Voters support funding for regional economic effort

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WINDHAM COUNTY — Local residents signaled another round of support for Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies at annual town meetings across the county.

"We did amazing," Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. Executive Director Adam Grinold told the Reformer.

He says BDCC is about projects and programs, while its affiliate SeVEDS focuses on strategy and insight. This year's approved contributions for SeVEDS currently adds up to $60,325.

"We are changing the future!" Grinold wrote in an email Wednesday to BDCC staff and board members from both groups.

Windham County towns were asked to throw in $3 a resident. Towns approved the following figures: $3,372 in Dover, $5,592 in Dummerston, $6,300 in Guilford, $2,500 in Londonderry, $3,234 in Marlboro, $5,178 in Newfane, $8,106 in Putney, $15,000 in Rockingham, $648 in Stratton, $4,767 in Westminster and $5,628 in Wilmington.

Vernon defeated the SeVEDS article at Town Meeting. Brattleboro will decide on a $2-per-resident funding at annual Representative Town Meeting on March 24. The Select Board has suggested the lower amount, citing unique economic development programs offered in Brattleboro.

Grinold noted BDCC Cooperative Internship Coordinator Kristin Brooks' passion, dedication and organization in reaching out to municipalities prior to Town Meeting Day.

"Starting with select board visits throughout the year, and then with coordinating petitioning, and town meeting assignments, Kristin was constantly planning and executing — and ALWAYS with a smile," he wrote. "Months of hard work put in by our entire BDCC Team, often standing in the freezing rain and snow, paid off yesterday with amazing support across the region."

The most inspiring part of this year's results, Grinold said, "is the recognition of the impact the BDCC team is having in our communities."

"Because of the great work the individual staff members are providing across the region, we have community members stand up at town meeting and support our work, its need and value like never before — all in their own words!" he wrote, thanking board members of BDCC and SeVEDS. "Without your continued investment in SeVEDS, none of this is possible."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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