(802) 674-9201     info@swcrpc.org 


Happy New Year to all and I would like to welcome Tom Yennerell to the region.  Tom is Springfield's new Town Manager.  Bob Forguites retired in December after 16 years on the job. Speaking of jobs, Mr. Forguites has a new job as a legislator for the Town of Springfield.  We all wish him well.


While we are on the subject of the legislature, there are a number of interesting planning-related bills making their way through the "Golden Dome". The bill most talked about in the planning community is H.35/S.49 (Water Quality Bill), the original intent of the bill was to address water quality issues in the Lake Champlain Basin, however, many RPCs, including SWCRPC, advocated that water quality is a statewide issue and the bill should be broadened to include the entire state.


Another important bill, which has not yet been assigned a number, is a bill proposed by the Vermont Planner's Association to revise Title 24, Chapter 117 increasing re-adoption of Town Plans from every 5 years to 10 years. This proposal has generated a considerable amount of debate regarding the merits of such a change. If you're interested, go to the  VPA website or VLCT Legislative Bulletin for more details.

The Senate Government Operations Committee will begin hearings on the newly revised Open Meeting Law which was enacted this past year to listen to concerns from municipalities across the state.  If you have concerns with the new Open Meeting Law, contact members of the Senate Committee or  Karen Horn, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy with the VLCT.


Winter is here, enjoy the snow!!



Thomas Kennedy

Executive Director

All Hazard Mitigation Plans

The Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission is currently in the process of completing new, stand-alone All Hazard Mitigation Plans for four towns within the SWCRPC Region. These new plans move away from the SWCRPC Multi-Jurisdictional All Hazard Plan to better incorporate town level data and hazards.  The current towns with updates in process include:  Cavendish, Chester, Reading, and Windsor. We invite you to become active in your community's hazard mitigation planning process and help shape the Plan for your town. Working meetings are taking place in February and March.  Need more information? Contact Allison Hopkins.

Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP)
With town meeting upon us and new roles within your town being filled, please encourage your town to update and adopt the newly revised Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP). The LEOP has replaced the Basic Emergency Operations Plan as the primary emergency contact information and emergency planning tool for your town. This plan provides the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) and your town's first responders with critical information to be used in the event of an emergency. The plan template can be found at http://vem.vermont.gov/local_state_plans/local or by contacting Allison Hopkins.
SWCRPC Awarded VT DEC Grant
The Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission (SWCRPC) has received funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation through Section 604b of the Clean Water Act to partner with VT Agency of Natural Resources Watershed Coordinator Marie Levesque-Caduto to assist the Towns of Springfield and Ludlow in re-classifying water resources currently protected as drinking water supplies. The final project deliverables will be completed in spring of 2015.  Please contact Allison Hopkins, Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, with any questions.
Local Planning Tools

The Land Use Planning section of the SWCRPC website was recently updated in order to provide better information to help guide the local planning process.  A variety of tools and resources are now available, such as the review matrix for town plan approval by the RPC, how to write effective decisions and a town plan implementation matrix.  Click here for more information.

Springfield Downtown Designation Renewed

On December 1, 2014, the State Downtown Board met and approved Springfield's application to renew their Downtown Designation.  There are a number of benefits for having a designated downtown including, but not limited, to a number of funding opportunities.
Transportation News

How many people walk or park-and-ride?

How many people use the sidewalks in downtown Springfield?  How many people park in the Ascutney Park and Ride Lot each month?  Check out two new annual reports at http://swcrpc.org/transportation.

VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan
To meet the growing demand for bicycling facilities, VTrans is developing a VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan. The Plan will help guide improvements along Vermont state highways designed to improve functionality for all bicyclists, families, commuters, and recreational riders. The next public meeting will be 4/30 at 6 p.m.  For more info, see  here.
Funding Opportunities - Grants & Loans


Downtown Transportation Fund:  Applications are due on March 9, 2015

Small and Inspiring Grants: from the VT Community Foundation


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.
In this issue....
Funding Opportunities
Hazard Mitigation
Transportation News
Need more detail? 
Try these links below.
SWCRPC Calendar 
Upcoming Events
2/24: Brownfields Steering Committee Meeting
11:00 a.m., Springfield Town Office, Springfield, VT
RPC Board Meeting
12:00 p.m., Springfield Town Office, Springfield, VT
2/25: Regional Transportation Committee Meeting,
6:00 p.m., RPC Office, Ascutney, VT

3/17: RPC Board Meeting
12:00 p.m., Springfield Town Office, Springfield, VT
The final East Central Vermont: What We Want plan is complete. You can access the full plan and/or individual plan sections at http://ecvermont.org.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the planning part of this project! Please contact Dan Potter with any questions.

SW/WC Solid Waste District

Got used batteries? Take the rechargeables ones to your transfer station for free recycling. The rest of them are treated as trash for now. But as of January 2016, you will be able to recycle those for free, also, thanks to a new Vermont law. Call2Recycle is developing an alkaline battery recycling program to be launched next year. 


Stay Connected
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.
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