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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Support Electrical Grid Enhancements and Weather Forecasting Resiliency Project in St. Johnsbury, Vermont Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $362,898 grant to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The funding will implement their Electrical Grid Enhancements and Weather Forecasting Resiliency project, which will make infrastructure improvements needed to enhance regional public safety, add capacity to the regional Green Mountain Power system, and establish a business continuity center that local businesses can utilize during power outages. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $90,725 in local funds.

“President Trump is dedicated to providing businesses with the tools they need to recover and become more resilient in the wake of natural disasters,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “This EDA project directly addresses public safety preparation and response enhancements, disaster resiliency and recovery, and sustained regional economic development in a rural region. The project’s location in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will provide additional tax incentives for business development.”

The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, read our blog post.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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