ACRPC December 2022 Newsletter

Posted on December 7th, 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

$1 Million in Funding Available for Water Quality Projects 

The Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC), issued a request for proposals for projects that improve water quality in the Otter Creek, Lewis Creek, and Little Otter Creek watersheds across both Addison and Rutland Counties.  Non-regulatory water quality projects are eligible and encouraged to be submitted to ACRPC, in its role as the Clean Water Service (CWSP) Provider, and the Basin Water Quality Council. Funding can be provided to non-profit organizations, natural resource conservation districts, and municipalities. Projects not sponsored by ineligible groups possible via contracted services.

Projects must reduce the level of phosphorus entering waterways and depositing into Lake Champlain and will be primarily scored based on their cost efficiency in achieving this with other benefits, including environmental justice concerns and ecosystem services playing a role in the scoring of a project. 

Examples of eligible projects include sub-jurisdictional practices related to developed lands, restoration and protection of river corridors, floodplains, wetlands, riparian and lakeshore corridors, forestry projects related to water quality beyond state requirements, and agricultural projects if farm is not subject to Required Agricultural Practices.

Resources in support of this funding are available online at acrpc.org, including the official RFP, application form, and more detailed information on project eligibility. Mike Winslow can also be contacted at [email protected] for more information or questions.

Events

December Calendar

DateTimeMeeting
December 7th6:00 PMHousing Committee Meeting
December 14th7:00 PMACRPC Full Commission Meeting
December 15th12:30 PMBWQC Meeting
December 15th7:00 PMACSWMD meeting
December 21st 6:30 PMTAC Meeting
December 28th 6:30 PMACRPC Executive Committee Meeting
January 3rd6:30 PMEnergy Committee Meeting

Please find the meeting agendas and minutes on our website using this link.

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 Health Equity Workshop Postponed

The ACRPC Health Equity Workshop scheduled for December 9th has been postponed until further notice. Please contact Maddison Shropshire, [email protected] with any questions about health equity and the current funding programs available.

Flood Hazard Maps and Zoning Bylaws Updates

FEMA is currently updating the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) in Vermont for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This will be the first map update for many towns since the 1980s. Addison County “digitized” the official FIRMs in 2007, but these were not new studies, just approximate representations of paper maps. The new FIRMS will be smoother, higher quality maps that allow reference to specific properties and physical features.

The new update will cover the entire state in stages and will become effective in the next few years. Your town has already been contacted about the end of the “Discovery period’ of the project and river reaches that will be studied in more detail. In the coming months, town officials will receive an invitation to the “Workmap” meeting. At this meeting, USGS will provide draft workmaps of the Otter Creek watershed flood delineations. These maps will show the old and new flood boundaries. Following the meeting, they will request comments from community officials on the draft maps.

When the new maps go into effect, FEMA requires that town bylaws meet current standards for participation in the NFIP. If your bylaws are not sufficient, residents will no longer be able to purchase nor renew flood insurance through the NFIP. Participation in NFIP also increases the percentage of your town’s post-disaster Emergency Relief and Assistance Funding (ERAF), providing state coverage of public disaster recovery costs that can potentially save thousands of municipal dollars.

Now is the time to update your Zoning Bylaws and Municipal Plans!

ACRPC will be reaching out to Planning Commissions and Zoning Administrators over the next 6 months to help review bylaws and provide advice on updating language to meet NFIP standards. 

Learn more: Here | Contact: ACRPC planner, Andrew L’Roe ([email protected]).

Brownfield Sites Sought for Assessment 

Do you want to develop properties in Addison County but think they might have environmental contaminants from previous activities? These types of properties could 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 with the environmental consulting company Stantec 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]).

Public Information Meeting Scheduled for Middlebury State Airport Master Plan 

The Vermont Agency of Transportation is currently undergoing an Airport Master Plan Update (MPU) to account for changes that have taken place at Middlebury State Airport and in the aviation industry since the completion of the previous update in 2003. The Master Plan will be used to guide airport improvements to meet existing and future needs of Airport users.  Please join us at an informational meeting to learn more about the Airport MPU. This is the second of two public meetings for the MPU.  During the meeting, you will have an opportunity to understand the objectives of the study, review the study process, and the draft findings and recommendations, plus provide feedback regarding the future of the Airport.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022; 6 PM – 7:30 PM

Middlebury Town Office, Conference Room ,77 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753

Additionally, the meeting will be held virtually and can be accessed via the link: https://bit.ly/6B0PM2

CEAC is Hiring A Community Climate Program Manager

We are seeking a part-time Community Climate Program Manager (CCPM). The CCPM will play a vital role in building and maintaining the CEAC network and in implementing CEAC’s ambitious Climate Action Plan. The goal: help direct our community’s efforts to bring down greenhouse gas emissions while growing a sustainable local economy.  If you are interested in engaging in meaningful climate work in our county, apply here!

Community Events

  • Middlebury Midd Night Strolls 

Mark your calendars for Midd Night Stroll evenings in downtown Middlebury. Come out from 5:00-8:00pm on December 1st, 8th and 15th for specials, promotions and pop-ups around the downtown. Event link

Check out the list of promotions and activities for December 1st!

