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August 2014

Check out our new newsletter format!  Let us know what you think at ctitus@swcrpc.org.

Flooding Hits the Region

The rains began on Sunday, July 27th with an hour long torrential downpour on Monday, July 28th that dropped upwards of four inches of rain according to residents in Andover and Chester. The result was wide spread damage to roads, bridges, culverts, public infrastructure and private property with preliminary damage estimates in Andover and Chester totaling between $750,000.00 and $1,000,000.00  The highway departments from both towns should be congratulated for their rapid response in getting the majority of roads passable in a short period of time.  

 

On August 5th, FEMA arrived and surveyed the damaged to determine whether a federal disaster declaration should be declared. This is needed for the State of Vermont to access federal funds for repairs.  If this declaration not made, then State funds will be used.

If there are any questions concerning programs related to this event, please contact John Broker-Campbell at 802-674-9201 or email jcampbell@swcrpc.org.

Sincerely,

Thomas Kennedy, AICP
Executive Director
SWCRPC
Emergency Preparedness Training for RPC Staff

With funding provided by the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Tom Kennedy, Dan Potter, and John Broker-Campbell, have been trained to staff the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center during both real and simulated exercises.  The three deep staff training will allow for flexibility and ensure at least one person from the SWCRPC will be able to fill the Local Liaison Role created following Tropical Storm Irene.  The training included:

  • RPC Orientation to Local Liaison

  • DisasterLAN Training

  • Incident Coordination Team Training

Dan and John participated in the statewide Catastrophic 2 exercise in June which was very helpful during the recent flooding situation in Chester and Andover.

Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund
ERAF requirements are changing.  Is your community planning to be flood ready?Visit  www.floodready.vermont.gov to find out what your community can do before the next flood! 
Legislative Update

State Shorelands Bill

The House and Senate passed H.526 (Act 172), which established a protected shoreland area and related development standards along lakes that are greater than 10 acres in surface area. Click here to (learn more) how this affects your town.

 

The shoreland development standards are complex.  For more information, download the Act at: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/DOCS/2014/ACTS/ACT172.PDF.

Transportation Impact Fees

 

Act 250 permits are issued on a case-by-case basis.  As a result, it is difficult to deal with cumulative traffic impacts.  The obligation to mitigate traffic impacts generally falls upon the last development to seek a permit along a busy corridor.  This so-called "last-one-in" situation is considered to be unfair by many since the burden to pay for required traffic mitigation falls upon one applicant, while past and future developments also contribute to the impacts and benefit from the solution.  Act 145 (H.740), the Transportation Fair Share Bill, was enacted this spring in order to address this situation.  It establishes a transportation impact fee mechanism for projects that require approval under Act 250 or VTrans (Section 1111) access permit proceedings.  The bill also identifies requirements for VTrans to follow in order to create Transportation Improvement Districts and Impact Fee Formulas.  At this point, the Act is not available online.  For more information, see H.740 as passed both the House and Senate:   http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/Passed/H-740.pdf.

Governor Shumlin signs into Law Bills to Strengthen Downtowns
On May 29, 2014, Governor Shumlin signs H809 and H823 into Law

H809 and 823 adds new benefits for developing in downtowns and strengthens planning in downtowns and growth centers

  • Strengthens planning for downtowns
  • Promotes higher residential density in downtown and New Village Centers
  • Requires capital budgeting for infrastructure
  • Requires language in Town Plans that supports growth centers
  • It discourages "strip development" and encourages infill development
  • It adds new language to Act 250 to address sprawl related development provides development incentives within state designated growth centers
  • Promotes housing in downtowns and growth centers

The staff will be providing additional information on these changes to the law in the near future. If you have any questions, contact Jason Rasmussen or Tom Kennedy at SWCRPC.

Transportation News
I-91 Bridge Construction
Keep checking our website for updates on this project.  As a reminder, the Windsor I-91 Project Hotline is (800) 890-9199. The recording will provide an updated status of work being done on this project. Photo from 1965 archives - when the bridges were originally built.  LS45141 in Vermont Landscape Change Program www.uvm.edu/landscape/menu.php.
VT-103 Rumble Stripes Public Meeting

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will hold two public meetings examining the potential to add centerline rumble stripes to sections of VT-103 between Rockingham and Mount Holly, including Chester, Cavendish and Ludlow.  If the installation is to move forward, it would occur as part of the current paving project in the Fall of 2014. The meetings are open to all and will be:

  • Thursday 8/28 at 6pm - Town of Rockingham/ Village of Bellows Falls Town Office (7 Square, Bellows Falls, VT)
  • Tuesday 9/9 at 6:30pm (during regular Selectboard meeting) - Mount Holly Town Office (150 School St, Mt Holly, VT)

 Click here for a newly revised factsheet about how VTrans decides why and where to install centerline rumble stripes on roadways across Vermont.  For more information about the meetings please contact Kevin Marshia, Deputy Chief Engineer Highway Division  from VTrans (kevin.marshia@state.vt.us or at 802-828-2932).

Energy

Working together to help Vermonters build more energy efficient homes! 

