This week at the WRC: 03/10 - 03/14
- March 10, 9:00 am: Brownfields Steering Committee, WRC Conference Room
- March 10, 12:00 pm: Public Policy & Legislative Committee, WRC Conference Room
- March 10, 4:30 pm: Transportation Committee, WRC Conference Room
- March 11, 7:00 pm: Executive Board, WRC Conference Room
- March 13, 4:00 pm: Community Development Committee, WRC Conference Room
From the Director, March 2014 - More than Planning: Finding Shared Solutions to Shared Problems
The Windham Region is a community of towns, and in a community, more can be achieved by working together than through solo action. The WRC is here to help towns achieve together what would be very difficult or impossible to accomplish on their own. This is, in fact, our mission. The mission of the WRC is to assist towns in Southeastern Vermont to provide effective local government and work cooperatively with them to address regional issues. While planning is central to our work and what we’re best known for, our purpose is larger. Our current support of towns confronting TransCanada property valuation appeals is an example of how we can help our communities move forward together.
Next Village and Downtown Revitalization Workshop Series: Promotion
A workshop on Promotion Strategies for Downtown and Village Revitalization will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 6:30pm at the Bennington Firehouse, 130 River Street, Bennington, VT. This evening is aimed at informing you about creating and marketing a positive and exciting image of a downtown and village center. Promotion attracts foot traffic to centers to socialize, shop at local businesses and restaurants, and enjoy local history and culture. The workshop will help you to identify best tools and practices to create a consistent message for your village or downtown.
WRC is seeking a staff planner!
The Windham Regional Commission is seeking a planner at our offices overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River in downtown Brattleboro. This person will work in a 27-town, 920 square mile rural region of southeastern Vermont with considerable natural resource and tourism base, historic downtowns and villages, and outstanding cultural and recreational opportunities.
For more information, click here.
Ahead of the Energy Curve: Upcoming Events
Two upcoming energy events on March 13 and March 20--one on Zero Energy Homes and the other on Vt’s Energy Codes and Above Code Programs--have been organized to help keep you up-to-date with energy issues and opportunities in the Region on a range of topics. All events are free of charge. The public is welcome to attend.
Speaker and State Treasurer Meet With WRC Commissioners and Energy Coordinators
Our conference room was bustling on February 24th as nearly 20 members from the WRC’s Energy Committee, Public Policy and Legislative Committee, and Town Energy Coordinators gathered to speak with Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith and State Treasurer Beth Pearce. The Speaker and State Treasurer each had other engagements in Brattleboro later in the evening, but generously arrived early to hear from constituents on energy issues and related policy. This opportunity was organized by Betty Frye, resident of Guilford, who was hosting the Speaker at a meeting afterward.
Notes from the February 24th Energy Roundtable
More than 20 Town Energy Coordinators, Committee members, and energy enthusiasts gathered at the Marlboro College Graduate School on February 24th to share recent energy activities in their towns and discuss challenges. Current town projects ranged widely, including the replacement of outdoor lights with LED bulbs in Dummerston, a Putney solarize campaign kick-off, and an initiative to pass a $50,000 Energy Efficiency Fund in Brattleboro. The focus for the evening was energy planning and implementation strategies.
Local Emergency Operations Plans – New Format for 2014
Formerly referred to as Rapid Response Plans (RRP), and then Basic Emergency Operations Plans (BEOP), all towns are now required to prepared Local Emergency Operations Plans (LEOP) following a new format. Vermont statute requires every city and town to have an emergency operations plan on file at the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS). Adoption of an LEOP is one element of the new Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF) Rule, which goes into effect on October 23, 2014. The Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund provide State funding to match Federal Public Assistance after federally-declared disasters.
Cell Phone and Broadband Forum Held; Presentations Available
In response to an invitation by the WRC, the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) and the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) held a forum at the Newbrook Fire Department on Wednesday, January 22nd to discuss their specific initiatives, and what cell phone and broadband infrastructure planning and installation is taking place in the Windham Region.
WRC Digitizing Current Use Parcels
Vermont’s Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation is again contracting with WRC to digitize parcels enrolled in the state’s Use Value Appraisal Program (commonly known as “current use”). Once this work is complete, all UVA parcels in Windham County will be digitized.
GIS Staff Outline Accomplishments for 2013
Windham Regional Commission GIS staff members Jeff Nugent and Sarah Linn worked on many projects during 2013. Some of the highlights are presented below.
WRC’s New Hire to Help with Village and Downtown Resiliency Planning
Kim Smith, a recent graduate of Conway School with a M.A. in Landscape Design, was recently hired to help us with village and downtown resiliency planning supported by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Disaster Recovery Grant. Kim’s prime focus at Windham Regional Commission is working with staff on village revitalization plans. Prior to graduate school Kim worked as a biologist in California on a bald eagle reintroduction project. Other areas of interest include gardening, sustainability and permaculture.
First Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Project Completed
Windham Regional Commission (WRC) is pleased to announce completion of its first Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative-Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (WRBRI-RLF) project: The Bellows Falls Historic Riverfront Park and Trail System.
Forest Stewardship Project Looks at the Big Picture
For many decades Vermont forest landowners have held different views of their property. In our region of Vermont, about 44% are working the land, about 46% view their land as a woodland retreat, less than 10% are completely uninvolved with their land, and a minor 1% use their land as supplemental income.
WRC Presents Testimony on VY Closure Before House Committees
Below is a link to testimony presented on October 28, 2013 by Windham Regional Commission before the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee and the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee about the impacts of the closure of Vermont Yankee. Link to testimony.
Information Related to the Closure of Vermont Yankee
Information as of August 30, 2013, including:
- WRC Statement on Announcement by Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee That the Plant Will Close in 2014
- VY Employees by Town
- Resiliency Action Plan for the Town of Vernon in Preparation for the Eventual Closure of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station