'Dorset Tomorrow' process continues Sept. 23

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DORSET — Four newly formed task forces devoted to strengthening Dorset's economic future amid climate change will meet for the first time Monday night at The Dorset School.

The task forces, developed through public meetings held over the summer, are devoted to increasing affordable housing and attracting new residents, building community unity, transforming Dorset's energy usage and generating more electricity locally, and improving the town's transportation options.

Dorset Select Board member Jim Salsgiver said that a "good cross section" of the town's population attended the previous meetings and that he believes the task forces, made up of community members, will collaborate with the board.

Salsgiver said he was especially pleased to see the creation of the affordable housing and new residents task force, which signals an openness to change.

At the Sept. 23 meeting — the third in a series of meetings held as part of the town's participation in the nonprofit Vermont Council on Rural Development's Climate Economy Model Communities Program, the local iteration of which has been dubbed Dorset Tomorrow — the task forces will begin to develop action plans with assistance from VCRD staff and partners.

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Efforts of the task forces to implement these action plans are expected to continue through at least part of next year. Members of the public can read more about the task forces, or follow a link to join one or more of them, at www.vtrural.org/model-communities/communities/dorset.

Select Board member Liz Ruffa said she has signed up to join two of the task forces.

"The work is only beginning," she said.

The Sept. 23 meeting at 130 School Dr. will start at 6 p.m. with pizza. Programming will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Students from the Long Trail School will provide childcare during the meeting.

Contact Luke Nathan at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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