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Last meeting set for Feb. 13 for Rockingham Community Action Plan

BELLOWS FALLS—The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last community meeting in the Let’s Take Action Rockingham Community Visit process on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Bellows Falls Middle School, 15 School St.

VCRD invites all residents of the town to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward.

According to a VCRD news release, about 150 Rockingham community members came together on Jan. 9 to set core priorities for future action in town. They reviewed 24 ideas that were gathered from focus forums in December, an online survey, and a youth forum.

They then chose three priorities designed to boost the community and advance the town’s economy. At the end of the session, participants signed up as volunteers.

Task forces are forming to work on building a youth center, advancing community-based energy projects, improving efficiency and resiliency, and redeveloping buildings in Bellows Falls.

On Feb. 13, these new task forces will meet in the Bellows Falls Middle School to create action plans and work with a resource team of federal, state, business, and nonprofit leaders to identify next steps and resources that can help them succeed.

Members of the Resource Team include Ben Doyle and Jon Muise (USDA Rural Development), Gary Holloway (Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development), Chelsea Lewis (Vermont Community Foundation), Brad Long (Efficiency Vermont), Chris Campany (Windham Regional Commission), Bob Stevens (Stevens & Associates), Sarah Lang (Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation), and Liz Gamache (Preservation Trust of Vermont).

“VCRD looks forward to working with these new task forces to narrow in on the group’s focus, identify critical first steps towards action, and connect to the resources they need to succeed,” said VCRD’s Community and Policy Manager Jenna Koloski. “This is an important point in the process and we hope that community members will join us to move these ideas forward.”

The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing rural Vermont communities. For more information, contact Koloski at 802-225-6091 or jenna@vtrural.org, or visit vtrural.org/programs/Community-Visits.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #548 (Wednesday, February 12, 2020). This story appeared on page A3.

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