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Doing Better Business With the Environment: Natural Resources Secretary Announces Statewide Listening Tour

Media Contact: Danika Frisbie, 802-622-4122

MONTPELIER – The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore announced today that she will host a listening tour this February and March to hear directly from “our customers” about their experiences interacting with the Agency. The Secretary invites business owners, planners, real estate agents and others with regular business before the Agency to attend one of five public forums being hosted across the state at regional economic development commissions.

“The Governor charged me with protecting and sustaining the health and beauty of Vermont’s forests, waters, and wildlife in part because it’s one of our strongest economic assets,” says Agency Secretary Julie Moore. “The Agency has been a leader in working to continuously improve programs and processes, but we recognize that we can always do better. I invite all Vermonters with regular business before the Agency to come and share your experiences.”

The Agency of Natural Resources oversees permitting processes for state and federally-delegated programs that maintain clean air, water, and soils as well as healthy forests and ecosystems. The Secretary wants to hear about opportunities to further improve the Agency’s current permitting and regulatory systems to deliver better, more efficient business and organizational outcomes while protecting Vermont’s natural resources.

“Vermont’s environmental quality and economic goals are inextricably linked.  It’s in the best interest of Vermont’s environment and economic development goals to open this dialogue to spur economic growth while improving compliance with our critical environmental laws and regulations,” comments Agency Deputy Secretary Peter Walke. “I am looking forward to hearing from Vermonters about past concerns and ideas for improvement.”

The feedback gathered during the statewide listening tour will be used to identify opportunities to improve the Agency’s delivery of effective and consistent services. The Agency has been a leader in implementing LEAN and Results Based Outcomes tools, and it will continue to seek ways to provide better, more timely outcomes for Vermonters as part of the Governor’s PIVOT initiative.

Listening tour stop locations and dates are as follows:

  • Brattleboro: Thursday, March 2from 11:00am-12:00pm
    Marlboro Graduate Center, 28 Vernon Street (Hosted by Brattleboro Development Credit Corp.)
  • Rutland: Wednesday, March 1from 9:00am-10:00am
    Rutland Economic Development Corp., 67 Merchants Row, 3rd Floor
  • St. Johnsbury: Thursday, February 23from 4:00pm-5:00pm
    Northeast Vermont Development Authority, 30 Eastern Avenue
  • Burlington: Friday, February 24from 10:00am-11:00am
    Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, 60 Main Street
  • White River Junction: Thursday, March 2from 2:00pm-3:00pm
    Hotel Coolidge, 39 S. Main Street (Hosted by Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission

No RSVP is required to participate in a discussion. For more information about the listening tour, visit http://www.anr.vermont.gov or call (802) 828-1294.

 

Transportation Board holds Brattleboro Forum on Rail

The Vermont Transportation Board at 6 p.m. on November 9 will hold a public forum in Brattleboro on transportation policy associated with trains, both passenger and freight. The Board wants to discuss railroad related issues with the public – including rail-side economic development and the possible initiation of commuter rail service to Massachusetts – to determine how future policy can be shaped to best position Vermont’s rail interests to meet the needs of the state residents.

The forum, which will be held at the Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center at 10 Vernon Street, is one of seven such public conversations the Board is holding around the state. Topics the Board plans to discuss include:

  • Living with railroads as neighbors, and the issues they present.
  • Starting commuter rail service linking Brattleboro to various points in Massachusetts.
  • Passenger rail expansion along Vermont’s western corridor between Rutland and Burlington.
  • Passenger rail expansion from various points in Vermont to Montreal.
  • Truck traffic through villages and town centers, and the effect of rail expansion.
  • Adjacent rail-side economic development and planning for increased rail activity.
  • Rail Safety, including crossings, trespassing and response to potential emergency incidents.

“Vermont is poised to significantly expand passenger rail in the very near future, while at the same time the state also is seeking growth opportunities for both the movement and off-loading of freight,” said David Coen, Acting Chair of the Transportation Board. “As a result, we want to have a conversation with Vermonters to both hear their suggestions as well as understand their concerns regarding these new services and how the state uses its rail lines.”

People who cannot attend a hearing can submit written comment by visiting the Board’s website at http://tboard.vermont.gov/. For more information, contact John Zicconi at [email protected] or by calling 802-828-2942.