January Newsletter

Posted on January 3rd, 2022 to Uncategorized

The ACRPC Newsletter contains Addison County announcements, events, grants, and trainings for the upcoming month. Please contact [email protected] with questions.

ACRPC Update

The Towns of Vergennes and Orwell have been awarded 2022 municipal planning grants (MPGs) in the latest round of this program. MPGs are funded by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development The ACRPC staff will serve as a consultant for these communities throughout their grant project. 

Public Art Corridor Plan for Vergennes

The development of a Public Art Corridor Plan for Vergennes will underscore   the importance of balancing City-initiated projects with the efforts of individuals, neighborhood groups, local businesses and others seeking to enhance the public realm. The physical and community goals for this project are to:

  • Strengthen pedestrian connection between the historic downtown and the Route 7 ‘gateway’ into Vergennes.
  • Bring new vibrancy to public spaces.
  • Increase walkability in the downtown on Main between Park Street and Water Street to support brick and mortar retail and dining. 
  • Create new opportunities for local and emerging artists to participate, learn and connect with our community.
  • Increase opportunities for public private partnerships. 
  • Celebrate Otter Creek and raise awareness of water as a vital natural resource.

Vergennes will engage regional artists of all disciplines, to use their creativity to address issues related to the environment, community health, cultural diversity, youth development, and attracting tourists.

Orwell Town Plan update,  including a Village Center and Town Green plan section:

Through the process of updating their municipal plan, in order to meet the current State requirements,Orwell intends to create a plan section focused on the historic village center including the town green and surrounding neighborhood.

The goals, objectives and tasks developed for this section will support future plans and improvements to this area, in particular the development of a master plan for the historic green and improved pedestrian and bicycle access within the village. 

In addition to the projects supported by the ACRPC, Middlebury has been awarded funds through the Municipal Planning Grant to develop a Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Plan that provides a vision for improving safety, capacity, and efficiency of the non-vehicular components of the transportation network. For more information, contact Jennifer Murray, [email protected] Municipal planning grants are awarded yearly. For more information CLICK HERE. If your town would like to apply for a municipal planning grant in the future, please contact Katie at [email protected]

Events

January Calendar

DateTimeMeeting
January 12th7:00 pmACRPC Full Commission Meeting
January 19th6:30 pmTAC Meeting
January 20th7:00 pmACSWMD Meeting
January 26th5:00 pmCommunity wastewater Solutions Virtual Presentation
January 26th6:30 pmACRPC Executive Meeting

This newsletter is financed through the State of Vermont Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the State of Vermont. All programs of the Addison County Regional Planning Commission are ADA accessible.

Announcements

Town of New Haven Train Depot Move

There is a scheduled Town of New Haven Train Depot building move/lane reduction/Road Closure & detour at US 7 & VT 17 in New Haven Jan. 11th ~ Jan. 12th 2022.

Starting January 11th from 1-3 PM there will be a lane reduction on US 7 at MM 5.44 at what is also referred as “New Haven Jct.”, to remove a RR mast arm in preparation for the New Haven Train Depot building move (Photo One below).

On January 12th at 3AM – until 6 AM, US 7 will be closed. There will be a Detour in place with PCMS (message boards)  advising of the closure and detour in both Vergennes using VT 22A SB or VT 17 WB, and in Middlebury on US 7 NB, advising using VT 125 WB to VT 22A NB to US 7 in Vergennes or using VT 116 NB if heading towards Bristol. (This may only take one hour, then re-install RR mast arm).

During the project/move, there will be UTO’s on site, as well as certified flaggers/ MUTCD compliant detour and signage, PCMS’s, lighted work zone and flagging stations.

This move is weather dependent and will have an alternate rain/snow date of Jan.14th. VT DMV, VTrans, VRS (rail), ADA, and the Town of New Haven have all been coordinating on this project.

