The first meeting of what is tentatively being called the Sustainable East-Central Vermont Consortium will meet on March 28th in White River Junction to formally begin a process that will generate a regional plan for sustainable development by 2014 to cover a 40-town area in east-central Vermont. This area is the 30-town service area of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) and the ten towns of the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission (SWCRPC). This project is being funded in part by a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development along with contributions from local partners.

TRORC successfully applied for and obtained the grant, but the new collaboration will be the body to tackle policy for how the interconnected web of land use development, energy, transportation systems and natural resources can be brought closer to a sustainable system. Kevin Geiger, Senior Planner at TRORC, said, “This grant gives the area a great opportunity to look ahead, together, and see how we can better live in this great place in a realistic manner.”

The consortium includes area agencies and organizations that cover everything from senior services to housing, as well as state agencies and many towns, with Springfield and Hartford as the largest. The diverse make-up of the group is meant to capitalize on the existing strengths of
organizations and represent a wide variety of interests.

Issues such as where to build workforce housing, how to increase transit usage, how to decrease the energy it takes to heat our buildings and many more will be grappled with in order to result in a vision and set of strategies targeted at addressing a set of problems that can only be solved in a
coordinated manner. The group will be looking ten and twenty years into the future.

For more information please contact Loralee Morrow at [email protected] or at 802-457-3188.