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Vermont's Smallest City Thinks Big

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2012/04/23

The citizens of Vergennes have set the top three priorities for their city, in an effort to take a big picture approach to planning for the future. More than 100 people turned out to a community meeting last week. It was the second event in a three-month "Community Visit" facilitated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD).

The Community Visit process aims to set community priorities and access a municipality's resources. The VCRD website describes it this way:

Our Community Visit program is a way for towns to engage and bring together their residents, set common goals and directions in a neutral and facilitated structure, and access resources that will help them take action on those goals.

Vergennes set these three priorities:

  • Improve transportation and parking
  • Advance the Vergennes economy and expand the community and economic development capacity of the city
  • Redevelop the Vergennes falls basin and open a riverwalk

The next step in the community visit process is to develop local task forces to work on these priorities. While some residents signed up at the last meeting, more members are needed for each task force. The city is encouraging interested residents to contact VCRD and sign up.

The next Vergennes Community Visit meeting is scheduled for May 21, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Bixby Library. VCRD will provide a visiting team of state, federal, regional, non-profit, and philanthropic leaders to help organize the new task force groups.