Better Connections Program

The Better Connections Program (formerly known as the Strong Communities, Better Connections Program) seeks to align state and local investments to increase transportation options, build resilience, and strengthen economic vitality in Vermont’s community centers, through an annual grant program administered by Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD). Municipalities annually compete for approximately $200,000 in projects funds. A 10% local cash match is required.

The program supports implementation-focused, municipal planning initiatives that:
  • Provide safe, multi-modal and resilient transportation systems that supports the Vermont economy
  • Support downtown and village economic development and revitalization efforts
  • Lead directly to project implementation

2016-2018 Program Dates

Date Event
October 14, 2016
Grant Announcement
December 16, 2016
Pre-application Meeting Deadline
December 31, 2016
RPC Confirmation of Municipal Planning Process
January 13, 2017
Application Deadline
February 20, 2017
Award Decisions
March 31, 2017
VTrans Grant Agreement Due
June 2, 2017
Consultant Procurement Due
January 26, 2018
Mid-project Report Due
September 1, 2018
Project Completion and All Funds Spent
September 30, 2018
Project Close-out Report and Final Project Reports Due

Eligible Project Categories

The Better Connections Program grants are for planning work leading to local policy decisions and implementation. 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 support the Program Purpose and Objectives, include an effective community visioning process,  and  develop an implementation plan. 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.

Previous Grant Awardees

SCBC Program Contact Information

Jackie Cassino | Planning Coordinator
Policy, Planning & Intermodal Development
Vermont Agency of Transportation
802.272.2368
jackie.cassino@vermont.gov
Richard Amore | Planning & Project Manager
Community Planning + Revitalization
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
802.828.5229
richard.amore@vermont.gov

Vermont Agency of Transportation
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05633-5001
(802) 828-2657

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