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June 2020

Whether it is through economic development, planning for safer streets, improving access to affordable housing, or strengthening coordination for a cleaner environment, the broader mission of SRPEDD--regional planning--is about building community and enhancing the quality of life for  ALL .  
As such, we are heartbroken by recent events in which deadly violence has again been perpetrated against members of the community due to the color of their skin. Reflecting on these events, it is clear that our efforts in pursuit of greater equity and true environmental and social justice must go yet further. 
We stand with those committed to righting these entrenched wrongs and redoubling our efforts on behalf of those in greatest need across the region that we serve.
SRPEDD Holds Virtual Annual Meeting  
SRPEDD Commission Chair Alan Slavin, along with fellow  officers , were each unanimously re-elected to successive one-year terms at a virtual Annual Meeting   held on Wednesday, May 27, via Zoom.   The  A nnual Meeting, a  popular May tradition held  in a different location each year across the 4-city, 23-town Southeast ern  Mass achusetts region, had been scheduled to be held at Whi te's in  Westport but unfortunately had to be convened remotely this time around due to the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, and requirement of social distancing.
In addition to annual elections , swearing in of new and returning Commissioners,   distribution of  the agency's annual report and coverage of regular business items, this year's virtual meeting also included announcement of annual award recipients ;  as always, a highlight of the  yearly event  
Officers re-elected at the meeting for a 2020-2021 term were:  Alan Slavin, Wareham, Chair; Joe Callahan, Berkley, Vice Chair; Janice Robbins, Mattapoisett Secretary; D. Austin Horowitz, Mansfield, Treasurer; Marie  Clarner , North Attleborough, Assistant Treasurer; and Deborah Melino-Wender Dartmouth, Immediate Past Chair.  
The recipient of this year's Special Recognition Award was announced and awarded to: retired EPA official and longtime volunteer,  Steve Silva , for invaluable service to and contributions as a member of the board of directors of the Taunton River Watershed Alliance.  Also, for her myriad contributions over the past ten years to the agency and region, as SRPEDD Commissioner and officer, Town of Dartmouth Director of Development  Deborah Melino-Wender was announced as the recipient of not only the Commissioner of the Year Award, but also the agency's Distinguished Service Award.
Together with thanks to each of the returning officers for the ir willingness to continue for another term, and Commissioners new and returning for the gift of their time, energy and expertise; plus, congratulations and grateful acknowledgments to annual award recipients, Steve Silva and Deborah Melino-Wender , the virtual meeting, truly a first in the organization's history, was adjourned.  
For project highlights and other accomplishments from a very busy past twelve months, please check out the 2020 SRPEDD Annual Report
Regional and State Transportation Planning  Update- the TIP, the UPWP and the CIP     Article2 
It's a very busy time of year for transportation planning on both the regional level, with the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), and on the state level, with the Capital Investment Plan (CIP). As a result of the pandemic, all of the public outreach efforts for these important documents has been conducted virtually via Zoom public meetings, social media, and website postings. 
In Southeast Massachusetts, the FFY2021-2025 TIP, endorsed on May 19, 2020, details transportation projects programmed for the region for the next five years. Projects include roads, bridges, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The TIP budget for SRPEDD's 27 communities for the next 5 years is $110.4 million, averaging $21.5 million per year, and the programmed projects are fiscally constrained, meaning they cannot exceed this funding. SRPEDD staff is available to answer questions and provide guidance and assistance to member communities seeking to make needed improvements through the TIP process.  Please contact Lisa Estrela-Pedro for more information at .
T he UPWP identifies, in a single document, all of the annual transportation planning activities that are to be undertaken in the SRPEDD region, from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. This includes an array of activities including public participation, TIP development, traffic counting, bike and pedestrian planning, and transit planning, to name a few. The draft UPWP is currently in release for public comment, can be found on the SRPEDD website, and will become final on June 16, 2020 at the next SMMPO meeting. Please contact Paul Mission for more information at .
The CIP programs state and federal funds to pay for long-term improvements to the state's transportation system. The CIP is usually a five-year plan that is updated annually. However, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, this year's CIP is a one-year plan for 2021. SRPEDD co-hosted the CIP virtual public meeting for Southeastern Massachusetts with MassDOT on May 19, 2020. The meeting had over 30 participants including staff from SRPEDD, the Old Colony Planning Council, and MassDOT, as well as members of the public. For more information on the CIP, please visit:
Expanding Agency Economic Development/Recovery Assistance Capacity  
Thanks to the proven track record and strong  relationship the agency has with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), SRPEDD is in the process of expanding and enhancing its economic development and recovery assistance capacity in order to be able to respond to increased community need following the health crisis, and continue to serve its member municipalities in 2020 and beyond.
  To support these efforts, SRPEDD recently pursued   additional  funding through EDA's invitation to apply for   recovery a ssistance under the  Coronavirus Ai d , Relief, and Economic Securit y  (CARES)  Act . If successful, the application will make possible   an expanded work program  that  applies  more staff expertise  to  wider variety of activities , including: expanded business assistance; e nhanced public-facing content and technological t ools; development of an interactive summary of the  Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS);   and broadened project development ,   including community and workforce development efforts that seek to help businesses and individuals most severely impacted by the ongoing public health and  social crises. 
Please  stay tuned for a formal announcement of the results of SRPEDD's application.  For more information please contact Don Sullivan at

