Vermont to award $90 million in no-match grants to address flooding concerns

June 5, 2024

Vermont is making $90 million available in no-match grants to help cities pay for projects aimed at reducing future flood risk.

The announcement was made nearly a year after catastrophic rainfall that killed two Vermont residents and caused extensive flooding in communities and numerous washouts of bridges and roadways.

The funds are available through the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to all Vermont towns with no local match requirement. The program traditionally requires towns to pay 25% of total project costs, but the state will pay the local match.

“After the July flooding that many areas of the state experienced, it was clear local communities needed more resources to help them strengthen their infrastructure to mitigate future disasters,” Gov. Phil Scott said. “That’s why my budget included $12.5 million to fund the local match portion of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.”

The HMGP provides funds to municipalities to harden infrastructure against future flood losses and for voluntary buyouts of homes in floodplains.

The funds pay for projects that help prevent future damage in areas of repetitive flooding.

Vermont towns have installed spillways and large culverts in downtowns, flood-proofed public buildings, restored river corridors to keep water within their banks and purchased homes in floodplains to allow water to flow through without damaging structures, Vermont Emergency Management said

Interested cities and towns must provide basic information about problem areas and submit a pre-application by Aug. 16.  More technical information will be reviewed as the application progresses, Vermont Emergency Management said.

Applicants do not need to have damage from the July 2023 flooding.

“Taking the local match off the shoulders of cities and towns lifts a significant barrier that may have deterred towns from applying in the past,” Vermont Emergency Management Director Eric Forand said. “The process may seem daunting to communities that have limited staff, but we are here to help. We encourage towns to apply.”

Eligible project types include:

  • Buyouts
  • Structural elevations and mitigation reconstruction
  • Natural resource projects such as floodplain restorations or dam removals
  • Infrastructure projects such as upsizing bridges or culverts
  • Floodproofing of municipal or commercial buildings
  • Road relocation, elevation, or soil stabilization

Photo courtesy of NASA

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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