Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Availability of $4.5 Million in Northern Border Grants

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, April 07, 2014) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced the Northern Border Regional Commission (NRBC) will begin accepting applications for the next round of grants to encourage economic development and job creation along the Northeast border.  The Commission has approximately $4.5 million in federal funding to award to projects in five northern counties in Vermont, and certain counties in New Hampshire and Maine.  Eligible projects in Essex, Caledonia, Franklin, Orleans and Lamoille Counties can apply for funding through NBRC.

The NBRC was established by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill and was recently reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill.  The program provides funding for development in economically distressed northern border counties in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York.  Leahy, as the senior-most member of the Senate’s Agriculture and Appropriations Committees, played a pivotal role in renewing the Commission in the 2014 Farm Bill and dramatically increasing its funding. Representative Welch led a parallel reauthorization and funding effort in the House.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “NRBC is a successful program that continues to deliver results for Northern Vermont. These additional funds will spur real development by improving infrastructure, providing workforce training and assisting small businesses. We are encouraged that this public private partnership will continue to create jobs and improve the economy of the region.”

The NBRC has awarded 50 grants amounting to more than $9.2 million since it was created in 2008.  These projects are estimated to have saved or created nearly 5,000 jobs by leveraging federal funds with other public or private investment.

Eligible projects include those that develop regional infrastructure, support job creation and economic development, promote sustainable land use or develop renewable energy sources. Those interested in pursuing funding opportunities can contact the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development at 802-828-5236.

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