   SRPEDD's Ongoing Master Plan Work  FourthA 
During the shutdown, staff have all continued to work remotely, advancing progress, among other projects, on a number of Master Plan initiatives. From completing plans  in Dartmouth and Berkley, to kicking off efforts in Raynham this spring, and  in  Mattapoisett and North Attleborough  later  this  Summer,  SRPEDD remains focused on providing  thorough data analysis,  meaningful public engagement , and high-quality deliverables during this unprecedented time.  
After months of preparation, data collection, and analysis, the Raynham Master Plan kicked off at the beginning of May. In the weeks leading up to the launch, SRPEDD staff worked to develop an enhanced approach to public engagement that caters to a variety of preferences, populations, and needs.  
The Raynham Master Plan utilizes many of SRPEDD's traditional engagement strategies, including a  project webpage , Facebook and Instagram page s , a public comment form , and an option to join the project mailing list  . New strategies, such as a dedicated telephone number (774-226-8530), an email address ( ), online discussion forums, and a public survey  are ways that SRPEDD is working to provide meaningful virtual engagement opportunities throughout the process.
Moving forward, the team anticipates holding the first public workshop in July. Due to required social distancing measures, this event will be entirely online. Although this marks one of the first events of its kind at SRPEDD and the beginning of a new way to engage with local communities, SRPEDD is excited to help Raynham navigate this challenge. More details will be emerging soon!  
In the meantime, please take a few minutes to visit the project webpage ( ) for more details about the process, to view the helpful videos, and to review the many engagement opportunities.   
The Southcoast Food Policy Council
  On occasion, it is SRPEDD's privilege to be able to share with you the work of organizations with whom we partner in order to more fully address the needs of our region. While not always recognized in the context of what we address as planners, our agency, and our service to the region would be far less effective without these partners. In the midst of all that is currently going on in the region and in the world, our Environmental Program staff are pleased to highlight the work of our partners at the Marion Institute's Southcoast Food Policy Council.
The Marion Institute (MI) is focused on building healthy environments, advocating for social justice, and creating resilient communities. Two of their main pillars to achieve this are food security and nutrition, as a way of providing sustainable environments and community health. 

The MI's Southcoast Food Policy Council (SFPC) is a coalition of over 200 stakeholders, including food pantries, farms, foundations, and social service agencies working together to promote local food security: " a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice."

Providing Local Leadership on a Plan of Regional Impact: The SFPC provides a space for participants to collaborate, share, and match goals and expertise. They build on the strengths of each partner to effectively support a diverse and healthy local food system. As a first priority in 2020, the SFPC is updating the  2014 Food System Assessment (FSA) in an effort to evaluate accomplishments and new programs put in place since the last assessment; to update and evaluate statistics/data; and to identify gaps that can be filled with policy change and/or programming. Research will rely on primary data collection, secondary data collection, focus groups, surveys, and interviews to validate or augment existing information. Active surveys will be posted on the SFPC homepage at You can check back for updates and sign up to receive SFPC news.

