The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is now accepting funding applications for 2009 Transportation Enhancement projects.
The agency will award approximately $3 million to municipalities, non-profits and state and federal agencies that can be used to enhance Vermont’s transportation system in twelve broad categories.
Grant awards will be made in the $10,000 to $300,000 range. Projects require a 20 percent local match and must have a strong transportation connection, but they cannot be roadway projects or maintenance activities.
“All towns, cities and non-profit agencies operate with limited financial resources,” said VTrans Secretary Neale Lunderville. “The transportation enhancement grant program is a great opportunity for them to acquire funding for projects that otherwise they could not afford.”
The grant program is a federal requirement, and awards use 100 percent federal dollars. VTrans cannot reallocate these funds for paving, road reconstruction, bridges or other traditional transportation projects.
Federal rules limit the grants to 12 broad categories that enhance Vermont’s transportation system. They are:
• Bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
• Bicycle and pedestrian safety and education activities.
• Purchase of scenic easements or historic sites.
• Historic or scenic highway programs including visitor centers, landscaping and scenic beautification.
• Landscaping and scenic beautification.
• Historic preservation.
• Rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
• Preservation of abandoned railway corridors.
• Control and removal of outdoor advertising.
• Archeological planning.
• Environmental mitigation of highway runoff and vehicle-caused wildlife mortality.
• Establishment of transportation museums.
Examples of eligible activities are public sidewalks and bicycle paths, public school bicycle safety “rodeos,” purchase of an easement to protect an important scenic roadside vista, planting trees to beautify a street, rehabilitating a historic building into a tourist welcome center, rehabilitating a historic bridge or railroad station, archeology to evaluate the best location for a bike path, re-vegetating a roadside stream bank to stop erosion, rebuilding a town salt shed to stop polluting a stream, constructing an underpass to allow wildlife to cross a road and rehabilitating a historic railroad engine as a permanent transportation exhibit.
Applications require that a letter of intent be submitted to VTrans by June 16, 2008. Actual applications are due Aug. 26, 2008. Applicants also are required to attend a training workshop.
For more information, call 802/828-2544.