photo from www.nrc.gov
photo from www.nrc.gov

BRATTLEBORO -- In a filing to the Vermont Public Service Board, Lawrence Miller, the commissioner of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development outlined how $10 million from Entergy will be used to promote economic development in Windham County.

Entergy, which owns and operates Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, has promised to set aside $2 million a year for the next five years for the purposes of helping to mitigate the economic impact of the closure of Yankee, which will cease operations at the end of 2014.

"(The Agency) intends to deploy the economic development payments as grants to organizations working directly in Windham County on economic development projects," wrote Miller.

Projects for funding will be identified by use of a recently completed Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy developed by the Southeastern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies, noted Miller.

The CEDS "charts a course towards economic revitalization in Windham County," he wrote.

Projects that might qualify for funding include an expansion of staffing at the Vermont Small Business Development Center; creating an "innovation ecosystem" that would foster entrepreneurship; developing a machine apprentice program; and expanding the green building technology cluster.

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development plans to exploit existing relationships with local organizations such as the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and the Windham Regional Commission in promoting economic development, wrote Miller. In addition, he noted, the agency will also work with the Vermont Small Business Development Center and the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center.