ACRPC SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

Posted on September 9th, 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 Welcomes New GIS Planner, Hannah Andrew

Hannah joins the ACRPC after most recently working for a ranch in Southern Colorado as a forester. Prior to that, Hannah received her Juris Doctor and Master of Forestry degrees from Vermont Law School and Yale University. She first became interested in GIS while working as an ecological researcher for the Audubon Society. Since then, she has continued to incorporate GIS tools into a wide range of projects across environmental law, forestry, water quality, climate change, and community decision making. She is excited to meet and support the needs of all the stakeholders in the Region. 

September is Preparedness Month!

In addition to building a Kit and making a Plan, there are many other things YOUR MUNICIPALITY can do- First, appoint an Emergency Management Director or Coordinator (if you don’t already have one). Second, participate in the Regional Emergency Management Committee! Take a look at your Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and see if it needs to be updated, or has identified projects that can be implemented. And finally, this is a great time to fund some of the projects your community listed as priorities! There are several upcoming grants, including: 

  • Flood Resilient Communities Fund 
  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance
  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
  • State Homeland Security Grant Program

For more information, see the detailed information later in this newsletter, or contact Andrew L’Roe, ACRPC Emergency Management Planner ([email protected], 802-388-3141 x3)

September Calendar

DateTimeMeeting
September 14th7:00 PMFull Commission Meeting
September 15th7:00 PMACSWMD Meeting
September 21st6:30 PMTAC Meeting
September 28th6:30 PMACRPC Executive Board Meeting
October 4th 6:30 PMEnergy Committee 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

Thank you Field Days Volunteers!

In August, the ACRPC Energy Committee ran a booth during Addison County Fair and Field Days. We hosted several energy and climate related organizations including Green Saving Smart of CVOEO, the Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County, and Efficiency Vermont. Committee members and representatives spoke to over 250 visitors of the fair to answer questions about how they can become more efficient in their home, participate in local energy initiatives, and take advantage of the rebates and programs available to them. If you or your community would like to get involved and learn more about energy saving opportunities, contact our energy planner, Maddison Shropshire [email protected]

2022 Early Childhood Family Needs Assessment Survey

The Building Bright Futures’ Families and Communities Committee has officially launched their 2022 Early Childhood Family Needs Assessment! This anonymous survey is open and we are asking Vermonters who are the primary caretakers for children under 9 years old to complete it. If you are the primary caretaker of a young child, please complete the survey now!

Efficiency VT Kicks off Button Up Weatherization Campaign

Last week, Efficiency VT officially kicked off the 2022 Button-up Season, asking communities to help them educate residents on the importance of weatherization and the opportunities to save on the change. You can watch a recording of the webinar and access the presentation slides here. Interested in being a Button Up community? Sign up here!  For more information contact ACRPC’s Energy Planner, Maddison Shropshire [email protected]

Help Conduct a Home Heating Survey 

The Addison County Climate Economy Action Center is helping Middlebury College’s Sustainability Solutions Lab survey local residents about their thoughts on home heating in order to understand what it takes for households to reduce energy consumption and switch away from fossil fuels. The project needs volunteers to help in September and October. The time commitment would be two full days. 

Learn more and volunteer: here

Participate in the Vermont Extreme Heat Survey and Enter to Win!

The UVM TRC invites you to participate in a brief survey about how people in Vermont perceive and respond to extreme heat. The information you provide will help identify opportunities to reduce the health risks associated with extreme heat for all Vermonters. As a thank you, participants can enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card at the end of the survey. Click this link to participate!

Governor Awards Addison County Towns Funds for Community Development

Governor PhilScott and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced awards of over $2 million in Downtown Transportation Fund (DTF) grants to support 15 projects in Designated Downtowns and eligible Designated Village Centers. Two awards were granted in Addison County:

  • Town of Bristol, Basin Street Streetscape Improvements; $200,000 Basin Street improvements include the repair of the retaining walls and reconstruction of the streetscape and storm drain system along Main Street. The repairs will reduce erosion and improve water quality. Approximately 170 feet of sidewalk and 300 feet of guardrail will also be replaced to improve pedestrian access and safety.  
  • City of Vergennes, Downtown and Basin Wayfinding Signage Installation; $79,760 Grant funding will implement a new wayfinding plan, a key recommendation in the Downtown-Basin Master Plan. The new signage will help visitors to navigate the downtown and basin areas while marketing the unique identity of Vergennes. 

