55th Annual Dinner & Awards Celebration Kicks Off FY19
The CMRPC Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony took place on June 14, 2018 at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club. Music from Little Black Dress filled the room as guests mingled before sitting down to the awards presentation.

The Commission recognized the excellence and dedication of the following award recipients:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: John F. Knipe, Jr.
  • Community Development and Planning Community Partner Award: Katie J. Tyler
  • Regional Collaboration Award: Tri-Epic Regional Emergency Planning Committee
  • Economic Development Driver Award: Jeannie Hebert
  • Service Award: Christian Baehrecke

Representative Hannah Kane delivered citations from the House of Representatives to Mr. Knipe and Ms. Hebert while Tyler Wolanin, District Aide to Senator Anne Gobi, shared State Senate citations to Ms. Tyler and Tri-Epic. State Senate citations from Senator Michael Moore, who was unable to attend the event, were also presented to Mr. Knipe and Ms. Hebert by CMRPC Executive Director, Janet A. Pierce.

"The goal of our mission is to improve the quality of life of those who live and work in our region," stated Ms. Pierce. "This is carried out not only by our staff members, but by everyone we are fortunate enough to partner with. We couldn't carry out what we do and then reinvest in our communities without your continued support."
A Call for Delegates and Alternates
FY19 is upon us. We are sending annual Appointment of Delegates and Alternates letters to Planning Boards, Boards of Selectmen, and Town and City Managers in the mail. Please fill out the forms in their entirety and direct any questions to Andrea Lettic at alettic@cmrpc.org or 508.459.3310.
ATTENTION Gmail and G Suite Users
CMRPC's emails are being flagged as spam by Google. Our staff members' emails sent to Gmail-based email accounts are filtering into spam folders. If you have a gmail account or use the G Suite, please check your spam folder to see if you have missed emails from CMRPC staff. If so, please click the Not Spam button and add the sender to your contact list to prevent all future CMRPC emails from filtering into spam folders.
A Warm Welcome to Four New Employees
Kerrie Carnes Salwa
Kerrie joined CMRPC as a Principal Planner for the Regional Collaboration and Community Development Team, specializing in Economic Development initiatives. Having taken time out of her field to earn her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, she is happy to be back in the Planning arena. She has served as a Planning Board member and downtown planner for the Town of Clinton, as the Business and Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Leominster, as a small business owner and as the Legislative Aide to Senate President Harriette Chandler. While most of her focus has been in the northern Worcester County region, she looks forward to bringing her skill set to the southern Worcester County region. 
Trea Schumacher
Trea was welcomed to the CMRPC Regional Collaboration and Community Development Staff as a Planning Assistant. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Science & Policy and is looking forward to her December graduation at Clark University. She is excited to use her background in environmental science and sustainability to support the communities in the Central Massachusetts Region through the MA Green Community Designation and Grant Program.  
Yahaira Graxirena
After two years abroad, CMRPC welcomes back Yahaira Graxirena as a Principal Planner with the Transportation Department where she will continue to advance the region’s multi-modal transportation approach. She has more than 10 years of experience in the transportation field, half of which were completed in the private sector. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from the School of Architecture and a Master's Degree from the Graduate School of Planning, both from the University of Puerto Rico. With the region’s long-range Transportation Plan around the corner, Yahaira’s set of skills are a welcomed addition to the Transportation team.
Peter Peloquin
Peter is the newest intern at CMRPC and will work within the Transportation Team. A recent graduate of Worcester State University with a degree in Urban Studies, he was recently interviewed about his research project Welcome to Worcester? Inclusion and Exclusion in the Public Spaces of New England's Second-Largest City, which he presented at Worcester State's Celebration of Student Scholarship and Creativity as well as the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Massachusetts. Peter joined CMRPC to assist the with 2018 Traffic Counting season. He looks forward to changing career paths from an extensive and varied construction background, to a career in Planning and Community Development.  
CMRPC's Legislative Affairs Breakfast
It was a great turnout for the Legislative Affairs Breakfast where the topic of discussion was Municipal Emergency Preparedness. We would like to give a special thanks to Senate President Harriette Chandler, Senator Anne Gobi, and Representatives Kim Ferguson, Paul Frost, Hannah Kane, and Susan Templeton and Austin Bonasia from Representative Harold Naughton's office for attending.

If you weren't able to attend, the PowerPoint presentations can be found by clicking here. For a full article on the event, click here .
Regional Collaboration & Community Planning
11 Area Communities Receive Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Funding
Auburn, Brookfield, Leicester, Sutton, Uxbridge, West Boylston and Worcester were awarded grant funding through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program .

