From the Director, July 2016 - Planning in the World of Act 174 - An Act Relating to Improving the Siting of Energy Projects
It wasn't long after the Governor signed into law Act 174 that I began to get inquiries from towns about what they should be doing. While the act supports more robust comprehensive energy planning at both the regional and town level (which will, incidentally, better inform future state comprehensive energy plans), what most town planners are interested in is better standing before the Public Service Board (PSB) in Section 248 proceedings.
Need Assistance with Municipal Planning Grant Application? Please let us know by 9/2/16
If you would like WRC assistance with the preparation of a Municipal Planning Grant (MPG) application, please let us know by no later than Friday, September 2nd.
The deadline for submitting the required on-line application is Monday, October 31st (Halloween). There are a number of prerequisites that take some time to accomplish, including drafting of a solid proposal, getting that proposal approved by your town planning commission, and passing a resolution in support of the proposal by your town select board. The Windham Regional Commission is happy to help your town develop its proposal whether you intend to use our services or not. However, preparing these applications takes thought, preparation, and time, and we assist multiple towns. For this reason, if you would like WRC assistance with the preparation of an MPG application, please let us know by no later than Friday, September 2nd.
VT Community Wildlife Program and WRC Host Meeting of Conservation Commissions, Sept. 20
The Vermont Community Wildlife Program and Windham Regional Commission invite you to join an evening on conservation conversations in Windham Region.This gathering of conservation commissions will take place September 20th, from 6:00-8:00pm at the Newfane Union Hall in Newfane. We’ll be doing an organizational mapping activity to figure out who is doing what in each town and across the region, and you’ll have a chance to connect with the figures behind each project, learning more about what worked and what challenges the group may have faced.
WRC Seeks Your Feedback on New Renewable Energy Grant Program for Windham County
The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund awarded $400,000 to the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) to develop a program to support renewable energy projects in Windham County. An important part of the program development is feedback from the community on types of projects that funding should support. The program will focus on small-scale projects with a minimum project award of $10,000 and a potential maximum of $300,000.
WRC Welcomes Marion Major to its Staff
Marion Major started in June as a planner at the WRC and will have the lead on energy and natural resources. Marion grew up in Westminster West and graduated from the Natural Resources School at UVM in 2014 where she focused on climate change resiliency and worked with a variety of organizations throughout the state. She has also been a sheep cheese maker and farmer on the Vermont Shepherd Farm, worked with the Vermont Land Trust, and worked with a solar energy development company. She is happy to be working with the towns, people, and environment of the region she is so familiar with and attached to!
WRC Receives $350,000 in Supplemental Funds to Clean up Contaminated Brownfields Sites in the Region
The Windham Regional Commission is pleased to announce it will receive $350,000 in supplemental funding to recapitalize the Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative (WRBRI) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). This funding was recently awarded from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to 33 successful RLF grantees as part of approximately $10.7 million in supplemental funding to help transform communities by cleaning up contaminated Brownfields properties.
Grafton Elementary Students Dig Deep to Help the Saxtons River
This heartwarming video shows a day of buffer planting with the Grafton Elementary School and the Saxtons River Watershed Collaborative. The planting was a result of a project funded by the High Meadows Fund which works with the communities, schools, and organizations along the Saxtons River in cultivating a healthy watershed and a knowledge of flood resiliency. To learn more about the project visit WRC's Natural Resources page.
Village Maps of Readsboro, Jacksonville, and Wilmington Now Available
Detailed base maps which show all buildings, streets, driveways, sidewalks, and other features are now available for the villages of Readsboro, Jacksonville, and Wilmington. WRC GIS staff created these maps from air photos, GPS data, and field mapping.
Each village has a series of maps in a number of different formats. One map show the entire village, while another focuses just on the village core/downtown area. Most maps are in color, but at least one is in simple grayscale so that it can be used as a background for marking up and highlighting specific features.
WRC Welcomes Tim Peterson as Summer GIS Employee
If you someone wearing an safety vest and stretching rubber tubes across a road, attaching a small box to a post, standing next to a road sign with a tablet in hand, or measuring a bridge, say “hello!” There’s a good chance it’s Tim Peterson, WRC’s GIS summer employee.
Sale of TransCanada Hydropower Facilities on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers, updated 6/9
When TransCanada announced its intent to sell its holdings in New England, including its holdings on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers, we understood this was an important issue for 12 of our 27 towns where TransCanada owns property and has flowage rights: Brattleboro, Dummerston, Putney, Readsboro, Rockingham, Searsburg, Somerset, Stratton, Westminster, Whitingham, Wilmington and Vernon.
Collaborative Effort MovesRoute 30 Multi-Modal Gateway Study Forward
The following link provides access to up-to-date meeting notes from the Technical Advisory Committee and the Local Advisory Committee; as well as the existing conditions report. www.placesense.com/gateway
Windham Regional Commission Receives $400,000 in Brownfields Assessment Funds
At an event on Friday, May 20th, at a former brownfield site in Burlington, Vermont, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced that Windham Regional Commission will receive $400,000 in funding to continue its successful Brownfields Assessment program. This announcement was made as part of the national announcement of the selection of 218 new grant investments totaling $55.2 million to 131 communities across the U.S. Recipients will receive Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grants.
WRC Releases Region-wide maps of Undeveloped Waters
The Windham Regional Commission has released a set of maps showing the status of undeveloped streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds across the entire Windham Region. These maps are culmination of work over the past five years, and bring together the results of three separate projects to identify undeveloped waters in the Region and classify them as to their conservation status and town plan land use district.
Parcel Data Updates Available for Region Towns
Towns in the Windham Region continue to update their parcel data, and WRC has been collecting that data to make it available to the public. With more towns updating their parcel data and tax maps on a regular basis, residents, professionals, and local and state officials have better access to information they need to live and work.
MOOver's Ribbon Cutting for Its New Home!
The MOOver division of Southeast Vermont Transit (formerly Deerfield Valley Transit Association) marked the grand opening of the new transportation facility on November 17, 2015. The Wilmington facility opened in stages, with the final landscaping, paving, and site work completed in late October. The last section of the Riverwalk connecting downtown Wilmington to Lake Whitingham on the MOOver's property was completed October 29th as part of this project.