 

Attention zoning, planning officials and town clerks! Efficiency Vermont is working with Vermont municipalities to encourage their residents to build more energy efficient homes.  You are in a unique position to influence the long-term affordability and environmental impacts of the building that occurs within your town. As builders and home or business owners start the permit process, provide them with this critical information about how they can build to meet or exceed Vermont's energy codes. 

 

This Municipal Guide to Vermont Energy Codes and Above-Code will make it easier for you to achieve this by providing clear and relevant information so that zoning and planning officials can easily respond to permit applicants.

Efficiency Vermont and the Energy Code Assistance Center have also prepared a Q&A piece, "Enhancing the Role of Vermont Municipalities in Improving Efficiency in New Construction," that addresses specific municipal responsibilities associated with implementing energy code-related requirements under Act 89. For immediate support, builders, contractors and permit applicants can be referred to the Energy Code Assistance Center (ECAC) at (855) 887-0673. 

Yankee Magazine Features the Connecticut River Byway

The Connecticut River Byway is featured in the July-August 2014 Summer edition of Yankee Magazine. The publication is on newsstands now and the issue will be on their website in August.

 

Visit the  Yankee Magazine online for more information about the publication and the New England Region.
New version of VCGI's Interactive Map Viewer

In this issue....
Brownfields Update
Emergency Preparedness
Energy
Forest Stewardship
Legislative Update
Transportation News
Need more detail? 
Try these links below.
SWCRPC Calendar 
Construction updates
 
Upcoming Events
VT-103 Rumble Stripes Public Meeting
August 28, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Town of Rockingham/ Village of Bellows Falls Town Office, 7 Square, Bellows Falls, VT
September 9, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
Mount Holly Town Office, 150 School St, Mt Holly, VT

NNECAPA Conference
September 11 & 12
For more information: click here

LEPC 3 Meeting
September 10, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Brownfields Steering Committee Meeting
September 16, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
Martin Memorial Hall
Ascutney, VT
 
RPC Board Meeting
September 16, 2014 at noon
Martin Memorial Hall
Ascutney, VT

Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting
September 24. 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
SWCRPC Conference Room
Ascutney, VT

Municipal Planning Grants
Application due: September 30, 2014

Strong Communities, Better Connections Grant
Application due: October 3, 2014
Pre-Application meeting with Program Manager: by September 5, 2014

Transportation Alternatives Grant
Application due: October 16, 2014
Required informational workshops: August 26 (2pm-4pm) or September 4 (6pm-8pm)
Brownfields Update
The Southern Windsor County Brownfields Reuse Program has several ongoing projects.  Currently underway are Phase II Environmental Site Assessments of both the Bryant Grinder and former Artisan Surfaces sites in Springfield, VT.  In the near future, work will also begin on a Phase II ESA at the former Russel Autobody shop near Downers Corners in Weathersfield. For more information please contact Dan Potter.
Forest Stewardship

Project Update

In 2013, SWCRPC started working on a project examining landscape-based forest stewardship in the Region.  This project builds upon the work of four other Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) which started in 2010 and was funded by the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.  The most recent outcome of this project is a draft of the Regional Forest Stewardship Report. Any and all comments on the draft report are welcome.  Please contact Dan Potter with any comments, edits, or questions.

Hazardous Materials Movement
Throughout the summer, RPC staff has been in the field collection data on the movement of placarded hazardous materials throughout the Region.  This work will update the 2011 Commodity Flow Study which can be found at the SWCRPC website (www.swcrpc.org).  By completing an update to the previous Commodity Flow Study, the SWCRPC, Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and regional first response community can continue to build a comprehensive approach to hazardous materials response and training.  In addition to studying traditional commodity transport, this study will focus on the movement of hazardous materials through air and rail.  

 

Following the project completion, SWCRPC and the LEPC will hold a public information meeting along sharing the data with town responders and highway departments.  For more information, please contact  John Broker-Campbell.

As part of the East Central Vermont project, Jason has developed an "Introduction to Capital Budgeting" presentation.  If you would like more information regarding capital budgeting or would like to receive the presentation, please let him know at jrasmussen@swcrpc.org.

Did you know?

  • In 2013, there were just under 14,000 crashes in which 70 were fatal
  • In 2011, there was a record low of 55 fatal crashes... but that is still way more than zero!  How many deaths do you want in your family or group of friends?
  • Seat belts are important!  While seat belt use has significantly improved since the "Click it or ticket" law arrived in Vermont in 2004, approximately 24% of major crashes reported indicate no use of occupant protection (seat belts or helmets)
  • Vermont has a Highway Safety Alliance whose goal is to significantly reduce the number of crashes on Vermont's highways through a collaborative and unified effort

For more information see http://highwaysafety.vermont.gov

SWWC Solid Waste District
Household Hazardous Waste Collections
 

Saturday, September 13
 

9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m
 
 

Weathersfield

Transfer Station

 and

Springfield

Transfer Station

  

For District residents only

No pre-registration

  

www.vtsolidwastedistrict.org

 

For more information, call 674-9235.

 

Bring in a mercury fever thermometer; get a digital fever thermometer.

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Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission 
PO Box 320
38 Ascutney Park Road
Ascutney, VT 05030
Telephone: 802-674-9201
Fax: 802-674-5711
General Email: info@swcrpc.org


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