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Director's Corner
Greetings,
Ludlow Municipal Manager Leaving
Frank Heald recently announced that he will be leaving his position as Municipal Manager in Ludlow this spring. For most people, you would use the term retirement, but Frank isn't "most people".  I'm sure he will find another endeavor to pursue after Ludlow.

On behalf of the Regional Planning Commission and the Solid Waste District, I want to thank Frank for his contribution to both Ludlow and the region. Frank provided a very strong leadership role on the Solid Waste District Executive Committee and the Board of Supervisors.

There are two things I will personally miss about Frank:  his "Vermont" pragmatic approach to getting things accomplished and the donuts he brought to the Executive Committee meeting.  Frank, we all wish you the best of luck.

Legislative News
For all you political junkies that want to know what's going in Montpelier, I suggest the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) newsletter for a municipal perspective of activities in the legislature.  Click here to see their weekly legislative reports.

Funding for Improved Water Quality
Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee started talking testimony on S. 260. S260 proposes to establish a Vermont Clean Water Authority to manage and implement Vermont's effort to improve water quality.  The bill also provides a framework for establishing a funding source, through a per parcel fee, for water quality improvement programs.   Click here for copy of the bill.

New addition to the Newsletter
In this edition of the newsletter, we have a new column called "Ask Us".  If you have a question about planning or solid waste, send us an email and we'll try to answer your question. This week's question is: Can I recycle CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes?

Enjoy the snow.  
Tom Kennedy,  Executive Director
Community Development Block Grants
Springfield Awarded $400,000 Grant
Governor Phil Scott joined local partners in Springfield to announce $3.5 million in community development grants (CDBG) awarded by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development to eight communities. The Town of Springfield was awarded $400,000 for the restoration of the historic Woolson Block property on Main Street into 21 affordable apartments and 3,400 SF of commercial space.
Emergency Management
Current Account Holders Need to Re-register for VT-Alert Upgrade
VT-Alert is used by the state and local responders to notify the public of emergency situations.  It has gone through a significant upgrade to further improve its capabilities for Vermonters.  VT-Alert is the state's notification system for emergencies, Amber Alerts, weather, road conditions, and more has improved functionality, a new look, and a smartphone app.
  • Users can now download, and receive alerts via the Everbridge mobile app or continue to get them via SMS/TEXT, E-Mail, Mobile Phone, Work or Home Phone, and TTY/TDD Devices.
  • Users can now prioritize notifications by specifying the order of communication type and method.
  • VT-Alert also allows users to list up to five (5) additional locations in Vermont for which they want to receive alerts.  These locations may include, for example, towns where other family members live, or where children attend school.
Click here to register or re-register.
Land Use
Statewide Parcel Mapping Project , Year 2
On December 4,  2017, a group of town staff attended a workshop to learn about the Statewide Parcel Mapping Project.  The Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) is coordinating the project that will either create or update parcel data for every Vermont town over a 3 years.  The goal is to create a statewide, consistent, and up-to-date GIS database of parcel boundaries.  For more information about the project, please visit this site Towns should c ontact Jenny Bower  to sign up for the second year of the project or with questions about the project.
Transportation News
Save the Date!
SWCRPC and the Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission are co-hosting the 2018 Vermont Walk Bike Summit on May 4th at the Barrette Center in White River Junction.   For more information visit  this site  or contact   Jason  or  Katharine .

If you would like to share your expertise and creative endeavors with your colleagues at this upcoming conference, you can submit a proposal for a presentation  here .

Click  here for information about sponsoring the event.
Where Do You Get Your Transportation Information ?
VTrans has just completed an revamp of their "VTransparency" webpage.  The resource is a public information portal to provide access to data and promote transparency in the state transportation decision making process.  It's a great place to look for information related to VTrans, such as real-time snow plow locations, road conditions and closures, crash data, and bridge inspection reports and photos.  Check it out  here .
Transportation Project Prioritization
Every year the RPC's Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) helps to rank projects for VTrans funding by certain categories, such as state bridges, town highway bridges, and paving projects.  We reach out to t own m anagers and r oad f oremen for their input before the TAC considers all relevant information to rank for the projects for r egional i mportance.  If you'd like to be kept in formed about this year's prioritization round , which will likely take place at the February and March TAC meetings, please contact Katharine.
 
