ACRPC July Newsletter

Posted on July 11th, 2022 to Uncategorized

The ACRPC Newsletter contains Addison County announcements, events, grants, and training for the upcoming month.  Click below to see this newsletter and other resources on our website. Please contact Maddison Shropshire with questions, [email protected]                          

ACRPC Update

I hear the Train a Comin’!

The Amtrak Ethan Allen Express passenger train will begin an expanded passenger rail run to Burlington, Vergennes and Middlebury on Friday, July 29! The municipalities of Addison County have done an immense amount of work to prepare for the train’s arrival: Middlebury put the finishing touches on a multi-year, $75 million downtown rail tunnel project this spring and built a new 300-foot passenger rail platform between Seymour Street and the Marble Works complex.

Vergennes will be served by a newly remodeled train depot and new platform at the Ferrisburgh Park and Ride lot off Route 22A, near Route 7. New Haven moved its historic train depot from Route 7 to its new location near the town offices.Over a hundred first responders also participated in emergency response training last Fall and this Spring. Many individual citizens and organizations have taken part in events and preparations for the train service and infrastructure. ACRPC would like to thank everyone that has been involved in the preparation efforts. 

The Ethan Allen Express will run from New York City to Burlington, with one round trip a day, seven days a week. There will be celebratory events at the Vergennes/Ferrisburgh and Middlebury stations on the July 29 opening date. Tickets can be purchased on the Amtrak website and there will be some special early deals, including 50% of tickets purchased in the first week for use before Labor Day, and $1 fares for trips within Vermont on the first day.

More information about scheduling and route features can be found here: https://www.amtrak.com/routes/ethan-allen-express-train.html

Events

July Calendar

DateTimeMeeting
July 5th6:30 PMEnergy Committee Meeting
July 13th7:00 PMFull Commission Meeting
July 21st7:00 PMACSWMD Meeting
July 27th6:30 PMACRPC Executive Board 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

ACRPC Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you to our planning commissioners for joining our annual meeting. We enjoyed a great presentation from our speaker, Ross Conrad, on the history of beekeeping in Vermont, Addison County’s key role in this history, and how beekeeping has changed over the years in response to economic, cultural and environmental changes. 

Wendy Sue Harper was recognized with the Bertha Hanson Distinguished Service Award in sincere appreciation for her dedication, leadership, and commitment on behalf of the Town of Monkton and the County of Addison. 

COVID-19 VACCINES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5 

On June 18, the CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccines for all children ages 6 months through 5 years. This follows the Food and Drug Administration’s independent expert committee review of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine clinical trial data and their recommendation of both vaccines for authorization. Read more about CDC’s recommendation. Vaccines will be available for Vermont’s youngest children soon. Most vaccines for this age group will be given at pediatricians’ offices and other health care practices. There will also be limited availability at pharmacies or pop-up-type clinics. See Health Department Clinics.

Vermont Wetlands Program requests feedback on Draft Inventory Updates 

Vermont Wetlands Program has posted Draft Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory (VSWI) updates and associated materials on their website. The Vermont Wetlands Program is requesting feedback before July. The updated VSWI map is intended to clarify the location of existing significant wetlands and provide better predictability for landowners. The interactive draft VSWI map allows the public to comment on specific proposed wetland mapping. Find out if you might have a wetland on your property with this simple Wetland Screening Tool. Contact your District Wetlands Ecologist if you are proposing construction activities near a wetland regardless of whether it is mapped or not. Not all protected wetlands are mapped. Find your District Wetlands Ecologist on this contact page

Provide your feedback before July for consideration prior to the Vermont Wetlands Program starting the formal Rulemaking process (which includes another comment period). You may provide feedback through the interactive map or comment form. Questions? Feel free to contact the Vermont Wetlands Program if you have any questions at [email protected].

Save the Date! Vermont Community Leadership Summit 

The Vermont Council on Rural Development has announced their 2022 Vermont Community Leadership Summit! The event will take place on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont. The Summit agenda will include skills workshops, networking opportunities, community project panels, and forum discussions. Speakers and participants will represent the full diversity of Vermont community members and leaders including youth, municipal leaders, community organizers and volunteers, people with lived experience with critical challenges facing our communities, experts and technical assistance providers, regional leaders, and more. Learn more at https://www.vtrural.org/Summit22 

Brownfield Sites Sought for Assessment 

Do you own or want to develop properties in Addison County but think they might have  environmental contaminants from previous activities? These types of properties might include old gas stations, auto repair shops, dry cleaners, landfills, junkyards, industrial buildings, or vacant sites where any of these used to be. These Brownfields are properties which have, or could potentially have, hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. These can significantly complicate the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of these properties, so ACRPC is working to identify sites so that we can work with interested parties to assess and remediate them. If you have site suggestions or plans to purchase one, please contact ACRPC planner, Andrew L’Roe ([email protected]).

