex); Vice-President Tom Robinson (Caledonia); Secretary/Treasurer Fred Saar (Caledonia).

Confirmation of Municipal Planning Efforts Caledonia County: Barnet, Danville, Groton, Hardwick, Kirby, Lyndon, Sheffield, St. Johnsbury, Sutton, Waterford, Wheelock. Essex County: Brighton, Canaan, Concord, Granby, Guildhall, Norton, Unified Towns & Gores. Orleans County: Albany, Brownington, Charleston, Coventry, Craftsbury, Derby, Greensboro, Holland, Jay, Lowell, Morgan, Newport City, Newport Town, Troy, Westfield, Westmore.

Downtown & Village Center Tax Credits Benefit NEK Communities
Downtown & Village Center tax credits support community projects and downtown vitality by reducing the cost of infrastructure improvements to preserve existing buildings. Governor Phil Scott recently announced the award of $2.7 million in tax credits to support twenty-two competitive projects statewide. Three NEK projects were among them: Island Pond $20,666 toward code compliance for the Essex House on Cross Street; Newport City $129,500 for a sprinkler system and elevator in the Montgomery Ward Building on Main Street; St. Johnsbury $24,838 for ADA and code compliance to convert a vacant storefront on Main Street into a restaurant. Rehabilitation tax credits help stimulate private investment and restore historic buildings in designated Downtown & Village Centers. For more information about the program, contact Caitlin Corkins (802) 828-3047 Caitlin.corkins@vermont.gov or visit accd.vermont.gov/historic-preservation/funding/tax-credits.

Quebec Manufacturer Expands Into Industrial Park
Pratiko Inc., a Canadian company, has opened it's first U.S. location in the St. Johnsbury-Lyndon Industrial Park. The manufacturer makes innovative equipment for people with disabilities, like adaptive devices for automatic braking systems on wheelchairs and rolling walkers. Pratiko conducted a nationwide search for a location and Vermont was chosen from a short list that included Maine, Massachusetts and New York. Jean-Marc Landry, Director of Research and Development, found the incubator environment at the Charles Carter Business Resource Center to be well suited for its needs as the company proceeds to facilitate product sales and establish a manufacturing base in the United States.

Mobile Home Park Guidance
VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development recently updated the Mobile Home Park Guidance for Municipalities, a resource for town planners when working with pre-existing mobile home parks or proposed new developments. The 2017 version developed jointly by the community planning division and mobile home park program, explains why free-standing "trailer park ordinances" are no longer allowed under State law. Visit the Department of Housing & Community Development website for resources to use when considering housing within the greater planning context. Arthur Hamlin, Housing Program Coordinator, arthur.hamlin@vermont.gov (802) 828-3749. http://accd.vermont.gov/housing

Village Center Designation for Wheelock and Lyndonville
In September, the Vermont Downtown Board announced that Wheelock and Lyndonville met the statutory requirements for village center designation (24VSA Chapter 76A). Both municipalities are eligible for all benefits available to a designated area for the next five years. A request for renewal can be made after five years. NVDA congratulates the town officials who worked to make this happen!

Newport's East Side Restaurant Receives Award
In September, the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) presented the Rosemary J. Miller Dining for All Award to East Side Restaurant in honor of their commitment to accessibility for their customers. Congratulations to Dena Gray and her staff! www.vcil.org

Energy & Natural Resources

Efficiency Vermont Hosts Free Statewide Forums to Hear From Vermonters
As the energy landscape keeps evolving, Efficiency Vermont is working to adapt. Attend the NEK forum on Tuesday, Oct 3rd, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Gateway Center, Newport. Bring your questions and comments. How is Efficiency Vermont supporting the state's renewable energy goals and comprehensive energy plan? What is the future of efficiency efforts in light of changes at the national level? How can Efficiency Vermont's programs be better integrated into existing state programs? Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Training & Incentive Programs
New Incentive for Pellet/Chip-fired Evaporators The VT Clean Energy Development Fund is offering an incentive for the purchase and installation of wood pellet (or wood chip) maple sap evaporators. Cash grants will be available to all Vermont-based sugar makers and will be based on the size of the evaporators installed -- up to a maximum of $20,000. Applications and details about incentives can be found on the Renewal Energy Resource Center (RERC) website: www.RERC-VT.org.
VT Employment Growth Incentive Program (VEGI) Vermont offers an economic incentive for business recruitment, growth and expansion. The VEGI program is designed to encourage prospective economic activity by providing financial incentives to qualified businesses that meet performance requirements. Authorization occurs through an application to the Vermont Economic Progress Council. For applicant information, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives/vegi.
VT Training Program (VTP) The Vermont Training Program is the primary training resource out of the Department of Economic Development. The program can be used to train new employees or it can be used for existing employees if the training is needed for new equipment or technology. VTP can pay up to 50% of an employee's wages/salary during the training period. Contact John Young, Director of Workforce Development Programs (802) 355-2725 or John.young@vermont.gov and find out what your employees are eligible for. Find out more VTP

Upcoming Events
October is Vermont Manufacturing Month - October 6th has been designated Vermont Manufacturing Day, but the entire month can be used to promote an event and raise awareness about good paying jobs and career opportunities located in the NEK. Is your company planning to host an event to recognize the importance of manufacturing? Contact Robynn Albert, VT Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) (802) 793-2078 or email ralbert@vmec.org to find out which manufacturing facilities are offering open house tours.
Lyndon State College to Host College Fair Saturday, Oct 7th, 10:00 am Vermont colleges, universities, and institutions offering certificate and apprenticeship programs will be on hand to describe post-secondary education opportunities available in the state. Representatives from VT Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) will be present to explain financial aid options and Senator Bernie Sanders, who serves on the Senate Education Committee, will speak at 12:30 pm.
Grants Management Compliance Workshop Oct 18, 9:00 am-3:pm, National Life Dr, Dean Davis Bldg, Montpelier This free workshop, presented by the VT Community Development Program (VCDP), is designed to assist grantees with VCDP grant requirements such as: Environmental Review, Contracts & Procurement, Requisitioning Funds, Financial Monitoring, and Audits. Staff will be available after the workshop to answer questions and provide additional technical assistance if needed. Registration is limited: Contact Patrick Scheld to register Patrick.Scheld@vermont.gov.
2017 Financing the Working Landscape Conference Oct 20, 9:00 am, Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT NVDA and the Center for Agricultural Economy (CAE) hosted this statewide conference in the Northeast Kingdom in 2015 and 2016. The event has now moved to the Brattleboro region where it will attract emerging and growing businesses in the food, agriculture and forestry sectors, and connect them to financial and technical resources. Secretary Anson Tebbetts of the VT Agency of Agriculture will open the conference. Admission is free but registration is required. www.brattleborodevelopment.com/2017fwl/
Free Business Workshops for Veterans Oct 31, 431 Pine St, Burlington The Vermont Small Business Administration (SBA) is holding this event for veterans interested in starting or growing a business. The event will feature three business workshops and one-on-one business counselling. Visit www.sbavt.eventbrite.com to register or call Danny Monahan (802) 828-4422, ext 215.