  • Vergennes HO, HO, HO HOLIDAY STROLL

Saturday, Dec. 3 – Yes, we’re back inside at the Opera House and we couldn’t be more delighted. Santa and Mrs. Claus can hardly wait to see you! https://www.vergennesdowntown.org/holidaystroll The annual stroll presents a fun-filled day with excitement up, down and all around Main Street, Vergennes.

  • Salisbury 17th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

https://frontporchforum.com/areas/369/events/293939

When: Dec 3, 2022, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Grants & Funding

Community 

Vermont Arts Council Animating Infrastructure Grant

Animating Infrastructure Grants support community projects that integrate art with infrastructure improvements. Through this program, the Council strives to demonstrate the positive impact of art in helping communities to meet goals of livability, walkability, safety, economic vitality, and community vibrancy, and to support the creation of unique infrastructure projects where function and art are one and the same. Access the grant application and learn more on the Vermont Arts Council website | Due: Dec 12, 2022

Community Recovery and Revitalization Program 

The Community Recovery and Revitalization Program (CRRP) will provide recovery funding for projects that spur economic recovery and revitalization to mitigate the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 in communities across the state. Program guidelines have now been posted on the ACCD website and the application will become available in the coming weeks. 

Learn more: Here

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

Worker Relocation Incentive Program Now Open

The Worker Relocation Incentive Program, which will provide incentives of up to $7,500 to defray moving costs for those relocating to Vermont from out of state, is now open and accepting applications. This program will provide grants to both new workers (moving to Vermont to take a Vermont job) and remote workers (moving to Vermont and bringing their job with them) to defray moving costs. This new program includes all occupations to better serve employer needs across all sectors. The program also includes a pre-approval process for those who have not yet moved to the state. The pre-approval informs applicants prior to moving if they are eligible to receive a grant once they relocate, and it reserves funding to pay their grant once they complete their move and submit the required verification documentation. 

Learn More: ThinkVermont.com

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.The Project may include the purchase, installation of EV charging equipment and connection to the utility. The EV charging equipment should be one of several standard systems with vendors vetted and approved by GMP or other subject electric utility. The VEDA EV Charging Station Loan may fund up to 80% of the Project Cost to a maximum of $25,000, the balance may be funded by the Utility Rebate and/or equity from the applicant.

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

Clean Energy Development Fund Incentives

  1. The Clean Energy Development Fund’s new Woodstove Change-out and Repair Incentives for income eligible households are now available. Incentives up to $10,000 (or 80% of total cost) are available for the change-out of an old stove to a new cord or pellet stove and for needed repairs to hearths and chimneys (up to $6,000 for stoves and $4,000 for repairs).
  2. There is now an incentive adder for low/moderate-income Vermonters installing pellet boilers/furnaces.  The Advanced Wood Heating Systems Adder can add up to $8,000 to CEDF’s existing $3,000 incentive and households can add EVT’s $3,000 incentive to that for up to $15,000 for low-income households to install an automated pellet boiler/furnace and bulk pellet storage.
  3. CEDF’s Coal Change-out program continues to find VT households heating with coal that want to switch to advanced wood heating. The Coal Change-out Adder is up to $7,000 for residential projects and $27,000 for non-residential.

Contact Maddison Shropshire, Energy Planner, [email protected] for more information.

Transportation

Vermont Better Roads Grant Program

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) is pleased to announce the 26th year of funding to support projects on municipal roads that improve water quality and result in maintenance cost savings. The application scoring of the Better Roads Program is intended to be in line with the State’s Clean Water Act (Act 64) and the Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP). In an effort to prioritize funding for projects that are providing significant water quality improvements, applicants must indicate whether or not the projects that they intend to construct will be in full compliance with the MRGP. 

Learn More and Download the Application: Here  |  Due: December 16, 2022  

Contact: Mike Winslow, Transportation Planner, [email protected]

SFY 2023 Transportation Alternatives Program

VTrans is pleased to announce that we are now accepting grant applications for the SFY 2023 Transportation Alternatives Program.  This year, Transportation Alternatives Program funding is available for all eligible activities as described in the Vermont Transportation Alternatives Fall 2022 Application Guide per the link below.  50% of grant program funds are reserved for environmental mitigation projects relating to stormwater and highways, including eligible salt and sand shed projects.

Learn more and applyTAP LinkDue by email: December 14, 2022

Contact: Scott Robertson, P.E. | 802-793-2395 | [email protected]

Downtown Transportation Fund Grants

The Department of Housing and Community Development is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $3,600,000 in Downtown Transportation Fund Grants (DTF) to support revitalization efforts in Designated Downtowns and eligible Designated Village Centers. See the program application for a full list of eligible municipalities. 

Learn more: Here  |  Due: January 31, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m. 

Contact: Gary Holloway, the Downtown Program Manager at 802-522-2444 

Clean Water Initiative Funding

The Downtown Transportation Fund (DTF) has additional funding from the State of Vermont’s Clean Water Budget, sourced from the Clean Water Fund. The Clean Water Fund supports projects that plan for and implement stormwater management practices that help improve water quality by reducing water pollution, such as phosphorus and sediment, caused by stormwater runoff and erosion.