According to a news release from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the MVP grants will provide communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience. Click here for the full article. 
Quabbin Educational and Municipal Partnership (QEMP) Update!
On June 7th, CMRPC held its last meeting for public input into the report for the Quabbin Educational and Municipal Partnership (QEMP). With declining school enrollments and budget constraints, the Quabbin Region is taking an innovative approach to creating a financially-stable future. The QEMP is working to strengthen the relationship between the school district and the towns in order to implement CMRPC's recommendations on Shared Municipal Services, Economic Development, Building Use and Reuse, and School Strategies. The upcoming CMRPC report will represent input from more than 800 surveys, 33 focus group meetings, and over 500 unique conversations with locals. For more on those, visit  www.qemp.info

On September 12, the QEMP will kick off its implementation of these strategies by establishing working groups for Shared Municipal Services, Economic Development, Building Use and Reuse, and School Strategies. Click here to register for this session.
Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans
CMRPC staff members are busy working on the updates to the Regional Bicycle and Regional Pedestrian Plans. Look to our Facebook page and website for information and a listing of upcoming meeting times and locations. In the meantime, we invite you to take our public input survey to have your voice heard.
2016-2017 Freight Planning Progress Report Completed
The transportation staff completed the 2016-2017 Freight Planning Progress Report , which can be found by clicking here. Various staff contributed to the compilation of the sectional text, maps, tables, and graphics that were either created or updated. The report features a range of materials including updated freight route maps, aerials of major intermodal facilities, heavy vehicle volumes & percentages, regional travel simulation model-based Freight Vehicle Miles of Travel graphs for both existing and projected future conditions, as well as a truck stop location map and corresponding table. The document also includes the 2017 Metropolitan PO Freight Program Assessment prepared on behalf of the Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization (CMMPO).
Under the ongoing Freight Planning work task, staff continues to follow the ongoing activities of CSX, East Brookfield & Spencer Railroad, Genesee & Wyoming, MassCentral Railroad, Pan Am Railways, the Grafton & Upton Railroad in addition to the greater area rail freight providers (Norfolk Southern/Pan Am Southern) and intermodal facility operators (Intransit Container Incorporated, New England Automotive Gateway), as well as highway trucking activities throughout the region.
The 2018 Traffic-Counting Season is Underway
CMRPC's 2018 data collection efforts are in full swing. This summer staff will conduct 244 traffic counts and collect pavement, sidewalk and ADA ramp condition data on 631 segments of Fed-Aid roadways. Most of the efforts this year focus on Worcester and the Northeast subregion, however, a number of traffic counts across the region will be conducted.

Data collected from these counts will be uploaded to the MassDot database and reported within the 2018 Traffic Count Book. You can find information about the 2017 Traffic Counting season by clicking here. If you see one of our friendly data collection teams out this summer give them a wave or stop to ask them what they are up to!
Annual Environmental Consultation Followup
On April 11, 2018, the CMMPO hosted its Annual Environmental Consultation Meeting, which focused on Nature-Based Solutions for Stormwater Management, Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Autonomous Vehicles. Amongst the attendees were CMRPC staff members and representatives from the towns of Spencer, Auburn and Northbridge, as well as Mass Audubon. Chris Stix from the Conservation Law Foundation on Self-Driving Cars in Massachusetts, spoke about policy recommendations for when self-driving cars become more mainstream. He touched upon including limits on zero-occupancy vehicles, incentives for electric vehicles, incentives for ride-sharing, replacing the gas tax with mileage-based fees, replacing parking revenue and job training for maintenance of the self-driving cars.

According to US DOT guidance, environmental consultation is a discussion of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential areas to carry out these activities that may have the greatest potential to restore and maintain the environmental functions affected by the Long Range Transportation Plan, Mobility2040 . This discussion was developed via consultation with Federal, State, and Tribal land management, wildlife and regulatory agencies. Copies of the presentations and minutes from the Annual Environmental Consultation are available by emailing Melissa Santley, Associate Transportation Planner, at msantley@cmrpc.org
Staff Spotlight: Janet A. Pierce
New to FY19 is the addition of a staff spotlight within each newsletter to give you a personal glimpse to a side of our team not always seen from across a Board Room or Town Hall. First up to bat is our Executive Director, Janet A. Pierce.

If you know of CMRPC, you know Janet as the advocate for bettering our region as a whole. From Princeton to Douglas and Hardwick to Westborough, she is always out in front of Town Boards, Committees and staff members to listen to local and regional issues while always looking for ways to meet the needs of our member communities.

Her role with community outreach efforts is perfectly suited for her as she admitted, "I would would prefer to be outdoors! I am fortunate to have a career that enables me to traverse our region and I love the unique characteristics our towns have to offer. We live in a great part of the state. Get outside and enjoy it!"
When the suit coat finds its way to the closet for the weekend, you will find Janet either outside camping with her family and grandchildren, hiking nature trails or paddling away the afternoon in her kayak. And wherever she goes, her three furkids (pictured right) aren't too far to follow.
If you have any questions about the newsletter , please contact alettic@cmrpc.org or 508.756.7717.