In This Issue
A New Year of Programming
Quality Training Revitalizes Communities and Sustains Jobs
Legislative Update
Sustaining Critical Services
RCAP Solutions on Capitol Hill
Safe Drinking Water for Small Communities in PR
Save Money Through Recycling Programs
Assisting Rural Communities with Septic Repairs
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Greetings!
Welcome to the second electronic edition of Watershed to Well!  Since 1986, RCAP Solutions has been proud to bring this newsletter to our constituents, providing educational resources on important rural community issues. Our articles are now housed on the RCAP Solutions blog, which can be found by clicking here.  As always, we appreciate your feedback on this publication and welcome your input on anything regarding RCAP Solutions and our services.

From the Communities We Serve...

"RCAP Solutions staff assisted us with complicated paperwork and reporting requirements at no cost to us.  We have limited resources and meeting mandated requirements is quite a burden to us.  Our experience has shown that RCAP Solutions is a valuable resource that is needed by many rural communities.  We earnestly recognize the value and appreciate the technical assistance offered to us by RCAP Solutions."

 

Bruce J. Chimento, P.E.  

Director of Public Works

Town Engineer  

Killingly, Connecticut  

Community Resources - A New Year of Programminig

RCAP Solutions is now entering a new year of programming - with many great programs and technical assistance services to offer! 

 

We are pleased to announce that we have once again been awarded funding to provide technical assistance to small rural and underserved communities from both USDA Rural Development and Health and Human Services. We also provide services under a direct contract, allowing delivery of more refined project development, management, and financial services.

     
Quality Training to Revitalize Communities and Sustain Jobs in the Water Sector
RCAP Solutions is the northeast member of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) with headquarters in Worcester, Massachusetts and onsite drinking water and wastewater technical assistance specialists and trainers throughout the Northeastern United States and Caribbean.  All RCAP specialists utilize state and federal funding to work onsite with small rural drinking water and wastewater systems to effect four community outcomes:

a)      Improved environmental and community health

b)      Compliance with federal and state regulations

c)      Sustainable water and waste disposal facilities

d)      Increased capability of local leaders to address current and future needs.

 

 

Federal Funding Outlook

Leg Update

 

As of press time, the federal funding outlook for the new fiscal year, set to begin October 1, is murky at best. The Senate and the House have each passed Continuing Resolutions that would keep the government open until the end of the year so that they can pass regular appropriations bills. However, the House version contains a ban on funding for the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare"), while the Senate version fully funds the ACA's implementation.

 

The two sides are fundamentally opposed, and as of now, it is not clear how the stalemate will be resolved. We expect there to be last-minute negotiations that will hopefully lead to some resolution, but there may well be a government shutdown in early October.

Click here to read more... 

  

Planning & Development - Sustaining Critical Services Despite Funding Cuts
funding

In the face of crippling domestic federal spending cuts, the Development Team has worked tirelessly to help RCAP secure our traditional funding sources with the least impact to our constituents as possible and to help sustain and expand our programs and services by pursuing new sources of revenue.  During the past year, the Development Team has helped secure the revenue to:

  • Continue to provide State and Federal Rental Assistance administration services for Central Massachusetts that helps provide safe and affordable housing to over 2,000 low income families.
  • Expand our Housing Counseling services in Central Massachusetts, double the number of HUD Certified Housing Counselors, and increase our first time homebuyer and financial literacy training offerings.
  • Provide technical assistance for sustainable development to communities in Northern Maine.
  • Provide technical assistance small communities to address failing septic systems in Massachusetts.
  • Create a revolving loan fund to assist homeowners repair or replace failing septic systems that threaten our valuable water resources.
The Development Team is currently working to increase revenues to expand technical assistance in brownfield redevelopment, increase trainings to help communities manage their water and wastewater assets, increase the funding base for Resident Services for RCAP's elderly housing complexes, expand our small business lending products and services, and improve and expand our services to homeless families and low income households. 
 
For more information, please contact Brian Scales, Chief Development & Governmental Affairs Officer at (978) 630-6649 or bscales@rcapsolutions.org.

 

RCAP Solutions on Capitol Hill  

 

Each year RCAP Solutions staff and board members participate with Rural Community Assistance Partnership, our national network and their annual visit to Washington DC to meet with our national legislators.   

 

Pictured left is Maine Senator Angus King, RCAP

 Solutions State Lead for Maine Art Astarita, RCAP National Board member Suzanne Crawford and RCAP Solutions Board Member Chantel Bethea.

 

Pictured right is RCAP Solutions Vice President & Chief Program Officer Paul Teixeira, RCAP Solutions Board Member Laura McGee, Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern and RCAP Solutions Chief Development & Governmental Affairs Officer Brian Scales.

 

Safe Drinking Water for Small Communities in Puerto Rico

In March of 2013, RCAP Solutions began work on a contract with the Puerto Rico Department of Health to help 48 small community-owned public water systems work towards becoming compliant with the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act.  

 

As of the end of August, RCAP Solutions has completed 48 Sanitary Surveys, system capacity evaluations, and operator proficiency reviews and 24 Action Plans that prescribe the actions necessary to bring these small water systems into compliance. 

 

Over the next six months of the contract, RCAP Field Staff will complete the remaining 24 Action Plans and will begin to provide EPA-Certified Operator Training Certification classes to the water system operators of these 48 systems.  Upon completion, these 48 systems will meet the U.S. national standards for safe drinking water, many for the first time in the history of these particular community public water systems.  

 

Communities Can Save Money and the Environment Through Recycling
RCAP Solutions solid waste reduction and recycling program can assist your community by saving money, recovering valuable materials and providing countless environmental benefits. 
 
Last fall, RCAP Solutions published a Solid Waste Reduction Handbook, a comprehensive resource for solid waste reduction committees, town administration, or anyone interested in introducing a new recycling or waste reduction program in their NH town. The guide has a large section for appendices that provide concrete examples of the topics covered in the body.
 

The handbook was compiled after working with many towns and developing a strong understanding of what communities need. Sections are broken up into the "Big Three" needed for a successful waste reduction program; awareness, convenience, and incentives.

 

The handbook has seen strong success, with all printed copies being handed out at local meetings and conferences.  The handbook is still available online. Click here to download the guide.

 

Grant Helps RCAP Solutions Assist Rural Communities with Septic Repairs

tranquil-lake.jpg Last year, RCAP Solutions received a $56,000 grant from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, which allowed allowed the organization to provide no-cost technical assistance to several local communities.

RCAP Solutions has completed work to develop and implement Community Septic Management Plans in the communities of Groton, Hardwick, Harvard, Orange and Westminster. These plans help towns manage their community's septic needs in a comprehensive way and gives the town a guide to loaning out the funds to the areas which will have the most beneficial impact from an environmental prospective, resulting in vastly improved local capacity and providing homeowners with a sustainable solution to their failing septic systems.

 

RCAP Solutions mission is to foster personal and public self-reliance and improve the quality of life for individuals, families and the communities in which they live.

This publication is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services (HHS/OCS).  It's contents do not necessarily represent the policies of HHS/OCS or of RCAP Solutions, Inc.  The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual contributors.  Permission is hereby granted for the use of any text or graphics contained in this publication, unless protected by copyrights, patents, or trademarks held by third parties.  Copyright 2012 by RCAP Solutions, Inc.