In 2021, the Town of Mount Holly applied for and received a Municipal Planning Grant from the State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The Select Board contracted with Community Roots, LLC, led by Melissa Levy, to identify and understand community concerns related to housing, economic development, and public infrastructure.
A number of community members have volunteered to help guide the project and are chipping in to help keep costs down. Jeff Chase is the Municipal Authorizing Official for the Select Board. Jon McCann, the Chair of the Planning Commission, is helping with administration. Deeply engaged local citizens Andy Bolalek, Russ Garrow, Anna Hanson, Kevin Hollebeek, Lisa Kelley, David Martin, Jessica Metcalfe, and Faith Tempest have volunteered to share their expertise and help guide the project.
The first task was to engage the community to help steer the grant objectives. A survey was conducted from November 1–30, 2022, via an online survey and a hard copy print survey. The online survey was hosted by Google Forms and linked from the Town website. The link to the survey was additionally distributed on the Newsflash email list each week, and a QR code was published in the November edition of the Chit Chat. Individuals shared the link in various other local community forums and on Facebook. Hardcopies were available for pickup and return at both the Town Office and the Town Library.
The response from you, the community, has been overwhelming! We received 172 responses, which is nearly 20% of the adult population. For comparison, many surveys are lucky if they get a 10% response rate. This is clear evidence of how deeply we care about our community.
This is just the first step. Work on the planning grant continues. We have started to dig deeper into some of the suggestions offered and priorities identified in the survey responses. The next month or two will involve gathering more information with the intention of producing a second report with detailed recommendations for maximizing the benefit to the community from ARPA and other grant funding and addressing pressing community challenges.
Join Us! Your involvement is critical to the success of the project.
Things you can do now:
- Read the survey report
- Spread the word and encourage others to read the report
- Let us know you’d like to help
- Stay tuned to the Newsflash and Chit Chat for more updates.