Draft 2018 Vermont Telecommunications Plan

See the draft plan and learn about public comment options here:



#Vermont Veterans: small business ownership and development opportunities

The U.S. Small Business Administration would like to help Veterans, Service Members and their families start or grow a business.

On November 8 during National Veteran Small Business Week, the Vermont District Office of the SBA is hosting an event to learn more about owning a small business. The event will go over specific services and programs available to service-connected individuals interested in business ownership.

The event will be held at the Langevin House in Randolph, which is part of the Vermont Technical College (VTC) campus.  There will be three workshops; Government Contracting and Veteran Certifications, Exploring Business Ownership, and a Financing Panel that will go over specifics on getting money to start or grow a business.  Lunch will be provided, and there will be business advisors on site to do one-on-one meetings during and after lunch.

The event is free, but registration is required athttp//www.sbavt.eventbrite.com

#Vermont seeks proposals for an electric bus pilot program

The Agency of Natural Resources, Vermont’s lead agency beneficiary of the Volkswagen Trust, has announced a Request for Proposals to seek proposals for the administration and implementation of the electric school and transit bus pilot program for the pilot period, and to facilitate coordination between all parties involved.  Vermont hopes to implement the pilot program in FY 19. Proposals are due November 16, 2018.

For more information about the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust, the Request for Proposals, and Vermont’s plan, please visit http://dec.vermont.gov/air-quality/vw.

If you have any questions about the Request for Proposals, please contact Maria Davies (802.622.4022; maria.davies@vermont.gov).


Gold Star Family monument dedicated in Northfield

I was fortunate enough to attend today’s dedication of a Gold Star Family monument and to meet 95 year old Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. Woody survived the battle on Iwo Jima.

Woody spoke of his mission to draw attention to the sacrifice made by families and friends of fallen soldiers, and his wish to see a national monument for gold star mothers.

The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation is a charitable 501c(3) nonprofit organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. The Foundation encourages, with the assistance of the American public and community leaders, establishing permanent Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in communities throughout the country, providing Living Legacy scholarships to Gold Star Children, and sponsoring & hosting Gold Star Families Outreach across the country.

Testimony to SBE on Act 46 Section 9 proposals

Stamford testifies about progress on the Stamford/Clarksburg interstate school district

I attended the Vermont State Board of Education hearing on September 19, 2018 at Green Mountain Union High School, Chester, VT.  This hearing was for the State Board to hear from districts prior to deciding what to do with those that didn’t opted to merge voluntarily.

The 95 districts that didn’t merge submitted alternative plans, or Section 9 proposals, to the Agency of Education for consideration. Stamford/Clarksburg Interstate group testified.

In June, Acting Education Secretary Heather Bouchey recommended 18 forced mergers. She recommended the remaining unmerged districts not consolidate – due to mergers being impractical or legally impossible – or that they continue with processes already underway. The state board has a final plan due on Nov. 30.

Testimony took place all day with many districts that have been unable to secure a vote to merge from their electorate advocating those votes be respected. Local votes should be respected, particularly on matters limited to that community. Since he passage of Act 60 twenty years ago, education decisions in Vermont very seldom impact only one community.

I provided testimony to the state board which can be read below.


Thank you for allowing me to testify today.

There are a number of points of view I am bringing to this testimony, but to be clear I am testifying today as the State Representative of the Windham-Bennington District.

I’m the oldest of 12 siblings whose lives were measurably improved by the staff of a small rural public school in Whitingham.  I would note that is a school district which has since been merged for over 10 years with Wilmington

I’m a mom of three and I invested my treasure, my children, in my community school and that Twin Valley merged district – my girls have graduated from college and my son will head to college in another 2 years

I’m a 17 year member of the Dover School Board which will meet for its final time at this year’s Town Meeting

I’m a one year member of the new River Valleys Unified Board for the merged districts of Dover and Wardsboro, a member of the Windham Central Supervisory Union Board and a four year member of the Vermont School Board Association Board for Windham County School Boards

An elected member of Vermont’s General Assembly who surprised many by voting for Act 46. I did so because I was convinced that our rural schools and students were in trouble. Every single one of my geographically isolated and rural towns has complied with Act 46 resulting in 3 completed mergers, one interstate merger in process and one standalone non operational district. They are all working many many hours to find improved educational benefits for their students.

