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Emergency Management
Local Emergency Operations Plans Due By May 1st
It's that time of year again to update your Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP), and submit it to SWCRPC between Town Meeting Day and May 1, 2017.  There have been no modifications to the Base Plan for 2018, so municipalities should continue to use the Base Plan template that was released in 2016 and found here. 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.  Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security(DEMHS) is offering ICS 402 around the state this spring. Course offerings are available on the  website.  Please contact  Allison to learn more about the plan and for assistance updating the document. 
Rural Fire Protection Grant Program  ("Dry Hydrant Program")
Towns & Fire Departments are eligible for grant funding. The mission of the Vermont Rural Fire Protection Task Force is to improve the safety and welfare of Vermont communities by assisting local fire departments in reducing the risk of injury, loss of life, and damage to property and natural resources.

Program can be used for:
  • The installation of new dry hydrants & other types of rural water supplies.
  • Repair/upgrade, replacement, and relocation of existing rural water supplies, whether previously grant funded or not.
Application deadlines are April 1st, June 1st, and August 1st, 2018. Please submit your application(s) by the appropriate deadline and it will be processed in the order it was received.  The 2018 rural fire protection program grant application can be found here.  If you need a hard copy of the 2017 RFP Grant Packet mailed to you, or if you have any other questions or comments, please contact Troy Dare, Program Manager, at 802-828-4582 or dryhydrantguy@yahoo.com.
Energy
Revised Draft Enhanced Energy Plan for the Region
A meeting of local energy committee members was held on January 9, 2018 to get input on our draft Regional Enhanced Energy Plan.  The intent of this plan is to to meet the requirements of an "Enhanced Energy Plan" in 24 V.S.A. §4352 and to to receive "substantial deference" in future Section 248 proceedings.  It includes draft policies for siting renewable energy projects in the region.

Staff have revised the draft plan based upon input from this meeting and pre-review comments from the Department of Public Service.  On March  26th,  the SWCRPC Board of Commissioners (BOC) reviewed the draft plan and recommended that it be moved on to a public hearing at the BOC meeting in May.  The revised draft Regional Enhanced Energy Plan is available for review here.
Land Use
Addressing Forest Fragmentation in Town Plans
Starting on January 1, 2018, municipal and regional plan updates will need to identify areas that are important as "forest blocks" and "habitat connectors" and include strategies to minimize forest fragmentation per Act 171.   A recording of a previous webinar is available to be viewed on  YouTube .  The webinar provides background, tools and samples for this implementation process to help address this new requirement
Transportation News
Registration is Now Open !
The SWCRPC and the Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission are co-hosting the 2018 Vermont Walk Bike Summit on May 4th, 2018 at the Barrette Center in White River Junction.  Register by Friday, April 27 to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate of $35, which includes a delicious boxed lunch from one of three local food venues.  Registration for the event can be found here.  

For more information about the summit visit this site or  contact   Jason  or  Katharine .
Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP) Update
At the end of January, the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) released the final Municipal Roads General Permit ( MRGP ) .  For more information click here .  ANR held a useful webinar on  February 8th which was recorded can be  viewed on YouTube .   We  will be holding a MRGP training at our next Regional Road Foreman meeting on Tuesday, April 17 at 9:30 a.m. Please let Katharine know if you would like to  attend that meeting, or if you would like a training at a different time or day.
Revisions  for Local Bus Routes
In early February Southeast Vermont Transit, who runs "The Current" buses, released revised routes and new timetables for several of their local bus routes.  For more information visit here.
Water Quality
Springfield Transfer Station Stormwater Treatment Infrastructure
During the 2018 construction season, the SWCRPC, in partnership with the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District (ONRCD) and the Town of Springfield, will be implementing various improvements to treat stormwater runoff from the Springfield Transfer Station prior to discharge into the lower Black River. The project will involve installation of a series of sub-surface infiltration chambers, an enhancement of the existing riparian buffer, and the removal of two small storage sheds from the river corridor. This work is funded through a contract between the ONRCD and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources with a local cash match provided by the Town.
Clean Water Block Grant
Seven Clean Water Block Grant (CWBG) projects have been screened by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and will be moving forward this year. These projects, a combination of final design and construction ready projects, will encumber only half of the available funding.  If you have a potentially eligible project, please contact Cindy Ingersoll for more information.
SOLID WASTE DISTRICT NEWS
Household Hazardous Waste Collections
Mark your calendars now! The Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District will hold household hazardous waste collections on the following Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.:
  • May 12  at the Springfield Transfer Station
  • May 19  at the Weathersfield Transfer Station
Backyard Composting Workshops
The District is also offering backyard composting workshops again this year. If you attend one, you can purchase one composter at the greatly discounted price of $35 (additional composters are $50). The workshops will be held at 6:00 p.m. on the following Thursdays:
  • Whiting Library in Chester - May 3
  • First Congregational Church in Springfield - May 31
  • Reading Town Hall - June 14
  • Rockingham Free Public Library - June 21
The workshop presentation is about 45 minutes with time afterwards for questions. To sign up, call 674-9235 or email  Mary
Did Someone Say Composter?
T he District offers Soil Saver  composters for sale  every spring. This year the price is $50. The 100% recycled plastic composter is 28" wide x 28" deep x 32" high and has a 10-year manufacturer's guarantee. We also sell Sure-Close food scrap pails for $5 each. To order either or both, call 674-9235 for an order form or download one from the District's website. O rders are due by Friday, April 13. Pick up on Saturday, April 28 at local transfer stations.
Grant Opportunites
Please refer to our Grants Website for up to date information about existing grants relevant for our towns and region. 
2018 Tiny Grants
The Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions (AVCC) recently announced the 2018 Tiny Grant program. The purpose of the program is to provide seed money and/or matching funds for specific local conservation projects, such as town forest trail network amenities, a community climate change presentation, printing trail maps, and marking wildlife corridors.  Individual grants are available in the range of $250-$600. Applications are due by April 13, 2018.  Projects must be completed and a final report submitted by May 4, 2019.  Click  here for more information.
Stay Connected
New Facebook Feed
In January  Facebook  altered their algorithms to change how people and pages you have "liked" come up on your  Facebook  feed. This particularly affects businesses using Facebook. To ensure SWCRPC's  Facebook  page comes up as
www.facebook.com/SWCRPC   go to our page, make sure you have "liked" us, then click "Following" and then "See first" in your news feed.
Subscribe to Strong Communities Newsletter
Click here to subscribe to the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development's quarterly Strong Communities newsletter.
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
General Email: ctitus@swcrpc.org