Hear From CVOEO’s New Assistant Director for Addison Co.

The Full Stop …

My name is Mark Demers. I began my work as the Associate Director of Addison Community Action on July 25. On my early morning commute to work one day I joined other groggy drivers making their way South on Route 7. We were navigating the maze of traffic lights and, perhaps because we hadn’t finished that first cup of coffee, it was close to three minutes before I realized I had been stopped at a red light for an unusually long time. Other drivers around me were beginning to wake up to the fact that we should have had a green light before now. Some were slowly inching forward in hopeful anticipation of a light change.

How much “hold” does a red light have on us? And what do you do if it never turns green?   

Later that day I encountered another dilemma. A client called: “My electricity is shut off!” It was a full stop. There was no inching forward in this situation.

When the power outage is the result of a storm we usually expect the inconvenience to last no more than a couple hours. We take out candles, light the fireplace and munch on peanut butter sandwiches. But when you can’t pay the bill it’s a different story. In my first month on this job we have had several calls to Addison Community Action from people in this situation – as potentially dangerous as it is frustrating.

Back to the red light – After five minutes it was obvious the light wasn’t going to change any time soon. Cautiously, watching for oncoming traffic turning into the intersection, each car made its way through the intersection one at a time, inching slowly, lawbreakers all!

At Addison Community Action we work with clients who face a “full stop” – whether it is a lack of food, the need for fuel assistance, or help with signing up for some badly needed service. We walk with people as they inch forward toward a more realistic budget, a warmer home or signing on to the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP). Some of the “red lights” we encounter in life are of our own making; others are a matter of circumstance. We help people deal with issues they can control and to navigate the situations they can’t. We call it “Bridging Gaps – Building Futures”. 

You can help us by learning what Addison Community Action and CVOEO have to offer. From Weatherization services to our Financial Futures program, from our food shelf to housing advocacy, tax preparation and fuel assistance, I am happy to tell you about it. It can be a five-minute phone conversation, or a 15 minute presentation at one of your meetings. Would you consider becoming a VITA Volunteer to assist with tax preparation? Contact me at [email protected] or call me – 802-388-2285.

I look forward to learning from and working with my colleagues here and with partner agencies, town governments and local businesses and faith communities throughout the county. Helping people who are stopped and stuck to get moving again is a noble goal; with your support we turn that noble goal into a working plan!

My best to you.

Mark

Grants

Transportation

VTrans Municipal Highway and Stormwater Mitigation Grant

In a commitment to improving the quality of state waters and providing funding to municipalities to assist in their efforts, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is pleased to announce the municipal highway and stormwater mitigation funding opportunity. The grants are currently open with applications due October 7th.  These funds are good for large scale projects (up-scaling culverts, salt sheds) or scoping studies to develop budgets for such projects. They’re federal funds so projects take on average five years to develop. If your community would like help in developing an application, or if you’d like to discuss a potential project, please get in touch with our Transportation Planner, Mike Winslow [email protected] 

Community Change Grants

Applications for Community Change Grants open in the fall and are awarded for the full calendar year following. The number of grants awarded varies each year, depending on available funds.The Community Change Grants program supports the growing network of advocates, organizations, and agencies working to advance walkability. Grants are awarded to innovative, engaging, and inclusive programs and projects that create change and opportunity for walking and movement at the community level. 

Learn more: here. | Open: Sept 15th | Due: Sept 30th

Community 

Zoning Bylaw Modernization Grants for New Homes and ‘Great Neighborhoods’

$650,000 in special grants to update zoning for needed homes in great neighborhoods. Municipalities interested in this special funding to update bylaws, implement Zoning for Great Neighborhoods, and expand housing choice and opportunity in pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods should contact Katie Raycroft-Meyer [email protected]
Learn more: here | Due: November 1, 2022

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.

Vermont Community Development Grants

The Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) assists communities on a competitive basis by providing financial and technical assistance to identify and address local needs in the areas of housing, economic development, public facilities, public services, handicapped accessibility and modification planning. 

