Vermont’s regional planning commissions and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are pleased to invite municipalities to sign up for a new Municipal Roads Grants-in-Aid Pilot Project. DEC’s Clean Water Initiative Program is offering approximately $2.1 million to support this pilot project. The funding will help Vermont achieve its water quality goals by aiding municipalities in implementing best management practices on municipal roads. This additional support will help municipalities get a jumpstart on meeting the forthcoming DEC Municipal Roads General Permit requirements.
“The pilot project is a great opportunity for municipalities to become more familiar with the practices necessary to comply with the Municipal Roads General Permit,” explained Kari Dolan, the DEC Clean Water Initiative Program Manager. “These practices are a win-win; they improve water quality, reduce road maintenance costs, and enhance the ability of roads to withstand storm events, thereby saving municipalities money in the long run.”
The regional planning commissions are contacting municipalities the week of June 5th, inviting them to participate in this pilot project. The program is voluntary, but in order to participate, municipalities must sign up by July 5, 2017.
Catherine Dimitruk, Executive Director of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in St. Albans, added, “The regional planning commissions across the state are prepared to help municipalities take full advantage of this pilot project. We are available to help municipalities sign up, identify and map project locations, select the right practices, secure reimbursement for project construction costs, and report on final project outcomes.”
Practices eligible for funding under this pilot project include drainage ditch installation and upgrades, turnouts, removal of grader berms, and stabilization of drainage culverts and catch basin outlets, and on Class 4 roads, stabilization of gully erosion. The pilot project targets those sections of roads that are “hydrologically-connected”—road segments that are next to or cross streams, wetlands, lakes, or ponds. The amount of funding awarded to each participating municipality will be based on their number of hydrologically connected road miles.
Vermont’s Clean Water Initiative is an exciting and growing collaboration among municipalities, state agencies, local and regional partners, farmers, businesses, and the public to safeguard the public’s access to clean and safe water throughout the state.
For more information, please contact the regional planning commission in your area or refer to the DEC website.