eVermont: the Vermont Community Broadband Project Deadline 8/5

I am sending out an invitation to libraries that serve rural communities to pre-apply for participation in eVermont: the Vermont Community Broadband Project. This project is the result of a collaborative effort to secure ARRA (“stimulus”) funding via the Broadband Sustainability and Adoption program for the state of Vermont, and we need to hear from interested communities by August 5, 2009. [Please note that grant awards will not be announced until sometime after November 2009, so these are not funds that will be immediately available. In addition, there is no guarantee that our project will receive funding. That’s why we need your help NOW.]

Please read through the announcement below to learn more about this project – and how your community can pre-apply. Libraries (public, school, hospital, college) are anchor institutions in your communities and YOU might just be the person in your town that drives this effort and brings money for innovative projects to your town. This announcement is being spread widely to town government officials. Talk to your town manager, other town officials, your Trustees, small business owners, non-profits, school and college officials, health care workers, and other community leaders and put your heads together to do a bit of dreaming – how could your town use broadband to meet the goals of the eVermont project? What kinds of projects and citizen/business/library initiatives could happen as a result of this funding program? Remember: the application comes from the town. You want to make sure that the LIBRARY is part of the your town’s pre-application.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions. Here’s the full announcement:

Invitation to Participate in eVermont;

The Vermont Community Broadband Project

You are invited to pre-apply to participate as one of the Vermont communities in the eVermont stimulus program

eVermont is the Vermont stimulus program to help rural communities and businesses advance their goals and realize the opportunities of the Internet for civic engagement, community betterment, economic development, job creation and e-commerce. Partners in eVermont include the Vermont Council on Rural Development, the Snelling Center, the VT Department of Public Service, the VT Department of Libraries, Vermont State Colleges, the Small Business Development Center, Digital Wish, and a network of local, regional and statewide partners dedicated to supporting community and business progress.

eVermont Goals:

  • Increase civic involvement and build community
  • Advance local government communications, efficiency and transparency
  • Promote local business innovation and prosperity
  • Improve health and wellness
  • Advance 21st Century learning in and out of school

eVermont Action:

eVermont will provide facilitation, technical assistance and funding to selected rural communities to systematically answer their needs and stimulate broadband usage in a variety of ways determined by local leadership. Each community will develop its own plan. Potential local actions supported by eVermont could include:

  • Building or improving municipal web sites
  • Providing direct business consultation services to improve business efficiency and expand web based marketing, commerce and profitability
  • Using computer workstations or other technology in the town library –innovative ideas for enriching your community via broadband access in the library
  • Building local community or neighborhood on-line networks
  • Delivering new netbook computers to the families of middle school children who receive school lunch assistance
  • Involving youth in leadership to build community connection and expand the use of web based tools for a variety of community and business uses
  • Providing teacher training and curriculum development assistance to spur Internet usage in and out of school
  • Providing consultation and training to improve municipal delivery of services, communications between working committees, and expanding the use of web-based tools to facilitate community engagement and advance local initiatives
  • Building community calendars, local business directories, buy local maps, sports schedules, and a variety of locally-driven new applications
  • Expanding tele-medicine opportunities
  • Providing new computer based services to connect seniors with their families

Who can pre-apply?

eVermont has a great opportunity to leverage federal stimulus dollars to serve rural Vermont communities that have recently received, or will soon gain broadband access. eVermont is looking for applications from town or community groups that will take leadership in planning for local implementation and help make local resource decisions to advance Internet use and all its potential benefits.

How to pre-apply:

Vermont municipalities and community groups can pre-apply, especially those with low Internet adoption rates and which have only recently gained ubiquitous local access. The eVermont Committee is hopeful of receiving funding through the federal stimulus package to VT. In advance of final approval of Vermont’s application by the Federal Commerce Department, we are gathering pre-applications toward final selection of eVermont communities once federal funds are approved. The Stimulus grant application must be submitted by mid August. Project staff will communicate with all applicants once Vermont learns if its grant application has been awarded.

Email your completed pre-application to : VCRD2@sover.net or Mail to:

Vermont Council on Rural Development
P.O. Box 1384
Montpelier, Vermont 05601

Pre-Application Deadline: August 5.

Pre-Application Questions

  1. List the name of the lead community organization and contact information for the point person for the local effort.
  2. List local groups, communities of common interest, committees, municipal offices, schools, libraries, medical facilities, associations, or other non-profit partners who have an interest in participating in the Vermont broadband stimulus campaign.
  3. Are there local business needs that this project could address? Are there local businesses interested in assistance?
  4. Are there particular local needs, municipal needs, or community goals that you can identify that could be met or advanced through the eVermont project, and are there local partners who address the needs of vulnerable populations in your community?
  5. Briefly describe what you would like to see your community accomplish through the eVermont program.

Martha Reid
State Librarian
Vermont Department of Libraries
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0601
Tel: (802) 828-3265
Fax: (802) 828-2199