Learn more: Here | Due: Rolling basis

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.

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

Hospitality HVAC Assistance Program

The Vermont Public Service Department is seeking proposals for the Hospitality HVAC Assistance Program. This program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), offers relief to businesses in the hospitality, tourism, and travel services industry that were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Request for Proposals (RFP) has the full program details. Questions regarding the RFP are due October 7, 2022 and will be answered and posted on this webpage by October 11, 2022. Proposals must be received by the PSD no later than November 7, 2022.

Energy

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]

Climate Catalysts Innovation Fund

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announces the opening of applications for the second competitive round of the Climate Catalysts Innovation Fund. Award amounts range from $500 – $4,000 and will be awarded based on demonstrating a mix of innovation, collaboration, replicability, while also addressing Vermonters in need. Eligible applicants are municipalities, town committees, schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Learn More: Here | Due: September 18th, 2022

** New Energy Efficiency Rebates and Incentives Available **

Contact Maddison Shropshire for more information, [email protected]

  • EVs – tax credits and incentives are changing! Stay in the know by checking the Drive Electric VT website.
  • E-bikes – Vermont incentives have increased! Learn more here.

Clean Water

Clean Water and Healthy Ecosystems RFP

LCBP seeks proposals for projects that would directly support the Clean Water and Healthy Ecosystems goals of Opportunities for Action: An evolving plan for the future of the Lake Champlain Basin through on-the-ground implementation of water quality and habitat improvement, project planning and prioritization, and aquatic invasive species spread prevention measures.

Learn More: Here 

Clean Water Proposals Due: Oct, 12th | Healthy Ecosystems Proposals Due: Nov, 9th

Lake Champlain Basin Program to Fund Projects that Preserve and Interpret Cultural Heritage

The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) seeks pre-proposals for projects and programs to protect, restore, interpret, and showcase the historical resources and cultural heritage of the Champlain Valley, the Lake Champlain Basin, and the Adirondack Park.  Grants up to $40,000 will serve the CVNHP Conservation & Community Interpretive Theme to encourage multi-jurisdictional, or regional projects that interpret, highlight, and support the objectives of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) Program associated with the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Region and support the CVNHP Management Plan. Smaller grants up to $9,000 will also support the interpretive theme; or provide internships, museum collection improvements, and focus on local history in 2024. After review of the submitted pre-proposals, a subset of applicants will be asked to submit a full proposal later in Fall 2022 for funding consideration for projects to begin on or after October 1, 2023. The grant awards will be announced in April 2023.

Learn More: Here | Due: October 9th, 2022

Natural Resources

Communities Caring for Canopy Grant

Communities Caring for Canopy grants provide seed funding to help communities develop and sustain community-wide programs for trees and forests in public places and right-of-ways. These grants allow for multiple program components to be merged into one grant application. $30,000 is available in grants ranging from $1,000 – $5,000.

Growing Urban Forests Grant

Growing Urban Forests in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer Grants offer support to communities seeking financial assistance for tree planting and reforestation efforts in consideration of the impact of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) on all species of native ash trees.  $80,000 is available in grants ranging $3,000 – $20,000. Eligibility aligns with the VT Department of Housing and Community Development’s state designation programs

Emergency Preparedness

Contact Andrew L’Roe with any questions about the grant opportunities below [email protected]

State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)

For authorized municipal equipment. Special focus on Cybersecurity.

https://hsu.vermont.gov/homeland-security-unit/funding-opportunities

Additional money this Fall 2022, and round of applications due in January 2023.

Hazard Mitigation Grants 

Learn more here: https://vem.vermont.gov/funding/mitigation

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)

Mitigation of local roads and bridges, home acquisitions, structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, mitigation outreach and education. Under this round, projects will be eligible to receive a 90% federal cost share, requiring only a 10% local match (reduced from 25% local match). Additional money for Benefit-Cost Analyses (BCA) for projects that are already designed. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a state application deadline on September 30, 2022.

Flood Resilient Communities Fund (FRCF)

Reducing the future public safety and water quality impacts of climate-related flood hazards, focusing on buyouts of flood-vulnerable properties. 

Next Round of applications due October 28, 2022, and another in March 2023.

Learn More: HERE

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

Grant program to states and local communities for mitigation activities.