I hold a private sector job which assesses demographic and economic data for the Windham And Bennington Region – who it should be noted are working together – and the two counties are in the midst of planning strategies to work together to repopulate and reinvigorate the economy in Southern Vermont

I’m also a resident of the Town of Dover. The fourth largest sending Town to the state education fund.

I want to remind you that Vermonters did not get a vote on whether or not they wanted to change how we pay for education after constitutional violations were found in Brigham. Our courts and the legislature – with their statewide view and constitutional imperative – decided for Vermonters because, in Vermont, all students are to be afforded substantially equitable education opportunities no matter where you live.

I want to remind you that Vermont business taxpayers are making huge investments in education for students all throughout the state – without being able to vote on the budgets.

And I want to remind you that students living in poverty, students living in fragile family circumstance, or in towns losing population, students attending schools in places where they can’t access internet, after-school programs, foreign language, or where they don’t have consistently competent boards, top notch administrators or low staff turnover – these students don’t get to vote.

The conditions that created the need for Act 46, chiefly declining population, still exist and in some places, like Southern Vermont, they are accelerating in younger age cohorts.  The activity that has taken place to date in the BRSU and along Route 100 and Route 30  have been and continue to be significant for those communities – but that activity alone is not going to fix the inequities or bring greater fiscal accountability to this state funded system.

Please remember – you have a responsibility to all of the kids and the kids don’t get to vote.

Opportunity: #Vermont Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) program

Announcement on the launch of Vermont’s new Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) program.

In total $2.4 in funding will be available over multiple years to support the installation of Level 2 and DC fast charge stations at qualified locations in Vermont.  The grant proceeds result from settlements to partially resolve Volkswagen’s violations of the Clean Air Act.  This program is a partnership between Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Housing and Community Development, Agency of Transportation, Department of Health and Public Service Department.

The program prioritizes funding in state designated areas (downtowns, village centers, new town centers, growth centers and neighborhood planning areas), highway corridors, public transit hubs, major tourist destinations, colleges/universities, hospitals, public park and rides, workplaces and multi-unit housing.  Eligible applicants include Governments (Federal, State, municipal, public education institutions, public utilities, and other public institutions), businesses, non-profits, homeowner associations, electric utilities, and EVSE equipment providers.

There will be a total of $400,000 in funding available in the first grant round.  Grant applications are due November 30th, 2018.  Program description and application are available on our website http://accd.vermont.gov/community-development/funding-incentives/electric-vehicle-supply-equipment-evse-grant-program.  The application has several resources available to help guide applicants through the process of applying.

Technical assistance on EV charging equipment, installation and siting is also available through Drive Electric Vermont.  They are available to help answer questions, provide guidance, and discuss EV market conditions in Vermont.

Municipalities and Schools needing technical assistance can contact Dan Edson from Building and General Services (BGS) at Daniel.Edson@vermont.gov.  BGS is contracting with EV equipment providers to offer customized support with siting, equipment selection, installation and application submission.

Gary Holloway from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development will be offering a webinar on October 9th from Noon-12:30pm for those interested in learning more about the EVSE program.  No need to pre-register, just log on day of event using the instructions below.


Knowledge Bites Webinar Series Presents:

What: “Knowledge Bites” webinar session on the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grant Program 

Who:   Gary Holloway,  Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development

How to Log On: www.freeconferencecall.com > Menu > Join Meeting > Online Meeting ID: svep > Name and Email

For more information on how to connect (visit www.brattleborodevelopment.com/knowledge-bites/ or e-mail Sarah Lang – Sarah Lang slang@brattleborodevelopment.com)

When: Tuesday,  October 9th, 12p-1230p

Why: To learn more about the newly announced EVSE grant program



Gary Holloway / Downtown Program Coordinator
Community Planning and Revitalization
Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development
1 National Life Drive, Davis Building, 6th Floor