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SRPEDD Newsletter

August 2017TOPForReal


SRPEDD Elects Officers and Welcomes New Commissioners for 2017-2018





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SRPEDD Elects Officers and Welcomes New Commissioners for 2017-2018
SRPEDD Commissioners May 2017
At the May 24 SRPEDD Annual Meeting, prior to the start of a new fiscal and program year, held in Lakeville at LeBaron Hills Country Club, the SRPEDD Commission elected the following new or returning officers:  Deborah Melino-Wender, Town of Dartmouth- Chairman; Alan Slavin, Town of Wareham- Vice Chairman; Joan Marchitto, Town of N. Attleborough- Secretary; Joseph Callahan, Town of Berkley- Treasurer; George Hovorka, Town of Swansea- Assistant Treasurer; and Jonathan Henry, Town of Marion- Immediate Past Chairman.
The District also welcomed eight new members appointed from across 7 of its 27 municipalities.  Among the new appointees were:  Board of Selectmen representatives Jennifer Clarke, City of New Bedford; Suzanne Szyndlar, Town of Rochester; and Lloyd Mendes, Town of Somerset; Planning Board representatives Scott Jones, City of Attleboro; Steven Hornsby, Town of Norton; and William Costa, Sr., Town of Rehoboth; and At-Large representative Kent Richards, also from the City of Attleboro.
A hearty welcome and thanks to both Officers and Commissioners, new and returning, for their service to the agency and region!  

For a complete roster of SRPEDD Commissioners and their municipal affiliations please visit:  

Regional Pedestrian Plan 
S RPEDD is in the process of developing a Regional Pedestrian Plan. Data is being collected in order to assess existing conditions of the pedestrian network in the SRPEDD region as well as identify gaps. When completed, the plan will include 
ways to improve connectivity with other modes of transportation at the regional level. It will also assemble a detailed listing of  prioritized recommendations for improving the network, inclusive of funding opportunities and best practices for implementation. 

As part of this effort, SRPEDD has created two surveys for the Regional Pedestrian Plan. The first survey is for city and town officials and the second is for the general public. The information we receive will assist us in determining where residents of the region like to walk and where they would like to see improvements. The survey only takes 3-4 minutes to complete and can be found at: 

New Partnerships Tackle an Old Flooding Problem in Norton
Julia Pershken & Jackson Krupnik with their project poster design.
Since 2005, SRPEDD has been working with the town of Norton to address chronic flooding problems on Walker Street at the Wading River as part of the SRPEDD stormwater management program. The culverts below Walker Street are inadequately sized to handle moderately heavy to heavy storm events.  When the Wading River swells, the road regularly overtops causing local flooding and road closures. The scouring caused by these periodic storm surges have impacted the stream continuity function of the culverts on the downstream side, potentially fragmenting habitat and limiting the range of resident aquatic species.

Jennifer Carlino, the town of Norton's Conservation Agent, has been working with SRPEDD Environmental Program Director Bill Napolitano to assess and limit the impacts of culverts on the river and stream habitat in the area. Most recently, they received some engineering help from two of Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor Paul Mathisen's senior Engineering students, through the WPI Capstone Program.

Julia Pershken and Jackson Krupnik teamed up with Jennifer and Bill to help engineer and design a solution for the Walker Street culverts. The students got a chance to participate in field studies, become acquainted with state practices, policies, and officials, all while performing an analysis of the site and its related problems. 
In the end, the students proposed replacing the two existing culvert systems with a single, open bottom precast concrete arch culvert to best ease fish passage and mitigate flooding. Their report was then used by Jennifer to apply for a Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (MA DER) Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant to complete final engineering and permitting for the culvert. DER will announce the grant awards soon. A huge thanks to Julia, Jackson, and Paul for their great work and for forging another link in the partnerships that make us better able to meet the District's needs.

Minority, Low-Income & Limited English Proficiency  Maps for 

As a recipient of federal funding, the SMMPO is required by law to ensure that all persons have the ability to participate and meaningful access to any and all information, services, programs and benefits available. These laws also prevent the exclusion of anyone from this access, especially the populations mentioned above. Specifically, these laws are the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Orders 12898 & 13166 concerning Environmental Justice (Minority & Low-Income) and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations.

Given our community's evolving demographics, and in order to help facilitate and ensure compliance with applicable laws, SRPEDD periodically maps minority, low-income and LEP populations by region, municipality and Census tract in order to perform required equity analyses, and assist with public outreach.

The LEP maps are available electronically and hard-copy, if so requested, by member municipalities. Please contact Lilia Cabral-Bernard at or Jennifer Chaves at for more information, and/or to request a copy for your community.

FY 2018 Municipal Assistance for Communities

July 1, 2017 began the new fiscal year here at SRPEDD and the start of another year of our Municipal Assistance program. As a benefit of the 17.395 cents per capita assessment that is paid each year, each Board of Selectmen/Mayor's and Planning Board's representative to the Commission will receive up to 20 hours of technical assistance for the board they represent. These hours may be combined by each community for up to 40 hours of assistance on a larger project.

In addition to 20 hours of staff time available through each commissioner, SRPEDD will undertake additional work under contract and this Municipal Assistance time may be applied to lower the costs. Some projects, such as the preparation of detailed maps, may require the direct expenditure of money for materials or outside services. Commissioners requesting this type of project should be aware that SRPEDD would need to be reimbursed for these direct expenses. A scope of services, cost estimate and draft contract (if needed) are developed prior to work for the purpose of local review and approval. If you have any questions and would like to discuss a prospective project or identified planning need in your community, please contact Don Sullivan or Sandy Conaty. For a copy of the Municipal Assistance program information and request form, please click here.

Southeast Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council (SRAC)

SRPEDD continues its support and assistance to the Southeast Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council (SRAC) in their efforts to develop, review, and approve planning, training, exercising and specialized equipment projects. The SRAC serves 96 cities and towns and has provided millions of dollars in U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding to communities since 2004. The SRAC serves as the policy-making body of the Southeastern Region Homeland Security Planning Region. The Council has members representing all relevant public safety disciplines including law enforcement, fire service, emergency management, local public health, hospitals, emergency medical services, public works, transportation, corrections and local government administration.

The SRAC's Mass Care Medical Surge Sheltering Subcommittee is currently planning a Children in Disasters Conference. The purpose of the conference is to promote discussion and provide guidance for Emergency Management Directors, public health officials, mental health providers, physicians, childcare providers, District Attorneys, police departments, fire departments, school representatives officials, Emergency Medical Services, hospitals, community, youth and faith-based organizations and implementers of children's programs about meeting the unique needs of children that may arise in the event of or result of a disaster or emergency.
The conference is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Taunton Holiday Inn located at 700 Myles Standish Boulevard in Taunton, MA. Invitations will be forwarded via email later this month. All participants will be waitlisted and receive confirmation in advance of the conference. The conference is free of charge to attendees and is hosted and funded by the SRAC.  

For more information please contact Todd Castro at 
Lakeville Green Communities

With the assistance of SRPEDD, the town of Lakeville, through the Building Department received approval for a $247,500 grant award from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), Green Communities Division. Funding for the project will enable the town to provide improvements and upgrades to the Assawompset Elementary School to address building efficiencies and energy costs. SRPEDD is working with the town to develop a bid process and administer the project. 

Lakeville has been a designated Green Community since 2012 and has been successful at securing nearly $300,000 in DOER funding in addition to this latest award to address energy conservation and efficiency measures to other municipal facilities including Town Hall, Fire and Police Stations, and the Council on Aging. For additional information, please contact Don Sullivan at