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I am excited to announce the hiring of Allison Hopkins as our new Regional Planner. Prior to coming to the Commission, Allison worked as the Planning Director and Zoning Administrator for Town of Manchester, Vermont and as a Planner for the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in Vermont.

 

In other employment news, the Solid Waste District hired a new employee, Hamilton (Ham) Gillett, to assist the District with the development of the Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP) and to coordinate the District's education and outreach programs for schools and businesses.

 

With mixed emotions, we bid Bob Forguites farewell as Springfield's Town Manager. Bob has been with the Town for over 16 years.  We will miss his candor, sense of humor, and Yankee frugality. However, Bob isn't going far, he was elected to the House, representing Springfield in a hotly contested race; he ran practicality unopposed.  We look forward to working with Bob in the upcoming session.

 

The Regional Commission staff and Commissioners wish everyone happy holidays and a joyful New Year.  See you all in 2015.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Kennedy

Executive Director

Holiday Dinner 2014
This year the annual Holiday Dinner with the Commissioners, staff, and special guests was a little different. Nestled in between beautifully decorated trees in the Great Hall was a buffet dinner catered by the Black Rock Cafe. The Great Hall is located at 100 River Street in Springfield, VT.
Festival of trees
The trees were a part of the annual fundraising event for the Springfield Garden Club, along with the fiber art show on displayed. It made for quite  a festive affair. Bob Flint spoke to history of the building and the effort to make it a viable and creative space.  He emphasized the combined efforts of the Commission and SRDC.

US Economic Development Agency (EDA) News

As many of you know, on December 19, 2013, the US Economic Development Agency (EDA) approved the East Central Vermont Economic Development District request for designation as an Economic Development District (EDD). The EDD is comprised of 40 towns located in Windsor, Orange, Rutland, and Addison counties. One of the many benefits of being designated as a District is the ability to apply for Planning Grant funds which are used for economic development planning.


Recently, the District was notified that its application for planning fund was approved.  The main task of the grant will be to update demographic and economic development data which will be used for regional economic development planning.  Other activities include: developing an organizational framework and bylaws and sponsoring workshops for area businesses.
Funding Opportunities - Grants & Loans
Recreational Trails Program: This federally-funded grant program provides funding to help develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities. The ANR Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation administers the program in Vermont. Funds are available to  municipalities and non-profit organizations for projects to be completed between 07/01/15 and 12/31/16. Applications are due February 1, 2015. For more information visit http://www.vtfpr.org/recgrant/trgrant.cfm.      

 

Community Forest Program Grant Program: The US Forest Service is accepting grant applications from local governments and qualified nonprofit organizations to create and maintain community forests. In order to apply, eligible applicants must outline the community benefits which may extend to areas of land conservation, stormwater management, improved energy efficiency, drought resilience, or other areas. The deadline is January 16, 2015. https://www.fs.fed.us/cooperativeforestry/programs/loa/cfp.shtml

 

Working Lands Enterprise Grant Funds: These funds are now available for

Enterprise Investments ($3,000-$20,000) into farm, food systems, forestry and forest products. Service Provider Grants ($10,000-$150,000) may include local food market development projects. Links to applications and due dates can be found online at http://workinglands.vermont.gov/apply/rfp. For more information contact Noelle Sevoian, Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (802) 585-9072 or email working.lands@state.vt.us.  

 

Funds Available for Vermont Wood Manufacturers: The Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association (VWMA) has been awarded a grant from Vermont's Working Lands Enterprise Fund to provide support for innovation to enhance economic competitiveness. There is no formal application process and projects are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Examples of transformational innovation for which this assistance is geared include lean facilitation, organizational planning and leadership development, new product development, and implementation of custom business models. For more information contact Steve Rohde  or at (603) 229-0679.   

 

The Vermont Farm Fund:  Is a Business Builder Loan Program that supports farms and local food producers who are investing and innovating to grow their business, increasing the availability of local foods in Vermont. Go here for more information.
Municipal Planning News
  • Chester's Unified Development Bylaws were adopted by the Selectboard on October 8, 2014.  The bylaws represent a significant update to Chester's zoning regulations. For information click here 
  • The 2014 Windsor Town Plan (link) was adopted by the Selectboard on September 30, 2014, and was approved on November 18, 2014 by the SWCRPC under 24 V.S.A. �4350. 
  • Reading's Planning Commission finalized their proposed Town Plan updates at their November 3rd meeting, and have submitted the document to the Selectboard.  It will consider adoption following a public hearing that is anticipated to be scheduled in the next couple months. 

Overhauling the Planning Manual for Vermont Municipalities

The Planning Manual for Vermont Municipalities is a resource for local officials to help in developing and updating municipal plans.  The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is currently working to update this Planning Manual.  Based upon input gathered through four stakeholder meetings held in October, the DHCD intends to provide new guidance that aims to help communities create more concise and meaningful municipal plans. Visit the DHCD website for additional information regarding this ongoing effort.

