(802) 479-2420 panthony@leg.state.vt.us

Legislators representing Central Vermont unveiled a comprehensive flood relief bill today, aiming to bolster support for communities ravaged by the 2023 flooding and landslides. This omnibus legislation, tentatively titled the Flood Recovery Act, signifies a proactive legislature seeking to address both short and long term needs in the aftermath of the July and December weather events.

Led by a coalition of Barre City and Montpelier lawmakers—Rep. Jonathan Williams, Barre City; Rep. Peter Anthony, Barre City; Rep. Kate McCann, Montpelier; and Rep. Conor Casey, Montpelier —is designed to provide crucial support and resources essential for the recovery and reconstruction process. It appropriates over $85 million towards tax relief, business grants, and funding for vital mitigation and preparedness endeavors.

Key highlights of the bill include:

Financial Assistance: The bill outlines robust and adaptable financial assistance programs tailored to aid households and businesses adversely impacted by the floods, ensuring the state’s commitment to post-disaster recovery..

Planning and Infrastructure: Allocation of funds toward regional  emergency planner positions, floodplain studies, culvert replacements, and Winooski watershed dam removals, critically lessening the impact of future flooding.

Community Resilience: Emphasizing the importance of community-led initiatives, the legislation supports programs aimed at rebuilding affected neighborhoods and hardening infrastructure. It includes funding for long-term recovery groups, rectifies lost municipal revenues, education property tax forgiveness, and assessing the strategic siting of municipal emergency shelters.

Rental and Property Disclosures: The bill mandates property sellers and landlords to disclose floodplain status and any previous flooding incidents related to the property or rental.

Representatives from Barre and Montpelier support this proposed omnibus flood recovery package and are committed to supporting its passage.

For more details on the Flood Recovery Act and its provisions, please reach out to Representative  ANTHONY.  The BILL  is  in  draft for for introduction.