On Monday March 24th, the Vermont Downtown Board unanimously voted to approve Hancock’s application for Village Designation. The village center designation process recognizes and encourages local efforts to revitalize Vermont’s traditional villages. Once designated, the community receives priority consideration for state grants (MPG, VCDP) and other resources. Commercial property owners are eligible for tax credits to support building improvements.
The town of Hancock worked with staff of TRORC to develop an application for the program. With assistance from the Downtown Board’s Planning Coordinator, Richard Amore, a designated Village Center area that is consistent with the intent of the Downtown Program was created and approved by the board. The Hancock Selectboard sees Village Center Designation as an opportunity to encourage economic growth and vitality in Hancock’s small village. It is hoped that businesses will take advantage of the tax credits offered as part of the Village Designation Program, adding value to their buildings and improving the village center in terms of vitality and aesthetics. The former plywood factory (Hancock Mill, LLC), in particular is a location where the community would like to see continued economic development. This facility has the potential to offer local jobs which have been missing since the closing of the plywood factory almost a decade ago. Additionally, the community recognizes the value of the “extra points” which are added to HUD, MPG and CDBG applications for grant funding for those municipalities that have designated villages. Hancock has accessed these funds in the past and may do so again in order to encourage economic development in the village.
If your community is interested in applying for Village Designation, contact Chris Sargent at 802-457-3188 or via email at [email protected].