Revitalize Village Infrastructure
Burke residents are eager to see village revitalization, new businesses including restaurants and bars in their village centers, and increased access to affordable housing. However, water and sewer capacity limit the ability to grow in East Burke and deeply undermine the restoration of historic buildings in West Burke. An Infrastructure task force could form to work with residents and outside experts to develop a comprehensive plan for water, sewer, and resiliency improvements, inventorying needs and costs, and identifying funding sources and experts to advance infrastructure goals.
- Engage local leadership about having a community conversation around infrastructure. Ensure that both the Select Board and Village Trustees can hear from the community about its infrastructure needs.
- Conduct some basic information gathering that can inform the approach and future surveys. Contact Northeastern Vermont Development Assn (NVDA) and review the State Natural Website (http://anr.vermont.gov/maps) to learn more about Burke’s current infrastructure.
- Develop various survey instruments to gauge citizens’ infrastructure capacity and needs for the future. Survey can be disseminated in a variety of ways (paper, mail, online).
- Based upon informal needs assessment, the Village Trustees should draft an RFP (Request for Proposals) for an engineer to perform study of needs/potential water/waste water systems in Burke.
- Simultaneously work with USDA Rural Development to develop a Planning Grant application that can support the study or the contact the Vermont Agency of Commerce whose Municipal Planning Grant can also be used.
- Throughout the process, call on technical assistance provides to help you navigate various steps and funding opportunities (RCAP, VT Rural Water, NVDA, USDA Rural Development).
- Contact Clay Purvis of the Public Service Department to help the community understand the resources available to improve its telecommunications needs. He should be invited to a community meeting along with representatives from various phone/internet service providers.
- USDA Rural Development: Rural Development has grant and loan funds that can support both the planning and construction of water/waste water infrastructure projects. Beyond that, they are happy to provide advice and technical assistance whether the community utilizes Rural Development projects or not. Contact: Misty Sinsigalli, Community Loan Specialist, Misty.Sinsigalli@vt.usda.gov, 802-424-3156; Eric Law, Community Programs Specialist, Eric.Law@vt.usda.gov, 802-828-6033; Ben Doyle, Community and Economic Development Director, Benjamin.email@example.com, 802-828-6042.
- Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) Solutions and Vermont Rural Water: Both have provided free technical assistance to communities on water infrastructure planning and can identify potential funding opportunities to communities. Contact: Mark Johnson, Vermont State Lead, RCAP Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-505-1037; Shaun Fielder, Executive Director, VT Rural Water, email@example.com, 802-660-4988.
- Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has a variety of resources and expertise that can provide assistance. A Municipal Planning Grant could be used to develop a detailed infrastructure plan. Contact: Faith Ingulsrud, Planning Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-828-5228.
- NVDA: The NEK’s regional planning and economic development association. They will be a key partner in helping the community plan for and fund infrastructure improvement and can also provide technical assistance. They can also help with grant writing. Contact: David Snedeker, Executive Director, email@example.com, 802-748-8303.
- Public Service Department: A state agency that can provides information and technical assistance to enhance telecommunication infrastructure. Contact: Clay Purvis, Director of Telecommunications and Connectivity Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-371-9655.