Next Round of applications due December, 2022.

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)

To reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures.

Includes Community Flood mitigation projects to reduce future NFIP flood claims.

Next Round of applications due December, 2022.

Tools and Trainings

Emergency Management

2022 Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference: September 20 & 21

The 2022 Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference schedule of events is now available! Those attending in person will have access to all 31 sessions, and those attending virtually will have access to a single track of 11 sessions. Please consider joining us on September 20th and 21st , either in-person at Killington Grand Resort or virtually through Microsoft Teams. If you would like to attend either in person or virtually, please make sure to Register to attend the 2022 Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference!

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 Maddison Shropshire: [email protected] for more information.

Energy Action Network Summit: September 22nd.

The EAN 2022 Network Summit will be on September 22, 2022 at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Alumni Hall, at 45 College Street, Montpelier. The event will begin at 9am, with all attendees invited to stay through a reception and dinner.

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.

Save the Date: Renewable Energy Vermont Conference October 27 & 28

Now in its 20th year, the annual Renewable Energy Vermont Conference & Expo is returning to an in-person format this October 27 & 28 in Burlington, VT. Join the hundreds of business leaders, policy-makers, activists, and visionaries at REV2022 to discuss how to realize our 100% fossil free future. For questions, please email Kit Price at [email protected]

Changes to Vermont’s Wood Heating Air Pollution Regulations

The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has filed amendments to Vermont’s Air Pollution Control Regulations regarding heating with wood. The rule changes have been filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. ANR will be hosting a public meeting on the proposed amendments on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 1:00pm online and in-person in the Catamount Room at 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier. The Microsoft Teams link for the meeting is below. The public comment period is open until September 27, 2022 and you may direct your comments  or questions to Rachel Stevens and John Wakefield. You can follow the process on the Secretary of State’s website and find the rulemaking package on the AQCD website.

Community

September is Vermont’s 27th Archaeology Month

Vermont Archaeology Month exceeds its mission by enhancing our understanding of Vermont’s human past through stewardship, education, research, public outreach, and volunteer programs. Please check out our Facebook page or our website for the full list of events and how you can participate. We look forward to seeing you!

Grants Management Symposium Date Change

Save the date on Thursday, December 8, 2022, for the Vermont Community Development Program’s Grants Management Symposium. Events will be held all day at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier, Vermont.

Equity

VLCT Announces New Equity Resources for Municipalities

The VLCT Municipal Equity Toolkit is a ten-part online resource that covers everything from creating a municipal equity committee to building a framework and action plan to listing equity-related books, podcasts, and videos. It is free and available to all VLCT members and the public at vlct.org/JDEIB-resources. VLCT’s equity consultants, Nikki Fuller Esq-SHRM-SCP of Workplace Matters and Dr. Wanda Heading Grant, helped create the toolkit in collaboration with the VLCT Equity committee and with the support of a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. The toolkit includes resources for both internally focused equity efforts (ensuring a community is a model employer) and external equity resources (ensuring the community itself is a welcoming place to all). More information and resources on equity can also be found through the State of Vermont Office of Racial Equity.

2022 Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference: October 1st

The 25th annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference is a free event hosted by Senator Patrick Leahy. The conference will feature keynote speaker, Janet Yellen, and a variety of workshops on skill development, financial planning and more. Agenda and registration.

Natural Resources

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Community Wildlife Program
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Community Wildlife Program is proud to announce the schedule for our Fall educational series of webinars and training. This year we have five new topics planned and will be offering several sessions of each. Look at our schedule and register here: https://anr.vermont.gov/content/trainings.

Trainings: In addition to our webinar series, we’re also offering two trainings online this fall, Environmental Leadership Training (ELT) Unit 1; From Science to Planning and ELT Unit 2; From Planning to Action. We will be diving into the intricacies of natural resource planning through exciting hands-on activities, role playing, and engaging presentations all aimed at helping you become a leader in your community. Each training involves attending three live sessions (held online) and a bit of homework between sessions to explore additional tools. We will also engage with a few web tools (like BioFinder) to expand your technical skills for planning within your community. See Trainings here: https://anr.vermont.gov/content/trainings#Trainings to learn more.

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