BRATTLEBORO -- On Aug. 14, at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden, the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies is hosting a regional public discussion and question and answer session regarding the process of implementing a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

In addition, under discussion will be the development and funding of CEDS projects. The session is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Representatives from SeVEDS and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, as well as Frank Knott from ViTAL Economy, will be facilitating the discussion. This will be an informative meeting for those entities who will be updating existing or submitting new CEDS projects as well as those considering applying for funds through the Windham County Economic Development Fund, supported by contributions from Entergy Vermont Yankee. The WCEDF requires projects address one of the goals or objectives the region established for the CEDS.

Register to attend the meeting at www.eventbrite.com/rss/user_list_events/45872168065.

On July 25, BDCC was notified that Southeastern Vermont economic development action plan accepted by US Economic Development Administration the region's 2014-2019 S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy was accepted by the United States Economic Development Administration.

BDCC, on behalf of SeVEDS and the Windham Region CEDS committee, received a planning grant in 2012 to develop the first ever regionally focused 27 town economic development strategy.


Advertisement

The region's request to EDA to be allowed to develop the CEDS cited a 20-year economic decline, the economic damage from flooding in 2011 and the impending closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

Working with CEDS consultants from ViTAL Economy, SeVEDS embarked on a year-long public input and data-driven research initiative, culminating in an action plan for supporting growth in the region's economy and mitigating the impacts of Yankee's closure. The final plan included 52 projects from the public and private sector and regional non-profits which were submitted for inclusion in the CEDS. These projects were ranked according to likelihood to help achieve the region's goals and strategies for growing the economy, by an independent panel of private sector, education and non-profit CEOs. The project list is updated every year to reflect in progress, completed and new project.

One of the oft-cited reasons by SeVEDS for undertaking CEDS development is that the regions projects are able to score higher on applications for federal funding due to the presence of the CEDS. In the letter informing the region of the CEDS acceptance, the EDA Philadelphia Region office highlighted that rationale.

The priorities and focuses outlined within the CEDS document will help form the foundation of how EDA reviews applications for Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs from Windham County.

SeVEDS has recently extended its contract with ViTAL Economy to develop implementation and funding schedules for the CEDS. SeVEDS is accepting new projects and updated projects for its first annual update to the regional CEDS. The submission period is open from July 1 through Sept. 30. More information on the CEDS project selection process can be found at http://seveds.com/ceds-projects.

Proposals are due no later than Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. Proposals must be received at: SeVEDS, 76 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro, VT 05301. A minimum of five paper and one digital copy are required.

All inquiries, questions and clarifications must be directed to Laura Sibilia at 802-257-7731 or lsibilia@brattleborodevelopment.com.

View the 2014-2019 Windham Region S.M.A.R.T. CEDS at http://seveds.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/FINALCEDSReport.2013.pdf.

For more information on SeVEDS Regional Economic Development Goals and Strategies, visit www.seveds.com.