Bennington to Learn from St. Albans - Economic Development

Keith Whitcomb, Reporter
The Bennington Banner

A town that doesn't invest in itself shouldn't expect anyone else to, was one of the main points made by leaders from the City of St. Albans Monday to their counterparts in Bennington.

St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud told those gathered at the Bennington Museum that as of 2008, St. Albans City had already experienced decades of decline. The downtown had a 60 percent vacancy rate, crime was on the rise, the police department was a shambles, and the grand list — The value of the taxable property in town — was going down. Tax rates were rising even as the town failed to keep up roads and sidewalks, and there was no plan for capital improvements.

"We were a sinking ship," he said, standing before members of the Bennington Economic Development Partners, town government, local business owners, the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from the Southwestern Vermont Health Care.

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