Berlin, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott and Chief Recovery Officer Doug Farnham today announced the appointment of Patricia Moulton as Central Vermont Recovery Officer. This is the latest step in building out the necessary organizational infrastructure to coordinate the long-term recovery process for Vermont following this summer’s historic flooding.
The Recovery Office is the state-level entity that is tasked with coordinating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act programs, alongside hazard mitigation and ongoing community revitalization work, to ensure that activities are in sync across the many government, nonprofit and volunteer efforts already underway or slated for future deployment.
“Pat will bring her wealth of experience and passion for Vermont into this important role, and I’m confident she’ll hit the ground running,” said Governor Scott. “Our full recovery office will continue its focus on all corners of the State, but it’s clear that Central Vermont, which sustained the most damage from the floods, will need heightened focus. Pat is the right person to work directly with impacted communities to help them recover, rebuild, and revitalize the places they call home.”
“Central Vermont experienced a particularly high concentration of damage as a result of the storm,” said Chief Recovery Officer Doug Farnham. “This damage was layered on top of challenges we were already facing recovering from the pandemic and decades of housing, economic, and demographic decline in some regions of our state. Pat has experience in key areas including economic development and environmental permitting, which will help in her work to shepherd recovery projects. She also has the benefit of having served in the Tropical Storm Irene recovery and helped put us on a path for a more resilient Vermont.”
Moulton most recently served as president of Vermont Technical College and previously was the secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. As secretary, she facilitated the expansion of many Vermont companies, helped attract new companies, and assisted in rebuilding Vermont after Tropical Storm Irene and helped create the nation’s first statewide comprehensive economic development strategy that has led to millions in federal grants for Vermont.
“I am honored to serve Governor Scott and Vermont with vital resiliency and redevelopment projects needed to help Central Vermont meet the challenges of flood impacts due to climate change,” commented Moulton. “This is a great opportunity to continue the critical resiliency work started after Irene as well as address part of the housing challenges we face throughout Vermont.
Moulton has led four of the state’s Regional Economic Development Corporations and local development efforts in St. Johnsbury and Lyndonville. She previously served as commissioner of both the Vermont Department of Economic Development Vermont Department of Labor. In addition to her development work, Moulton chaired Vermont’s Environmental Board which oversaw Act 250 and served for many years on her hometown Development Review Board.
The Recovery Office consists of a central team that serves as the hub for operational, fiscal, policy and general coordination efforts, recovery officers across state government to facilitate interagency communication, eight task forces, including individual and family needs, housing, economic recovery, and infrastructure task forces, which serve to align federal resources with local needs, and regional coordinators to maintain open lines of communication with all Vermont municipalities. This structure will help focus the recovery efforts of state agencies, regional development corporations, regional planning commissions, long term recovery groups, statewide partners, and philanthropic efforts.
The Recovery Office is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal partners to develop relationships with state and local entities. “We want to be certain that Vermont fully leverages the resiliency lessons we’ve learned over the last twelve years and the support of our federal partners during the recovery process,” said Farnham. “The ‘Vermont Strong’ philosophy applies to infrastructure and communities alike. A more resilient and affordable Vermont is the long-term goal, and this recovery process is a means to accomplishing much of that end.”