Border commission expanding eligible coverage area

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) All of Vermont is now eligible for federal grant money through the Northern Border Regional Commission.

Senator Patrck Leahy made the announcement Thursday in Middlebury. The commission is a federal partnership created to encourage economic growth throughout parts of Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Maine. Previously the program only covered Vermont's six northernmost counties, but now the entire state is eligible.

"We're fighting the trend of people moving out of rural communities into urban ones. Many of our communities lack good quality broadband internet, which today if you're going to attract jobs you have to have," Leahy said.

"We simply don't have enough money coming in to be putting enough out through state and local budgets to implement some of these creative ideas, so this opportunity is one to leverage a great idea into a project," said Vt. Agency of Commerce Deputy Secretary Ted Brady.

The commission is also expanding in two more counties in New Hampshire and a number of counties in New York state.