Charge: Advance the Vergennes Economy & Expand the Community & Economic Development Capacity of the City
An Economic Development Task Force should be developed to take leadership in promoting businesses in Vergennes and surrounding towns, and systematically working to attract and grow new businesses that fit with the community. Residents would like to see additional businesses that expand and balance with the downtown, including a brew pub, bike and canoe rental outfitter and businesses that would attract and serve young people. An economic development plan could be produced and implemented, potentially in partnership with the town of Ferrisburgh and other surrounding towns. The city could also consider hiring an economic development director to work with this leadership team and include representatives and investment from surrounding communities.
The City of Vergennes could develop a citywide, local option one percent, sales and consumption tax to fund community and economic development in the city. Such a fund could potentially bring $130,000 annually that could be used to expand the capacity of the Vergennes Partnership, invest in community projects and recreational opportunities for youth, provide for improvements to streets, parking or infrastructure, expand amenities in the falls basin, or seed other urban renewal projects as determined by the voters and city council.