The Essentials Training


In collaboration with the Department of Housing and Community Development, the SWCRPC is helping to update and improve a presentation on the Essentials of Land Use Planning and Regulation The Essentials document provides
an overview of municipal roles and responsibilities and the fundamentals of local planning and permitting in Vermont.  Once the new and improved presentation materials are completed, SWCRPC staff will be scheduling a workshop.  Please contact Jason Rasmussen  if you are interested in learning more about this document or training session.
Staff News
Introducing our New Regional Planner
Meet Allie, or Allison Hopkins. She comes to us from Manchester, VT where she has been entrenched in the world of planning and zoning for the city of Manchester.  She also was a planner up north for the Northwest Planning Commission.  She is settling in nicely and we've met Atlas her 1 year old German Shepherd. She can be reached at ahopkins@swcrpc.org.
Look who's got an idea!
It's our new addition to the Southern Windsor /Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District, Ham Gillett, who's here to coordinate and promote the "District's" education and outreach program.  Hope he can "sort" it all out.  Welcome!  He can be reached at hgillett@swcrpc.org.

Transportation News

How much of the Connecticut River Byway have you traveled?

Have you visited the Cady Mausoleum in Brownsville or the Crown Point Military Road in Weathersfield and Springfield?  

A new travel guide profiles these and many more historical sites along the Connecticut River Byway.  The brochure was printed in November and delivery has begun to a wide variety of locations along the Byway - including visitor centers. Check out www.ctriverbyway.org  or contact Katharine Otto if you'd like a copy or more information about the project.

VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan - Opportunities to Provide Input

To meet the growing demand for bicycling facilities, VTrans is kicking off an exciting new initiative, the VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan. The Plan will help guide improvements along Vermont state highways to work better and be safer for all bicyclists -- families, commuters and recreational riders. There will be a public meeting on January 7th, as well as a wikimap to collect input. For more info, see http://vtransplanning.vermont.gov/bikeplan.

Bringing Education About Rivers to Local Schools

On October 14th, local elementary school teachers had a workshop on how to incorporate the "stream table" and rivers in general into their classes.  Larry Kasden from the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District organized and led the workshop. The "stream table" has made appearances at the Town Road Foreman meeting as well as many local fairs and festivals. For more information, contact  Katharine Otto or Larry Kasden at ONRCD.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Now Accepting Project Proposals

If you have a conservation project in mind and need help, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) is now accepting project proposals.  Typical projects include tree planting and erosion control, bridge construction, invasive plant management, trail maintenance, wildlife habitat enhancements, and restoration of historic sites.  Proposals are due January 9th.  For more information contact Keegan Tierney, Operations Director at (802)-434-3969 or keegan.tierney@vycc.org.

In this issue....
Brownfields Update
Funding Opportunities
Municipal Planning News
Regional Plan Adopted
Staff News
Transportation News
Need more detail? 
Try these links below.
Publications
SWCRPC Calendar 
Upcoming Events
12/24-26:  Office Closed.  Merry Christmas!
1/1/2015:  Office Closed.  Happy New Year!
 
1/7/2015  VTRANS On-Road Bicycle Plan Meeting, 7:00 p.m., VIT, WRJ, go here for more info
 
1/14: LEPC 3 Meeting
6:00 p.m., Location TBD

 

1/20: RPC Board Meeting
12:00 p.m., Martin Memorial Hall, Ascutney, VT
 
11/28: Regional Transportation Committee Meeting,
6:00 p.m., RPC Office, Ascutney, VT
Brownfields Update
The RPC is wrapping up two large assessment efforts at the Bryant Grinder and Artisan Surfaces sites in Springfield.  Over the past few months, The RPC has partnered with Springfield Regional Development Corporation to implement Phase II Site Assessments at both of these sites.  Funding was provided in part through a 2013 EPA Assessment Grant.  Next steps include cleanup planning and redevelopment!
 
For more information or if you have any questions, contact Dan Potter or call (802) 674-9201.
Regional Plan
2014 Regional Plan Adopted!

On November 18, 2014 the Southern Windsor County Regional Plan was adopted by the Board of Commissioners in accordance with 24 V.S.A. �4348.  The Plan will take effect on December 23, 2014. To review it click here.

After almost 3 years of work East Central Vermont: What We Want Plan is nearing completion!  A final draft is anticipated to be ready in January of 2015.  Additionally, there will be one, final Consortium meeting January 13 at 9:30 a.m. at the Hotel Coolidge in WRJ, VT.  For more information visit www.ecvermont.org.


E9-1-1 Viewer

The Vermont Enhanced 9-1-1 Board announced the release of E9-1-1 Viewer, an interactive web map that can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, tablet and smart phone. It's targeted for dispatchers, responders and town officers, but is also available for the general public. Learn more http://e911.vermont.gov/maps.  

Vermont Farm to Plate Releases Updated Guide for Municipalities and Planning Commissions

Sustaining Agriculture, the planning guide published by the VT Agency of Agriculture in 1994, has been updated to demonstrate how Vermont's food system can be incorporated into town planning to strengthen farm viability. The goal of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan is to ensure that agricultural production and agricultural lands will be available, affordable, and conserved for future generations of farmers. The planning guide can be accessed and downloaded from the Farm to Plate website at www.VTFarmtoPlate.com.

SW/WC Solid Waste District

SW/WCSWMD Seeks Public Input on Solid Waste Implementation Plan

The Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District is rewriting its Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP) to comply with the State of Vermont's Materials Management Plan (MMP).  Your feedback regarding this plan update is welcomed.  Review it at www.vtsolidwastedistrict.org.

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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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