Fairlee, Vermont from above | Source: John Knox


TRORC Awarded USDA Grant | New Requirements for | Flood Training Website Launched | Local Leadership Summit - Save the Date! | Draft State Hazard Mitigation Plan Available | Bethel Receives AARP Grant | Registration Open for 2018 Emergency Preparedness Conference | Zoning Administrator Round Table | TRORC Welcomes New Staff Member | Brownfields Informational Sessions




TRORC was recently awarded funding through a Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help support business within the creative economy. The creative economy encompasses enterprises, organizations, and individuals whose products and services are rooted in artistic and creative content. This grant builds on action items from the 2016 regional report ARTISTS, ARTISANS, AND ENTREPRENEURS: CREATIVE ECONOMY OF THE EAST CENTRAL VERMONT REGION which TRORC championed in an effort to analyze and evaluate the existence and strength of the Region’s Creative Economy. While this sector incorporates about 8.9% of the region’s employment, the need for collaboration among creative entities locally to build a regional narrative is imperative for a thriving economy. TRORC is excited to take the lead and utilize this funding in collaboration with the Cornerstone Creative Community (3CVT), a committee of working volunteers who are helping broaden and build partnerships across the region and state. Implementing a coordinated effort among those regionally to help strengthen the identity, infrastructure, and investment in the creative economy will require input from all of you!

For more information on the implementation of this grant or on the creative economy work in the region please contact Chris Damiani at




It may be that time of year again to renew your registration for your municipality or organization, this year features some new requirements. One of them is submitting a notarized letter that formally appoints an administrator for the entity you are registering. There are also new login requirements for the SAM website. A registration is required for those who wish to apply for and receive federal grants.

Information on these changes can be found on the SAM FAQ web page below. 

FLOOD TRAINING WEBSITE LAUNCHED is now fully available for administrative officers (AO) of municipal flood hazard and river corridor bylaws.  The site features tools and case studies for AOs, members of Development Review Boards and other community officials.  The new site complements with its focus on community planning for flood resilience, and the technical materials available at the DEC Rivers page.


The new Flood Training site features animations, videos, templates and tools that can be accessed and shared quickly. These include remarkable stories about community outreach, planning, and flood-damage mitigation. 


The development of the website was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through the Lake Champlain Basin Program.  Tamarack Media led the process of design and production including the remarkable videos.  


Zoning Administrators, municipal officials and planners from around the state contributed to the design and refinement of the new site.  


VT DEC River Corridor and Floodplain Manager, Rob Evans, noted "Administrative Officers now have more tools for communicating about no adverse impact, and administering municipal regulations as needed to support public safety, avoid costly disasters, and encourage flood resilient development." 


Feedback about the site, and suggestions about next steps, can be provided on the Contact Us page. 


The Agency of Natural Resources is grateful for all the contributions to this new municipal resource.




“Making It Happen!” 
Local Leadership for the Future of Vermont Communities

October 1, 2018 | Castleton University


Join local leaders working to improve life in their communities at the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s VT Community Leadership Summit!

  • Skills Workshops for Community Initiatives
  • Community Success Story Panels
  • Leadership Resource Fair
  • Group Dialogues on the “Future of Community Leadership in Vermont”


In democracy, ALL citizens are called upon to lead – where leaders step up, towns achieve great things. Local Citizens Make It Happen!


Registration will open in August. For more information or to sign up for event updates visit or contact the Vermont Council on Rural Development at or 802-223-6091.




The Draft 2018 Vermont State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) is available. Vermont Emergency Management is inviting the public to submit comments and attend their public hearing on August 20, 2018 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the State Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury. Specifically comments are being solicited on the proposed natural hazards that may impact Vermont, the vulnerabilities to those hazards, the capabilities that exist in the State to address the hazards and the mitigation actions needed to reduce the state’s vulnerabilities.

Written comments can be submitted via email to Stephanie Smith at Please include 2018 Vermont State Hazard Mitigation Plan Comments in the subject line. The link to the draft plan is here:





The Town of Bethel Recreation Department was recently awarded an AARP grant to construct a walking path connecting the school to recreational trails enabling more residents to access outdoor social and physical activities. See the list of winners across the country below.





The 11th annual Emergency Preparedness Conference will take place on September 7 – 8 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. This is a free conference, but registration is required. Staff person Tory Littlefield will be presenting on her multi-year hazardous materials flow study on September 7...twice! This event brings together information and projects for those in the emergency management field. Registration and more information can be found on the link below.


Hazardous materials transported by rail and trucks in Vermont is the main focus of the Commodity Flow Study. | Credit: First Light Studios




On Thursday, September 6th, TRORC is hosting a round table for Zoning Administrators and Administrative Officers in the Region. This is the first of what we plan to make quarterly gatherings. Each round table gathering will have a technical training and an open session. For this date, TRORC staff will give a detailed training on the ins and outs of administering flood hazard area and river corridor bylaws. This will be followed by an open round table for those gathered to ask questions and share best practices. It will be held from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at the TRORC office, and those interested in attending can RSVP to



We are happy to announce that we have hired our ECO AmeriCorps Jessica Richter! Currently she is splitting her time doing water quality work with TRORC and the Connecticut River Conservancy. When she becomes full-time at the end of August, Jess will be continuing water quality work, GIS mapping and working on Town Plans in the Region. Jess graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida last year with a Bachelors in Marine Science and is originally from outside Chicago, Illinois. Give her a warm welcome by emailing her at




TRORC will be holding a brownfield program informational session on September 17 at the Hartford Municipal Building from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. This meeting is intended for local leaders and realtors to educate them on the funding available for brownfield remediation in the state. Although anyone who is interested is more than welcome to attend.

Similarly, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will be continuing their Sites Management Section (SMS) Roadshow in multiple locations around the state. The closest to the TRO Region will be held in Springfield on September 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. This meeting is open to everyone. For more information about the SMS Roadshow, click the link below.