Hyde Park, Eden and Waterville have been awarded a $22,749 state grant to develop plans for pedestrian and bicycle safety in their respective village areas located on state highways.

The three towns worked with the Lamoille County Planning Commission on the grant, administered by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

“Being able to safely walk to village businesses and community centers is challenging when those destinations are on state highways without sidewalks or crossing areas,” said Ron Rodjenski, Hyde Park town administrator.

“Our committee has begun redeveloping the former Gihon Valley Grange Hall building on Route 100 as a community center in the heart of the North Hyde Park village, and walking along or crossing the highway is not safe for adults or children,” said Liz Courtney, a North Hyde Park resident.

Seth Jensen, senior planner at the Lamoille County Planning Commission, said his organization “is excited to assist local community volunteers in their efforts to reinvigorate their rural village areas.”

Staff from the regional planning office will work with the three towns over the next year and a half to complete this project.

Since 1998, the Municipal Planning Grant program has provided $13 million to 235 cities and towns across Vermont, bringing people together to adopt useful and relevant municipal plans and implementing those plans through downtown revitalization, updated regulations, improved capital budgeting and innovative projects to prepare for the challenges they face.

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