Grants and Funding

Transportation


Park-and-Ride Grant

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is soliciting proposals for the improvements of small Park-and-Ride Facilities in Vermont communities.  If your community has an interest in developing a Park-and-Ride Facility and would like to receive a grant to do so, please fill out the application online at the address below and submit it electronically prior to September 2, 2022.  Communities that were unsuccessful in the past are encouraged to reapply. Developed plans are not necessary. A scoring process is used to determine which towns will receive funding. Additional grant and development information will be provided to interested communities who have submitted applications. You can find the application and information on-line at the following web site:http://vtrans.vermont.gov/highway/parkandrides

Visit the Vermont Park-and-Ride web site at: http://parkandrides.vermont.gov/.  If you have any questions, contact [email protected]

Community 


VCF Equitable and Inclusive Communities grant 

The Vermont Community Foundation is seeking proposals from Vermont villages, towns, and cities that close the opportunity gap by supporting local efforts to foster inclusion and belonging for people of all races and backgrounds. The Foundation offers grants of up to $10,000 to fund projects that generate a greater sense of community and equity education in town. Communities interested in the different ways a city, town, or village can engage in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion can review the Vermont Local Solutions and Community Action Team’s “Municipal Engagement for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” for information and inspiration. Another resource showing how towns can undertake this work can be found in the Declaration of Inclusion Implementation Guide, part of the Declaration of Inclusion initiative. Funding is not limited to these activities.

Learn more: Here | Due: rolling basis until funds are used

FY2023 Building Communities Grants Funded

The Building Communities Grants Program has been funded for FY2023 and with increased funding! This program, administered by BGS, includes the following:

  • 1) $300,000.00 – Recreational Facilities Grant Program
  • 2) $300,000,00 – Regional Economic Development Grant Program
  • 3) $150,000.00 – Human Services Facilities Grant Program
  • 4) $150,000.00 – Educational Facilities Grant Program

These grants are for construction and capital improvements to support and strengthen Vermont towns and regions. Information available on the Department of Buildings and General Services website. 

Learn more: here | Due: September 10, 2022.

Dairy Processor Innovation Grant

This grant will fund a wide range of projects. Projects may address improvements in topics such as: sourcing, product development, transportation/distribution, marketing/supply chain, operations, employee welfare, consumer experience, utilization of materials or systems that reduce carbon footprint, and beyond.  

Learn more: Here  |  Due: August, 2022

Historic New England grants

Historic New England annually awards grants to one small to medium-sized nonprofit organization in each New England state to support projects that save and share their communities’ diverse history and culture as part of telling the whole story of New England. In 2022, six Community Preservation Grants of $1,250 each will be awarded.

APPLY NOW! Deadline is JULY 8, 5 PM | Learn more about the program

Energy


GreenSavingSmart Program

Reaching Energy Equity Goals with GreenSavingSmart – GreenSavingSmart is a new service administered by Vermont’s five community action agencies that connects financial coaching with energy savings for low- and moderate-income Vermonters to ensure a cleaner, greener Vermont. Learn all about this initiative here. And, if you missed VECAN’s March 2nd webinar about this program, you can watch the recording here. Contact ACRPC’s energy planner to get the recording of the Addison County discussion with 

Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Station Loan Program

Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Station loans are available for any for profit or not-for-profit business, municipality, or individual owning or leasing a business property to an otherwise eligible business and installing a new EV Charging station(s). These include individuals, sole proprietors, LLCs, corporations, cooperatives, not-for-profit, and municipalities.

Learn more: Here | Contact Maddison Shropshire: [email protected]

Clean Water


Forest Load Allocation Project: Developing Assessment and Planning Tools for Implementation of the Lake Champlain Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) requests proposals for the Forest Load Allocation Project. The goal of the project is to develop assessment and planning tools to implement the Lake Champlain Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the forest sector. There are two phases of this multi-year project. Phase 1 entails the development of project identification and prioritization methods. Phase 2 includes implementation of pilot projects and forestland Best Management Practices (BMPs), as well as partner technical training to utilize tools developed by the project. This work will guide future prioritization and implementation of forestland BMPs by Clean Water Service Providers (CWSPs) or other project practitioners in high priority basins (i.e., HUC-12 scale) to meet natural resource restoration targets as envisioned by Act 76 of 2019 (Clean Water Service Delivery Act). Please contact Joseph Le Clair at [email protected] with any questions.