Helping to Coordinate a Regional Response to a Global Crisis: The COVID-19 public health crisis is having a profound effect on the food system. Many of you, along with our SFPC organizational partners, are working tirelessly in order to keep up with demand for goods and services and to provide access to our most vulnerable communities. The SFPC has taken a leadership role during the pandemic, heading weekly network meetings to discuss emergency food needs, identify response gaps, and find at-risk communities in need of nourishing foods. They have put that information into action through their Cooks for Community initiative, which supported restaurants and individuals by serving over 11,000 meals in Wareham, New Bedford and Fall River. The SFPC has also set up a COVID-19 Recovery Resource List. It can be found  here on the SRPEDD website. 

For more information, please visit the Marion Institute's website and SFPC homepage referenced above. Much thanks to Liz Wiley, Executive Director of the Marion Institute (, and all of the amazing organizations and individuals participating in the SFPC's work on behalf of our cities and towns.

For more information about this and other partnerships contact Bill Napolitano ( or Helen Zincavage ( on the Environmental program staff.
Covid-19 Test Site at Gillette Stadium
The Southeast Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council (SRAC) recently purchased a 24-foot regional Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) response trailer for $40,000 via State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) federal grant funding. The MCI trailer is housed at the Foxborough Fire Department and is maintained and operated by the Foxborough Fire Department personnel. The trailer  is used to protect, mitigate and respond to mass casualty and/or emergency events in the region. The trailer will provide first responders with first aid, response, triage, and mission critical medical equipment. The trailer is able for rapid deployment throughout the Commonwealth. The trailer is a fully self-contained trailer with air conditioning, heat, a multi-person workstation for laptop computers and monitors. The trailer is equipped to transport  off-road rescue vehicles as well. 
In addition to the purchased trailer, the SRAC utilized $42,000 in SHSP grant funding for the procurement of MCI equipment that is housed within the MCI trailer. This equipment includes trauma and medical supplies, a field desk, misting fans, remote area lighting, adjustable mobile cots, and warming blankets.  
Since its purchase, the MCI trailer has been deployed to several fire service trainings and exercises throughout the Commonwealth.  The trailer has also been deployed to a multitude of public events held at Gillette Stadium.  Such events have included New England Patriots football games, New England Revolution soccer games and music concerts.    
Currently, the trailer is being used as a mission critical component at Gillette Stadium in support of the COVID19 test site, which is providing testing for first responders, government employees, farmers and grocery store employees.   

Due to COVID-19, the two regional transit authorities (RTAs) in SRPEDD's region, the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) and the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), have both had to adopt new policies and procedures in order to continue to operate transit service safely for riders, as well as drivers. Modifications to service have ranged from suspending commuter and long-distance medical shuttles to shortening service hours to account for the decrease in demand. Both RTAs have encouraged riders to use transit for essential trips only, and to not use their services if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms.

In the GATRA region, most fixed route service that was suspended due to decreased ridership was replaced with on-demand service available as a substitute for essential trips. GATRA has instituted measures to physically separate bus transit operators and passengers by installing Plexiglas barriers on fixed route and demand response vehicles to limit contact with the driver when rear vehicle boarding/alighting is not available. Also, in an effort to limit contact with drivers, both RTAs have suspended fare collection enforcement for safety reasons. Prior to the Governor's order on May 6, 2020, both RTAs had encouraged riders to wear face coverings when social distancing was not possible, but have since required face coverings in order to board the vehicle per the Governor's order. SRTA is providing masks to riders upon request. Every effort has also been made to add vehicles to busier routes in order to encourage social distancing. Drivers are also sanitizing vehicles throughout the day as time allows. Both GATRA and SRTA continue to monitor the impact COVID-19 has on the transit industry and will make adjustments as needed.