2024 Grant Application: Municipal Solutions Summit

All Applications

Grant Overview

Please enter a brief descriptive name for this grant*
Municipal Solutions Summit

Briefly describe the purpose of the grant
This grant is to help offset the cost of putting on a conference/scenario that is currently scheduled for April 1-3 at the Woodstock Inn. As this is the first attempt at this event and I want to encourage participants to attend, I want to make the conference a low bar for entry. Therefore, I would like the participants to only have to pay to stay at the Inn. This grant would cover the cost of the two day fee for a conference room, meals for both days, and possibly a networking event at night. I am going to cover the cost of the website and my partner, who is in marketing, will take care of the marketing, promotion, and outreach for the event without a fee.

What is the total budget for the project for which you are requesting EDC support?

How much funding are you requesting from the EDC?

Applicant and Organization Information

Name of Applicant / Organization / Business
Municipal Solutions Seminar

Mailing address
14 Graham Street Bethel, VT 05032

Name of Project coordinator
Eric Duffy

Coordinator's email address

Coordinator's telephone number

Organization's website

Organization's EIN

If you are applying on behalf of an organization, describe the organization and its mission (if you are applying as an individual enter "None")
This event/conference is to have regional Town Managers (and eventually Planning and Zoning) come together and discuss specific issues they are facing and will face. Too often at conferences, the focus is on the speaker and the lecture. This event, which ideally will become an annual event, we instead have round tables, "white boarding sessions," working groups, discussion of successes and failures, and yearly setting of goals and objectives.

If you are applying on behalf of an organization, what is your annual organizational budget (if you are applying as an individual enter "None")?

Project Description

Please provide a detailed description of the project
This is the first year of this event. Regional Town Managers will be invited to come to talk about housing, employment, economic development, the tourism vs. resident divide, and long term challenges facing municipalities. Ideally, each year will work off the previous year as we come up with ideas, implement them, and report back. Instead of a stand alone event, the goal is to create and empower municipalities throughout the region in finding solutions to the issues we never have time to work on daily. This will be a two day conference that will focus on issues in short sessions that are inclusive and based around engagement. Options beyond the event, would be ways to stay in connect, ask questions, and update each other on progress. With Woodstock being the fourth municipality I have worked in, I know every place has similar issues. This event will be a unique way to come together and start the conversation on how to best thrive in the coming years.

What is the timeline for the project (e.g. when will it be ready to start, when will it be completed,
are there important milestones along the way?
Conference is tentatively scheduled for April 1-3 of 2024. The biggest hurdle will be getting participants to sign up and attend.

What will success look like?
15-20 participants attending in the first year.

Project Budget

Please provide a link to a spreadsheet that shows the project's budget, using the format as indicated in this example

Please confirm that no in-kind expenses are included in the budget spreadsheet
Applicant did not confirm

If there are any explanations you would like to provide to help us better understand the project budget spreadsheet
please enter them here
No, but would be happy to answer any questions.

Community Support

Is there a "project champion" who strongly supports the project?
Not yet, but I have not made this event public yet. I expected positive encouragement when it is announced.

Describe the level of community support for this project
For this first year, limited. I will ask some business owners to participate, maybe a representative from the EDC, and maybe a local business to host a networking event. As the event grows (hopefully) the support of the community will become more valuable and needed.

Questions and Responses

Question: Nice concept. Seems you have not left much time to get this publicized and organized...have you considered a later date? Have you considered a less expensive venue to keep attendees costs down. Is the Town of Woodstock involved in putting this on (you use your town email address for contact). (submitted by Larry Niles)
Response: Hi, The date was chosen with the Woodstock Inn as it was their slower times so they were able to offer a discounted rate. I have been reaching out to potential attendees since early January. Currently, I have 7 registered attendees and two more I know of that have yet to sign up. I am doing more outreach and hope to get to 20 attendees. The resort has worked with me and offered very low prices in order to keep prices down. Further, using the inn and the chance to stay there overnight (again another discounted rate) is hopefully a selling point for people. I used my town email as I have been using that for reaching out to people, only so the people I already know understand who I am and where I am coming from. The town is not involved in putting this on yet and none of the Town's resources will be used. However, the town will benefit from this summit due to the work that will be done. . Thank you and please let me know if you have other questions.

Question: If you were awarded the grant how would you plan to recognize the contribution made by the EDC (so the community can better understand the types of investments we are making in economic and commmunity development)? (submitted by Jon Spector)
Response: There are two ways in which the EDC would be recognized for the support of this grant. First, would be internal (in the sense of the summit itself). The EDC would have a space on the website (www.municipalsolutionssummit.org) thanking them for their support. Further, the EDC would be recognized at the summit on any handouts/marketing/signage that we have. Finally on the internal front (and this will probably happen regardless of the outcome of the grant), I might be asking a member or more from the EDC to address the summit to talk about the EDC's work (success and failures) and have that conversation facilitate a roundtable/white board discussion. Externally, any partners with this summit will be told of the EDC support (the Woodstock resort, any local business that agrees to participate, etc.). Despite this event currently being organized and held without any support from the town, I would report back to the boards on the event and again acknowledge the support of the EDC. Finally, as the hope is that this summit will become an annual event, the EDC will have played a dramatic and vital role in the summit's success. Therefore, this summit could become an example of a successful direct and indirect economic development grant. Direct, as the summit grows, more people will come to Woodstock for it and spend more money at the resort, and surrounding businesses. Indirect, as the conversations, strategies, and relationships built in this summit will allow Woodstock and surrounding communities the opportunity to increase economic development in ways we fully do not appreciate at this time.