WRC NEWSLETTER                                               SUMMER 2017
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WRC Commissioners
WRC CALENDAR
August 10, 4:30 pm:
August 14, 4:30 pm:
 
August 21, 5:30 pm:
 
August 15, 5:30 pm:
Local Emergency Planning (LEPC)
Location TBD (Check Website)

**All Committee Meetings take place in the WRC Conference Room unless otherwise noted.
 
**All meetings are subject to change, please check the website for updates.
UPCOMING GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

National Endowment for the Arts
DEADLINE:  Sept. 11, 2017

New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund
DEADLINE:  Rolling (Seed Grant) 
For more information click here.
 
USDA Rural Development - Community Facility Loans 
& Grants
DEADLINE:  Ongoing (contact USDA office)
For more information click here.
 
Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
DEADLINE:  Rolling
DEADLINE:  October 2, 2017
DEADLINE:  November 6, 2017
DEADLINE:  October 2, 2017
DEADLINE: September 1, 2017 (pre-application)

Vermont Agency of Transportation
DEADLINE:  July 14, 2017
DEADLINE:  August 15, 2017
DEADLINE:  August 31, 2017
 
Vermont Community Foundation
DEADLINE:  Rolling
Small and Inspiring
DEADLINE: October 18, 2017
DEADLINE: October 12, 2017
DEADLINE: October 12, 2017
Windham Foundation
DEADLINE: Aug 17, 2017 
For more information click here.
Upcoming Grants will  be a regular column in the  WRC Newsletter, for  a complete 
list please  click here

For additional  information about  grant possibilities  for your projects  please contact Susan at 
Backyard Woods Course

Small forests are important habitat and the  Vermont Backyard Woods Program is designed to help you learn more about your backyard woods and how to take action to care for them. Don't miss this opportunity - the course is only offered once a year! The course runs from September 18 - October 23.  Learn more.
DPS Homeland Security Reorganization
 
The Vermont Department of Public Safety has reorganized the Homeland Security Section of the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS). Effective July 1, a new Homeland Security Unit will be created within the Vermont State Police Field Force Division, and DEMHS will be renamed as Vermont Emergency Management. This realignment focuses the competencies of the Divisions of Emergency Management and State Police, and leverages the strengths of each to enhance State of Vermont capabilities across the mission areas of prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. Overview of Position Changes:

The Homeland Security Chief and Homeland Security Program Manager are transferred to VSP under the Field Force Commander to form Homeland Security Unit.  

VEM retains the Exercise Administrator and Training Administrator positions to be incorporated into newly created Engagement Section.  

Three Regional Coordinator positions currently in the Planning Section transfer to the Engagement Section.  

The Emergency Management Coordinator position in the Operations and Logistics Section transfers to the Planning Section. 
 
For more information contact Alyssa Sabetto.
WRC STAFF
Executive Director

Associate Director

Office Manager

Finance Manager

Senior Planner

Planner

Planner

Senior Planner

Transportation Planner

Planner
Brattleboro Route Study Survey
 
The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) Transportation Program is supporting The Current in their efforts to improve schedules and service level on their Brattleboro routes. The Current, which operates the Brattleboro bus system, is one of two divisions operated by Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT). SEVT has been awarded a grant by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to work with consultant Stephen Falbel of Steadman Hill Consulting in Montpelier and the Windham Regional Commission to assist in the route re-design.
 
As part of this effort, SEVT is seeking public input so that the re-designed system will better serve the public and increase both ridership and service quality. The WRC is assisting the Current with implementation of a Rider and Non-Rider survey aimed to better understand where people want and need to go and at what times of day.

Surveys are available at the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce, the Brattleboro Public Library, The Coop's Shareholder Desk, and the Transportation Center. Rider surveys are also available on every bus. All surveys can be filled out online at here.

All surveys must be completed by August 18, 2017.
The WRC continues to post informational materials with the survey link at a variety of local businesses in town. SEVT is also conducting employer, partner, and bus-driver interviews. The first of two rounds of public meetings will be held in late August or September.

A full description of the next steps in this process can be found at in the Current's Press Release which can be found at http://crtransit.org/news/.

SEVT CEO Randy Schoonmaker, wants to assure existing riders that "the core schedules will remain, so that you will continue to reach your jobs, shopping, and medical appointments. What we are trying to accomplish is to simplify the schedule, minimize transfers, reduce duplication, fill in gaps, and make the system more user friendly." Schoonmaker also said that fares will remain at $1 per ride.

The date for the first public meeting will be announced shortly.

For questions or comments contact:
Rebecca Gagnon General Manager, The Current Division of Southeast Vermont Transit,  802-460-7433 ext. 201  or e-mail  rgagnon@crtransit.org  
 
or
 
Erica Roper Transportation Planner Windham Regional Commission  at 802.257.4547 ext. 108 or email eroper@windhamregional.org.
Join the Celebration of Vermont
Clean Water Week , August 20 - 26, 2017

On August 21 st Governor Phil Scott will issue a proclamation declaring Clean Water Week for the State of Vermont.  If you're part of an organization that works to protect Vermont's waters, please consider joining the celebration of efforts of businesses, organizations, and communities to protect and restore clean water statewide.   
 
Towns, organizations, and businesses can highlight their commitment to clean water by hosting an event, sharing their project on social media or becoming a sponsor. Sponsorship is free, and registered Clean Water Week sponsors and events will be included in Clean Water Week publicity prior to and during the week.