ACRPC Seeks Municipal Candidates for Otter Creek Basin Water Quality Council

ACRPC, the Clean Water Service Provider (CWSP) for the Otter Creek basin, is conducting outreach efforts to municipalities. We are seeking candidates who wish to represent municipalities on the Basin Water Quality Council (BWQC). There are 54 municipalities in the Otter Creek Basin. Two (2) candidates will be selected to represent municipalities.

Please complete the application (LINK) and submit to ACRPC no later than January 17, 2021. Contact Mike Winslow ([email protected]) if you would like more information. ACRPC will be hosting an informational session for watershed stakeholders in the coming weeks to provide additional information on the BWQC and CWSP start up process.

Save the Date! – Walk Bike Summit

In partnership with Vermont Agency of Transportation, and along with a number of other participating organizations and sponsors, the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, in concert with the Walk-Bike Council of Addison County will host the statewide Vermont Walk/Bike Summit at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, VT on May 6, 2022. Find out more on their website HERE

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Offering Funding for Projects That Reduce Diesel Emissions 

The DEC has developed the Vermont Diesel Emissions Reduction Financial Assistance Program, which provides technical assistance and incentive funding for these projects that reduce emissions from diesel-powered vehicles, engines, and equipment. Do you have a project in mind that could benefit from this funding? Learn more about the program here and below.

State of Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan and Climate Action Plan

The Vermont Public Service Department recently released the Draft 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), which was followed by the Initial Climate Action Plan (CAP) developed by the Vermont Climate Council. The CAP is currently receiving public comment through THIS ONLINE FORM.

Both plans are important to Vermont’s energy and climate future and will impact the work of state agencies, regional planning commissions, and municipalities. ACRPC is currently providing comments on these plans and identifying priority actions from the plans that can be implemented at the regional level. Additionally, the RPC is supporting the Climate Economy Action Center in the development of an Addison County Climate Action Plan. More information is available below. Questions and comments about the CEP, CAP, or regional CAP can be directed to ACRPC’s energy planner, Maddison Shropshire at [email protected].

Climate Economy Action Center Update

The Climate Economy Action Center (CEAC) works with partners to promote a healthy, sustainable, post fossil-fuel local economy. Our mission is to achieve deep reductions in local greenhouse gas emissions as a result of community awareness and actions. To that end, we have completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Addison County and are currently working on developing a Climate Action Plan. CEAC will be hosting a community discussion on the draft Climate Action Plan in early 2022. We are currently advertising for professional public engagement and communications services related to the Climate Action Plan process and would appreciate any help you can offer to help spread the word to your networks.

Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies Annual Report

You can get a sense of the work being done by RPCs around Vermont by viewing this online storymap: 2021 Vermont Regional Planning Commissions (arcgis.com)

Grants and Funding

Communities Caring for Canopy Grants

Grants act as seed funding to help communities care for their publicly managed trees and forests by taking the necessary actions to develop and sustain a community-wide tree program.

Available Funding: The minimum funding for proposals is $1,000 and the maximum funding for proposals is $5,000.

Apply by: January 7th, 2022

For more information Click Here  

Small Grants for Smart Growth Special $5k Grant

VNRC’s Small Grants for Smart Growth program is back with a special round of seed funding: To support the ability of communities to implement the smart growth recommendations included in the recently released Vermont Climate Action Plan, *Small Grants for Smart Growth is offering one larger grant of $5,000 in a competitive grant round for affordable housing, sustainable transportation, or climate resilience/adaptation* solutions that meet smart growth criteria.

Applications are due January 17th, 2022. Applications for awards of up to

$1,500 will still be accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more below

VHCB Housing Funding

VHCB invites applications for the new housing funding according to the following schedule for upcoming information sessions, application deadlines and board meeting dates over the next several months.

Application Due Date: February 25, 2022 for May 13 consideration

Contact Jenny Hyslop, VHCB Housing Director, (802) 828-5539, [email protected], https://www.vhcb.org/our-programs/housing/arpa-sfr

1772 Foundation Grants

In cooperation with the Preservation Trust of Vermont, the 1772 Foundation has announced that funding in the form of 1:1 matching grants of $5,000 – 10,000 will be made available for historic preservation projects in Vermont.