Learn More: Request for Proposals | Due: July 11, 2022 4:00PM

Emergency Preparedness


Resilient Communities Fund Grants Available

The second round of Resilient Communities Fund grants will fund buyouts of flood-vulnerable homes, floodplain restoration, and other natural resource projects that will help protect life and property from future floods in Vermont. More than $2.1M in grants will go to towns and non-profit organizations in round two of the program. The second round of Resilient Communities Fund grants were awarded fund buyouts of flood-vulnerable homes, floodplain restoration, and other natural resource projects that will help protect life and property from future floods in Vermont. ACRPC received two awards for projects in the Region:

  • Addison County Regional Planning Commission ($81,900) – old bridge removal and restoration (Starksboro)
  • Addison County Regional Planning Commission ($31,500) – project scoping – Lewis Creek Reaches (Starksboro/Bristol)

A third round of funding is now open to applications due October 22nd. 

Learn More: HERE

Tools and Trainings

Energy


A Climate Report Card for Our Schools: Transportation – The latest edition of VTDigger’s Underground Workshop Climate Report Card series is spotlighting transportation – Vermont’s largest emissions sector. Check it out to learn about how students around Vermont are tackling reducing vehicle miles traveled, championing the switch to electric buses, and thinking big picture about Vermont’s transition away from fossil fuels. Read more here. 

Electrify Everything Home Action Plan – When we have to replace a car, a hot water heater, or a heating system, we lock ourselves into reliance on a fuel source for 10-20 years. Most of us will choose what is familiar, which will likely involve fossil fuels—​unless we have a plan and have done some research on clean energy options. An Electrify Everything Home Action Plan will help you focus your efforts and maximize the benefits. With yours, you can decide how to reduce your household emissions by 50% or more by 2030. Learn more here thanks to Norwich Energy Committee. 

Energy Efficiency and Historic Preservation Retreat October 11-12, 2022

Are you struggling to understand how best to weatherize your historic building? Retrofitting historic properties to improve energy efficiency, reduce heating costs and keep historic features intact is possible! Historic buildings were designed to be efficient and take advantage of the resources available at the time of construction – sunlight, airflow, water. This retreat will explore how best to approach energy retrofits to maximize the building’s inherent efficiencies and will share best practices that generally will not impact the historic character of your building.

Register | Registration Deadline: September 26 at 5 pm.

Community


Sustainability in Business Webinar

What does it take to be a sustainable business and why does it matter to your business? That’s the question Janice Shade, Evan Goldsmith, and Lauren Bass will answer during an interactive, one-hour webinar. Learn the basics behind the sustainable business movement, how to consider a sustainability strategy for your company, and how these efforts can have a positive impact on your bottom line. 

LOCATION: Zoom COSTS: Free for Chamber and ACEDC members  

REGISTER HERE or EMAIL at [email protected]

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. 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.

Water Quality


Target Setting for Water Quality Projects

VT DEC has developed a new Clean Water Service Provider Target Setting Primer! This training was created for Clean Water Service Providers (CWSP) and Basin Water Quality Councils. A PDF version of the presentation with the presenters’ notes is available for viewing: Clean Water Service Provider Target Setting Primer PDF

During this video, you will learn about Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) and the TMDL Implementation Plans for Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog in Vermont. Our presenters will also discuss the regulatory and non-regulatory actions needed to meet the Phase 3 phosphorus reduction targets. They will describe how non-regulatory targets are set, along with the funding to achieve them. Video Link: https://youtu.be/KSspAZRTqVU.  This video provides information that is foundational to CWSP and Basin Water Quality Council operations.  

Natural Resources


Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program

The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program will host two days of technical workshops for municipal staff actively managing trees in their communities. Vermont Local Roads Scholar credits available.

  • Safe Tree Removal Training for Municipal Staff is a hands-on workshop led by Montpelier City Arborist Adam McCullough focused on using ropes to safely guide trees to the ground while keeping workers out of the strike zone. Participants will leave with skills necessary to use this technique in their communities. The first six municipal registrants in each workshop will also receive a rope-throwing kit with the lines and throw weights needed to throw ropes with their crews. The workshop will be held in two locations – attendees should register for just one: 8am-noon on July 20th in Burlington OR 8am-noon on July 21st in Montpelier. Registration required; $25 for a single attendees, $40 for a team of two or more attendees from a single municipality. Vermont Local Roads Scholar credits available.
  • Tree Risk Evaluation Training for Municipal Staff and Volunteers focuses on common tree health conditions that should be factored into any assessment of tree risk in public places. Join Burlington City Arborist VJ Comai on July 20th from 1pm-4pm in Burlington OR State Forest Health Specialists Jim Esden and Savannah Ferreira on July 21st from 1pm-4pm in Montpelier. Registration required, free and open to tree wardens, municipal staff, or other active tree stewards. Vermont Local Roads Scholar credits available.

Questions? Contact Joanne Garton, VT UCF Technical Assistance Coordinator, [email protected] or (802) 249-4217.

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