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Governor Phil Scott Announces $2.7 Million Investment in the Rehabilitation and Reuse of Brownfields

July 2, 2024

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today the Brownfields Revitalization Fund – State Program is investing $1,970,970 to clean six properties in Newport, St. Johnsbury, West Rutland and Windsor. The Brownfields Revitalization Fund – Federal Program is investing an additional $798,777 to contribute to the cleanup of properties in Colchester and Burlington.

“Cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into sites for housing and economic opportunity is key to community revitalization,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Many of the projects announced today will generate more housing units which we desperately need.”

“Housing is imperative in order for economic development initiatives to achieve their potential,” said Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein. “Removing blight and encouraging the reuse of these parcels makes these brownfield projects game-changers in their communities.”

Below is a list of all projects recently awarded grants from the Brownfields Revitalization Fund – State Program:

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust

  • Location: Windsor, Windsor County
  • Award: $625,000
  • Purpose: Redevelopment of a vacant site in the designated downtown.
  • Anticipated outputs: 25 units of housing and .82 acres mitigated. Infrastructure improvements.

Sustainable Forest Futures, Inc

  • Location: St. Johnsbury, Caledonia County
  • Award: $244,800
  • Purpose: Adaptive reuse of historic structure.
  • Anticipated outputs: nine units of housing, commercial/community spaces, .31 acres remediated, and reused infrastructure.

Gilman Housing Trust

  • Location: Newport, Orleans County
  • Award: $32,562
  • Purpose: Transformation of a disused campus.
  • Anticipated outputs: 50 units of housing. 8.4 acres remediated.  Reused infrastructure.

Catamount Film & Arts Co.

  • Location: St. Johnsbury, Caledonia County
  • Award: $190,602.90
  • Purpose: Reopen a shuttered 10,000 sq ft venue.
  • Anticipated outputs: Resumption of programming, the return of 22 employees. .23 acres mitigated

Gilman Housing Trust

  • Location: Newport, Orleans County
  • Award: $278,006
  • Purpose: Removal of potentially unsafe housing units to make room for new housing construction.
  • Anticipated outputs: Remove blighted properties to construct new affordable housing units, resulting in seven additional housing units.

Housing Trust of Rutland County

  • Location: West Rutland, Rutland County
  • Award: $600,000
  • Purpose: Construction of mixed income, multi-family residential units.
  • Anticipated outputs: Construct a new three story, 24-unit multi-family building, with five units set aside for those at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is an important partner in brownfield remediation providing expertise and technical assistance for the redevelopment of a contaminated property.

Since the state Brownfields Revitalization Fund (BRF) opened in October 2021, $16.7 million in cleanup funding has been awarded to 38 projects in ten counties (Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor). The projects combined are anticipated to clean up more than 64 contaminated acres and create 663+ jobs and 538 units of housing.

The DED also oversees Vermont’s Brownfields Revitalization Fund - Federal Program. In addition to the State Program investments listed above, DED is also distributing Federal Program awards to two projects for the first time that previously received State Program money:

Evernorth & Champlain Housing Trust

  • Location: Colchester, Chittenden County 
  • Federal Award: $250,000
  • Previous State Award: $1,500,000
  • Purpose: Redevelopment of former St. Michael’s dormitories.    
  • Anticipated outputs: 64 residential units, reused infrastructure, remediation of a 3.17 acre site.

Champlain Housing Trust

  • Location: Burlington, Chittenden County
  • Federal Award: $548,777
  • Previous State Award: $1,052,692
  • Purpose: Post Apartments redevelopment; a mixed-use commercial/community and housing project.
  • Anticipated outputs: 13 full-time employees.  Reused infrastructure.  .58 acres remediated. 38 units of housing.

The Brownfields Revitalization Fund promotes the productive reuse of sites that are currently abandoned or not fully utilized due to contamination on the site. By providing financial assistance for cleaning up these sites, Vermont continues its commitment to environmental stewardship, community investment, and economic growth.