For more information CLICK HERE. Submit questions to [email protected] with 1772 Foundation in the subject line. 

Letters of inquiry are due by February 1st and should be submitted HERE.

New Funding Through Downtown Transportation Fund

The Downtown Transportation Fund (DTF) has available approximately $2,900,000 to help municipalities make a variety of transportation-related capital improvements (within or serving eligible designated downtown or village center districts and supporting economic development, as allowed by 24 V.S.A. §2796 (c) pursuant to §B.1103(a)(1) & §G300(b)(8) The DTF is intended to support safe, multi-modal and resilient transportation systems that supports the downtown and village center economic development and revitalization efforts.

DTF projects may apply for $20,000 to $140,000 of “add on” clean water funding for eligible storm water implementation projects.  The Clean Water Initiative will provide additional funds for DTF projects to implement stormwater management practices that help control flooding, reduce erosion, and improve water quality. The project must primarily mitigate nutrient or sediment pollution. 

Application Deadline: March 7, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m. 

For more information CLICK HERE

Please contact Gary Holloway, the Downtown Program Manager at 802-522-2444 if you have questions or need assistance with the DTF application.  It is strongly encouraged to set up a pre-application meeting to discuss project ideas.

Tools and Training

Upcoming VLCT Webinars and Workshops

  • ARPA And Your Town: Getting Involved and Maximizing the Opportunity. Join us on January 14th at 10:30am for a conversation with Katie Buckley, ARPA Director from the Vermont League of Cities & Towns & other local leaders. This online workshop is designed to help interested Vermonters understand the parameters for spending ARPA funds and will include tips on how to most effectively work with other community members, potential partners, and the municipality to achieve desired outcomes. Here is the link to register
  • The Town Meeting Warning: The Town Meeting Warning is the most important document to ensure a successful town meeting. During this session, January 19, 2022 10:00 am, Municipal Assistance Center attorney Carl Andeer will review our model warnings and articles and respond to questions. LINK
  • Town Meeting Tune-Up: Join us, February 10, 2022 10:00 am, for our annual Town Meeting Tune-Up! Ed Chase, Westford Town Moderator will deconstruct the annual town meeting process step by step. LINK

Addison County Racial Equity Learning Community Meeting 

The Addison County Racial Equity Learning Community has been working collaboratively for over a year to create a network of service providers who engage in anti-racist dialogue, examination, learning, and introspection in order to achieve this goal. This year, we have partnered with Tabitha Moore, principal consultant at Intentional Evolution, as our next step toward equitable service provision.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 8:30am – 10:30am

WHERE: Zoom – register here

Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program

Digital Access: Key Elements for Inclusion of Disabled People

Inclusive Arts Vermont has partnered with the Vermont Arts Council to offer a series of workshops on improving digital access to arts programming for the inclusion of disabled people. Truly accessible and inclusive programming requires specific skills and preparation, and these workshops will cover a variety of essential topics including disability etiquette, creating alt text, accessible web design and social media, graphic design and marketing practices, and more. 

There are nine workshops altogether. All workshops will be held on the first Tuesday of the month, through July 2022. Recordings will be posted on our website after the event. Learn more and register here.

Online Forest Pest First Detector Course: For the Birds

This winter 2022 online Forest Pest First Detectors course will train participants to identify the signs and symptoms of common forest invasive pests of concern: emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and Asian longhorned beetle, spotted lanternfly and tree-of-heaven; jumping worms, oak wilt, and beech leaf disease.

The course is free and self-paced. For this special version of the course, we are partnering with birder organizations, such as Vermont Audubon, on a new unit exploring the relationship between invasive insects, forest health and bird populations. Tentative course dates are February 21st – April 15th and the course will include three live webinars and three optional field trips. Sign up here to indicate interest and receive notification when registration opens.


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