Also, please be aware that in 2017 VTrans started work on a complete revamp of the transportation p roject p rioritization process (sometimes known as the "Vermont Project Selection and Prioritization Process" or as "VPSP2").  This includes possible chang es to the process for how projects are selected, how much regional input is incorporated into state ranking s, and what criteria are being considered.  Unfortunately , we do not have much solid information to share at this time , but please let Katharine know if you have questions.
New Active Transportation Plan
We are just getting started on a project to replace our old Regional Bicycling and Walking Plan with a new Active Transportation Plan.  We would love to hear from you!   Are you interested in walking, running or bicycling in the region?  Do you use a motorized scooter or another non-car, non-bus mode of transportation?  How can the region improve its network of sidewalks, paved shoulders, and multi-use paths?  If you would like to be kept in the loop for the project, please let Katharine know.
Three Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP) Inventories Completed in 2017

In December 2017, the RPC assisted three towns with completing MRGP inventories - Windsor, Cavendish and Ludlow - using funds from VTrans' Better Roads Program.  The Better Roads Program has grants to "promote the use of erosion control and maintenance techniques that save money while protecting and enhancing Vermont's lakes and streams".  Each year towns can apply for funds for low cost construction (e.g. culverts, ditching, drainage) and for inventory funds.  The inventories just completed helpto understand where towns may need to focus their efforts to address road-related water quality issues.  This work will serve as a basis to apply for implementation funding through programs such as "Grants in Aid", "Better Roads", and "Transportation Alternatives".  For more information about the projects, contact Katharine.
Water Quality
Draft Black/ Ottauquechee Tactical Basin Plan Available for Comment Through 2/16
The draft Basin 10 Tactical Basin Plan (TBP) for the Black River, Mill Brook and Ottauquechee River watersheds is currently open for public comment through mid-February. The plan provides an overview of the health and condition of the basin, and outlines future actions to improve water quality. Implementation of the TBP will, among other things, guide recreational opportunities such as river access and fishing. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted by the Agency of Natural Resources through February 16, 2018. The draft plan can be found  here If you have any questions, please contact Chris Yurek.
Municipal Roads Grants-In-Aid Pilot Projects
The Towns of Cavendish and West Windsor have each completed projects under the Municipal Roads Grants-In-Aid Pilot Project this past fall.  This program funds projects that mitigate roadway erosion in areas in close proximity to surface waters (i.e. "hydrologically-connected" road segments)
The before/after photos show the work on Wiley Hill Road in Cavendish, which included reshaping and stone lining the ditches. Other towns have selected segments for work that will be completed this spring.
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 
How to Recycle TVs, Computers, Monitors and Printers 
Since 2011, Vermonters have been able to recycle televisions, computers, monitors, printers, and computer peripherals at no charge. The transfer stations in Cavendish, Ludlow, Rockingham, Springfield, and Weathersfield accept and recycle these items for free from any Vermont household. You don't have to be a townsperson from Ludlow, for example, to bring a computer to the Ludlow Transfer Station for recycling. Don't wait for spring cleaning - haul that old television to your transfer station this winter.
"Ask us"
Can I Recycle CD's, DVD's, and Cases?
YES, YOU CAN!
Click here for instructions or call 603-894-5553.
They also take items like Christmas lights and extension cords. Ask your friends and neighbors to join you and make a big shipment to:
CD Recycling Center of America 
68E Stiles Road 
Salem NH 03079
 
Cassette and VHS tapes can be recycled as well.  Check out this site to see all the items to be recycled at  Green Disk.  Phone is 800-305-3475.

Remember, you can always call our office with questions. If we don't know the answer we'll find one at 802-674-9234 or 4474.

Mary O'Brien - Recycling Coordinator
Ham Gillett - Outreach Coordinator
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
General Email: ctitus@swcrpc.org