Strong Communities, Better Connections


PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Strong Communities, Better Connections Program is a multiagency partnership to align state and local investments to increase transportation options, build resilience and economic vitality in Vermont’s community centers. The SCBC Program is an annual grant program administered by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD).
 
The program supports implementation-focused, municipal planning initiatives that:

Municipalities annually compete for approximately $200,000 in projects funds. A 10% local cash match is required.
 

2016-2018 PROGRAM DATES
 
October 16, 2015
SCBC Grant Announcement
December 18, 2015
Pre-application Meeting Deadline
December 31, 2015
RPC Confirmation of Municipal Planning Process
January 15, 2016
Application Deadline
February 19, 2016
Award Decisions
March 25, 2016
VTrans Grant Agreement Due
May 27, 2016
Consultant Procurement Due
January 27, 2017
Mid-project Report Due
September 1, 2017
Project Completion and All Funds Spent
September 29, 2017
Project Close-out Report and Final Project Reports Due
 
2016-2018 APPLICATION GUIDANCE AND PRE-APPLICATION MEETING

All applicants are required to contact the SCBC Program Managers to set up a pre-application meeting to occur no later than December 18, 2015.  Program Guidance and Application can be found here. Please read through the entire Guidance and Application before contacting the Program Managers.

 

ELIGIBLE PROJECT CATEGORIES

The SCBC Program supports a range of projects that advance the integration of transportation and land use planning that builds community resilience with a focus on implementation activities. Projects should address land use and development, context-sensitive design, transportation network connectivity and roadway design, water quality, green and grey infrastructure capacity, and economic development. All projects must include an effective community visioning process and must identify and prioritize implementation measures and the economic benefit of such measures.  Prioritized recommendations and/or the implementation plan should coincide with capital projects identified in the regional and municipal plan, municipal capital plan or the VTrans Capital Program.

 

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not necessarily limited to:

 

A. Activity Center Plans.  Activity Center plans are smaller in geographic focus than Municipal Plans, and because of their smaller geography and focus; they provide more detailed implementation recommendations for specific areas. Activity Center Plans are a community-driven physical plan for future improvements. 

 

B. Corridor Transportation and Land Use Plan (CTLUP).  A CTLUP supports and encourages safe, comfortable multimodal transportation options (bicycle, pedestrian, vehicles, and transit) on state and town highways. The CTLUP geography varies, but the plan should be implementation-driven and deliver strategies to improve both the transportation and land use along a specific area of the corridor.

 

C. Innovative Transportation and Land Use Guidelines and Policies. Guidelines and bylaws that integrate transportation and land use to increase transportation options, support economic development and community resilience. The guidelines must be specific to a certain area (downtown, village, neighborhood or corridor) and not municipal-wide bylaws or standards.

 

Please Note – Restrictions on federal funds make municipalities in Chittenden County ineligible for this program. Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) is already investing in these types of projects through a similar program funded by federal metropolitan transportation planning funds for municipalities in Chittenden County. Chittenden County municipalities with projects integrating transportation and land use decisions should contact CCRPC for information on their program.

2014-2016 SCBC Grant Awardees

The pilot round of the SCBC Grant Program funded the following three projects that align land use planning and community revitalization efforts with transportation investments.

 

Mad River Valley

  • Project Type: Non-motorized Transportation & Land Use Plan

  • Project Title: Mad River Valley Active Transportation Plan

  • Description: Mad River Valley Towns will develop a unified, multi-town plan for non-motorized transportation facilities.   (Josh Schwartz, Director, Mad River Valley Planning District, mrvpd@madriver.com )

  • Project Website: www.mrvmoves.org

City of Vergennes

  • Project Type: Activity Center Plan

  • Project Title: Vergennes Downtown/Basin Master Plan

  • Description: Vergennes will develop a master plan to improve the biking and walking connections between the downtown district and Basin Harbor. (Claire Tebbs, Senior Planners, Addison County Regional Planning Commission, ctebbs@acrpc.org)

  • Project Website: http://vergennes.org/downtown-basin-master-plan/

 

Rutland Town & West Rutland

 
For questions regarding the SCBC Program, contact the SCBC Program Managers:
 
Jackie Cassino | Planning Coordinator
Policy, Planning & Intermodal Development Vermont
Agency of Transportation

One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05633-5001
802.272.2368
jackie.cassino@vermont.gov
 
Richard Amore | Planning Coordinator
Community Planning + Revitalization
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501
802.828.5229
richard.amore@vermont.gov