Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the town of Highgate/Village of Swanton, Highgate Center, Vermont, to support business and job growth efforts by extending water and sewer service from Swanton to the Franklin County Airport.
This project will provide added water and sewer system service capacity to support the development of seven industrial properties next to the airport and additional airplane hangars, as well as the establishment of a workforce development facility. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.5 million in state and local funds and is expected to create 362 jobs and generate $15 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“The Biden Administration is committed to creating new opportunities for workers throughout the United States,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide the water and sewer system capacity that businesses in Franklin County need to grow and create new jobs in the region.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Franklin County as it works to diversify and grow the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide critical infrastructure upgrades that are needed to spur business growth and job creation in Vermont.”
“Investing in water and sewer infrastructure has been a top priority for my Administration with funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act,” said Governor Phil Scott. “That’s because it unlocks many economic opportunities and other benefits. These fund for the Franklin County State Airport will be incredibly beneficial, opening up prospects for further investment and job growth in the region. I want to thank Secretary Raimondo, the Biden Administration, our congressional delegation and our many state and local partners for their contributions to these efforts.”
“I am very pleased to see Highgate and Swanton receive this funding,” said Senator Patrick Leahy. “Access to water and to appropriate wastewater treatment are keys that unlock economic development. Together with the improvements at the Franklin County Airport, this project will provide both communities with the ability to support new businesses, especially when combined with workforce training and development that will take place right in Highgate.”
“Expanding water and sewer capacity is key to helping preserve and create local jobs, while also protecting our watershed and natural resources,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “This federal grant funding for the communities of Highgate and Swanton will mean more Vermonters will be able to live, work, and train closer to home without compromising the safety of their drinking water or creating financial hardship for these rural towns.”
“This project is a boost for Vermonters in Franklin County and beyond,” said Congressman Peter Welch (VT-01). “By investing in local water and sewer service, we can create jobs, improve local infrastructure, and help our economy. That’s huge for our communities and for Vermont’s future. I’d like to thank the EDA and local officials in Franklin County for all the work they’ve done to bring this critical funding to Vermont.”
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.