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Message From Executive Director  Tom Kennedy
National Award for Transit Study
We were recently informed that NADO (National Association of Development Organizations) has recognized the SWCRPC for it's transit mobility study entitled A to B Mobility Report that was developed by Katharine Otto. Great job, Katharine! For more information, read the related article in this newsletter.

Lights,  Cameras, Action
A video was recently released that highlights the work the SWCRPC has been doing to improve flood resiliency on the Mill Brook in West Windsor. A special thanks go out to Chris Yurek, an Eco-Americorp volunteer working in our office and Cindy Ingersoll, our Special Projects Planner. The Commission would also like to recognize the High Meadows Foundation for their generous support in funding this project.  Also special thanks to the Connecticut River Conservancy (formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council) for producing the video.  A link to to video is in the article below.
Water Quality
Mill Dam Removal in West Windsor
During the winter of 2017 the SWCRPC, in partnership with Fitzgerald Environmental Associates, LLC and Murphy & Son Construction, Inc., removed a breached mill dam in West Windsor. By removing the remains of this structure it eliminated a high flow constriction, mitigating upstream flooding and downstream erosive force in order to improve flood resiliency. Funding for this project was provided by the High Meadows Fund.

To view a video about this project click  here.

Emergency Management
Local Emergency Operations Plans (LEOPs) Due By May 1st
A friendly reminder that Local Emergency Operations Plans (LEOPs) are due on May 1, 2017 in order to meet the Vermont Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund and several public safety related grant requirements. There have been no modifications to the Base Plan for 2017, so municipalities should continue to use the Base Plan template that was released in 2016.  Appendices are optional, but they serve as an additional resource for your municipality to enhance emergency preparedness.  
The LEOP requires the certifying individual to take ICS 402 or ICS 100.  DEMHS is offering ICS 402 around the state this spring (see trainings section below for an upcoming class in Ascutney).  Course offerings are available on the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security website .  Please contact Allison to learn more about the updates and for assistance updating your plan.
Red Cross Disaster Bootcamp
The Disaster Bootcamp is a fast track training opportunity for individuals interested in becoming an American Red Cross Disaster Responder. The Bootcamp is a 2.5 day long training workshop on Friday, April 21st through Sunday, April 23rd at the Wilmington Fire Department. Everyone is welcome. Breakfast and lunch provided on Saturday and Sunday. Find more information here or contact David Muse.
Training Event
Incident Command System (ICS) Summary for Executives (ICS 402) will be held on May 5th at 9:00 a.m. in the  SWCRPC offices. The purpose of this course is to provide an orientation to the Incident Command System for Executives and Senior Officials. To register for this event, please contact Allison.
Energy
Efficiency Vermont Launches Speakers Bureau
Efficiency Vermont is offering free workshops for community groups and businesses designed to help Vermonters make energy improvements. Each workshop addresses how a particular technology works, associated economics, and available technical and financial resources. Efficiency Vermont will provide an energy expert to deliver the presentation, guidance on how to effectively organize a workshop, and educational and public outreach materials. Community groups and businesses are asked to take primary responsibility for getting the word out and securing the venue. The following educational workshops are currently available:
  • Button Up Vermont : how homes lose energy and primary opportunities for air sealing and insulation
  • Cold Climate Heat Pumps : the latest in heat pump technology, the relative economics compared to other fuel sources, and successful case studies
  • Mobile Home Efficiency : improvements unique to mobile homes, with a focus on DIY opportunities
  • Modern Wood Heating: how wood pellet central heating systems work, and the relative cost and savings compared to other systems
  • Slash Your Energy Bills: introductory workshop on reducing energy bills through low-cost efficiency improvements, weatherization, and more
  • Zero Energy Homes : the path toward a zero energy home with energy efficiency, heat pumps, and solar
To schedule a workshop, sign up  here on the Efficiency Vermont website or call 1 888-921-5990.
GIS & Mapping
BioFinder has been Updated!
BioFinder 2016 is a new and improved version of the mapping tools and database that can help you to identify lands and waters in Vermont that contribute most to biological diversity. BioFinder includes datasets that are helpful for conservation planning. For more information, visit here or contact Katharine.
Transportation News
Creating the "Right Side of the Tracks" in Windsor
Congratulations to the Town of Windsor for securing nearly $63,000 in a Better Connections grant to help improve the downtown area located between the railroad tracks and the Connecticut River.  The project involves creating an action plan to guide downtown commercial and industrial redevelopment, improve housing affordability in surrounding neighborhoods, and explore ideas to reconnect to the Connecticut River - in order to make Windsor a great place to live, work and do business.  Visit the program website to learn more about the Better Connections Grant Program.
How would you get from Point A to Point B without your own car?
Not everyone in the region has access to a personal vehicle,  whether by choice or for other reasons, such as the high cost of owning and operating a car, a lack of a driver's license, or not feeling comfortable driving after dark or in poor weather conditions.  The SWCRPC has just completed a project which looks at how people can get around the Region if they don't have their own vehicle.  The final report includes a list of existing transportation services available -  there are over 40 service providers in the Region!  It identifies challenges and opportunities to providing or obtaining the rides.  For more information about the project visit here or contact Katharine. 
Municipal Roads General Permit Update 
On March 21 st , the SWCRPC hosted an informational meeting on the draft Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP) framework at the Springfield Town Hall.  Jim Ryan of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) presented the draft framework to and answered questions from attendees, including municipal road foreman, town managers, and Selectboard members.
 
For more information, visit the  DEC's website that details the development of the Municipal Roads General Permit.

Traffic counts or speed studies needed?
The summer fieldwork season is fast approaching.  If you want to request a traffic count or speed study for this summer, please contact Katharine.  These counts are carried out as the budget and time allowsRequests are considered on a first come first serve basis.  We already have several counts/studies on the list in addition to the regular locations!
Transportation Project Prioritization
This year's round of transportation project prioritization is completed.  The Transportation Advisory Committee is asked each year to rank projects that VTrans is considering funding, including state road paving, major repairs and replacements of state bridges and large town highway bridge projects.  The SWCRPC voted to confirm the TAC recommendations at their March meeting.  For more information visit this site or contact Katharine.
Grant Opportunites
Please refer to our Grants Website for up to date information about existing grants relevant for our towns and region. 
Southern Windsor Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District 
The District sponsors four events each year for the collection and safe disposal of household hazardous wastes. Residents and businesses from all member towns may participate. Businesses will be charged a fee and must pre-register.
No pre-registration required for residents.

The 2017 spring collections will be on Saturday, May 13 at the Springfield Transfer Station from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and on Saturday, May 20 at the Ludlow Transfer Station from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Two additional collections will be held in September. For a list of what-to-bring and what-not-to-bring, go to the website.

Stay Connected
Don't forget about us! 
When there are personnel changes on your boards or in the office, please help us by sending your updates to us promptly.  We use your contact information for a variety of purposes including:   grant opportunities;  upcoming road construction projects (including road and bridge closures);  trainings and events  and many other things! If you have any updates for town staff or volunteers, please send them to Chris Titus .
Are you on Front Porch Forum?
The towns of Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, West Windsor, and Windsor have all joined. The mission of Front Porch Forum is to help neighbors connect and build community. It does that by hosting regional networks of online neighborhood forums. Common sense and a growing body of research tell us that well-connected neighborhoods are friendlier places to live, with less crime, healthier residents, higher property values, and better service from local government and public utilities.
S outhern 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