Tourism, recreation, and other local businesses benefit and depend on clean water. Vermonters and visitors alike drink, swim, fish, boat, and admire the scenic beauty of Vermont's waters. Join us and be "all in" for clean water!

Register your event or sponsorship online:
The  deadline to register is to be included in media outreach prior to Clean Water Week. The final registration deadline is Wednesday, August 16 th .
 
For more information,  contact Bethany Sargent at (802) 490-6131 or  anr.cleanwatervt@vermont.gov.
Full Commission Schedule for
Remainder of 2017

There will be Full Commission meetings in September and October, but not in August, November or December, barring some unforeseen need.  The September meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on the 26 th (location to be decided), which will also serve as our annual meeting where we vote on the budget, officers, Executive Board members, and Citizen Interest Commissioners.  The October meeting will feature a reception and time for Commissioners to better get to know one another. We have invited Katie Buckley, former WRC Commissioner and now the Vermont Commissioner for Housing and Community Development, to be the guest speaker.  We'll let you know when and where the October meeting will be. 
At July's Full Commission meeting, citizen planners from Londonderry and Westminster shared their experience drafting Act 174-compliant town energy plan elements. Under Act 174, towns that have compliant plans are to be given "substantial deference" by the Public Utilities Commission in their deliberations upon applications for renewable energy development. Thank you to the Westminster Fire Department for use of their meeting space.
Grant Opportunity:
 Upgrade Diesel Vehicles & Equipment!
 
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has developed the Vermont Clean Diesel Grant Program, which provides technical assistance and incentive funding for projects that reduce emissions from diesel powered vehicles, engines and equipment.
 
Within the last 12 months, the grant program awarded:
  • $32,600 to a local trucking company toward the replacement of a 2003 Class 8 Kenworth truck with a new 2018 Freightliner, resulting in diesel emission reductions of 91% annually.
  • $37,500 to a Vermont general contractor toward the replacement of one of their 1999 tandem dump trucks with a 2016 Mack, resulting in diesel emission reductions of 95% annually.
  • $37,500 to a local trucking company toward the replacement of a 1999 Class 8 Peterbilt truck with a new 2016 Peterbilt, resulting in diesel emission reductions of 95% annually.
  • $40,700 to a Vermont municipality toward the replacement of a vacuum truck, resulting in diesel emission reductions of more than 95% annually.
  • $6,600 to a local school toward the replacement a tractor used to maintain school grounds, resulting in emission reductions of 45% annually.
Funding is available for:
  • Early replacement of diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicles, engines, and equipment,
  • Retrofitting with emission control technologies,
  • Engine replacements,
  • Clean alternative fuel conversions,
  • Installation of idle reduction technologies, and
  • Aerodynamic technologies and low rolling resistance tires.
The DEC has posted a Request for Proposals and is
now accepting applications for this grant opportunity. The application
deadline is August 14, 2017.
 
Here are the relevant links regarding this grant opportunity:
P lease contact Maria Davies at (802) 622-4022 or at maria.davies@vermont.gov with any questions. While the DEC is actively accepting applications, Maria Davies will be the single point of contact for this grant opportunity.  All questions that Maria receives will be posted on the Vermont Business Assistance Network along with their answers.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
  

Lots Happening on
the Water Front!
 
Water quality in general, and the health of our streams, rivers, lakes and ponds, have been a priority of the WRC since its inception.  We're doing a lot on the water front these days (pun intended)!  Some of this is in response to the state's Water Quality Initiative, but all of it is a continuation of the Commission's commitment to active engagement in improving water quality and aquatic habitats.
 
High Meadows Fund Projects (HMF) -  We've received notice that the following projects are conditionally awarded. 
 
Green River Watershed Alliance
The Alliance will convene towns, watershed groups and arts groups to collaborate on reclassification efforts, water quality monitoring, natural resources inventory, riparian restoration work, river conservation easements, and coordination with local arts groups to build a stronger community identity with the river.
 
Saxtons River Watershed Collaborative
A mini grant will support the continuation of the work of the watershed group, which was launched with an HMF grant in 2015. This will be used for capacity building (continuing to apply for further grant funding), and administering/supporting community workshops in the watershed.
 
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) Grants
 
Grafton Roads Advanced Geomorphic Study & Design - Project will prioritize river/road projects in Grafton, and conduct preliminary engineering designs on the highest-priority undersized bridges in Grafton on the Saxtons River and its main tributaries.
 
Adams Brook Stream Bed Restoration Implementation - Project is a previous recipient of two other ERP grant awards, and will complete the implementation of massive bed-armoring removal on Adams Brook in Newfane, thus reconnecting about 16 miles of upstream aquatic organism passage and habitat.
 
VTrans Better Roads Category A Grants for Road Erosion Inventories
 
The WRC GIS, water quality, and transportation programs are teaming up to provide technical assistance on road erosion inventories for towns, as funded by VTrans Better Roads grants. These inventories will help towns prioritize road drainage projects that improve water quality, as they identify road segments not meeting Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP) standards on hydrologically-connected road segments.
 
Municipal Grants-in-Aid for MRGP Best Management Practices
 
Eighteen Windham Region towns applied for and were awarded funds to implement MRGP-compliant best management practices on hydrologically-connected road segments to be constructed during the Summer/Fall 2017 construction season.
 
For more information contact Emily Davis at extension 116.
Windham Regional Commission 
139 Main Street, Suite 505
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Phone: (802) 257-4547
Fax: (802) 254-6383