Learn more: Here  |  Due: January 31, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m. | Contact: Gary Holloway, the Downtown Program Manager at 802-522-2444

Better Connections Grant Program

The Better Connections program is a partnership among the AOT, ACCD, and the Agency of Natural Resources and provides technical assistance and funds to local communities to help them achieve their goals and plan for growth. The program funds planning efforts to increase multi-modal transportation options and to improve land use, water quality, public health, and economic vitality in Vermont communities.

Learn more: here  

Pre-application Due: January 30, 2023  |  Application Due: February 17, 2023

Contact: [email protected]  or  [email protected]   

Clean Water

Addison County Regional Planning Commission RFA

The Addison County Regional Planning Commission is administering a DEC-CWIP Project Development Block Grant to subgrant funds to develop water quality improvement projects through July of 2024. Funds from this Block Grant should be used for funding work necessary to move projects towards design and implementation. Groups may apply either just for specific project development or for general project scoping that leads into specific project development. Applications must be submitted to [email protected]  

Lake Champlain Sea Grant

Lake Champlain Sea Grant invites proposals for research funding for projects beginning February 1, 2024.

  • Q&A session for applicants: Noon, December 8, 2022 – Register for this Zoom session (optional)
  • Letters of intent due: February 17, 2023 (mandatory)
  • Full proposals due: May 26, 2023
  • Funding recommendations communicated: September 2023

Vermont Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

Accelerated Implementation of Agricultural and Forestry Related Practices Program

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) RCPP is a 5-year program (2020-2025) that provides financial and technical assistance for the development and implementation of water quality improvement throughout Vermont. Funds are available for agricultural and forestry best management practices, wetland restoration, and for agricultural, wetland and forestry elements. 

All Vermont farmers and forest landowners are eligible, though priority for agricultural funds is given to smaller farms for practice implementation.Technical assistance is available to help you decide if RCPP fits your farm or forestland. 

Due: January 13, 2023

Contact: RCPP Coordinator Kait Jones at [email protected] 

Natural Resources

ARPA Funded Primary Producer Grant Opportunity is now open!

Primary producers of farm and forest products can now apply for the ARPA-Funded Primary Producer grant opportunity!  The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) has released a request for applications (RFA) totaling $1,000,000.  Examples of eligible primary production activities are growing crops, livestock rearing, maple sugaring, dairy, and harvesting timber. Grant requests for the ARPA-Funded Primary Producer Grant can be from $50,000 to $250,000. Please read the request for applications (link below) to learn about eligibility, the application process, and review the application questions. The pre-application opens for submission on November 9, 2022.

Learn More: Here  |  Deadline: December 16, 2022. 

Contact: Clare Salerno, Agriculture Development Specialist [email protected] 802-917-2637

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.Grants range from $1,000 – $5,000.

Learn more: here | Due: December 30th, 2022

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.  Grants range from $3,000 – $20,000. Eligibility aligns with the VT Department of Housing and Community Development’s state designation programs. Learn more: here | Due: December 30th, 2022

Emergency Preparedness

Does your community need a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan?

Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMP) allow communities to:

  1. Receive Hazard Mitigation Funds from FEMA to reduce known problems,
  2. Qualify the community for financial help after a disaster from ERAF  tinyurl.com/erafvt , and
  3. Allow the community to update bylaws before the new flood maps become official. bit.ly/fema-map-update

Check your community’s LHMP status at Flood Ready Vermont.   Vermont Emergency Management encourages communities to apply for funds two and a half years or more before your plan expires. Funding to support the planning work is available now.  The funding requires a 25% financial or in-kind match.  Municipal officials send the 25% Match Certification Form  to [email protected] before the Friday December 9 deadline. 

Learn More:  vem.vermont.gov/plans/LHMP | Contact: Andrew L’Roe [email protected] 

State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) 

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

Applications are due in early 2023 and a supplemental (2022) funding announcement is expected to be issued soon. The program provides 100% funding, but is competitive and municipalities must demonstrate risk. Funding can be utilized for cybersecurity planning (i.e., the development of cybersecurity response plans or developing a cybersecurity incident annex to an Emergency Operations Plan); cybersecurity training (i.e., phishing training, general awareness training, etc.); cybersecurity exercises; or cybersecurity equipment. Eligible expenses include computer hardware and operating system software, back-up computer hardware, operating systems, data storage, and contingency operations application software (remote or a dedicated alternate operating site).

Hazard Mitigation Grants (https://vem.vermont.gov/funding/mitigation)

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

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

Grant program to states and local communities for mitigation activities. Next Round of applications due December 9, 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 9, 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 March 31, 2022

Tools and Training

Energy

Register today for the 15th Annual VECAN Conference

Meeting Vermont’s Climate Action Obligation Together – We hope you will join us virtually for the 15th Annual Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network Conference, kicking off on Saturday, December 10th, and followed by a series of virtual workshops from 12-1:30pm, December 12th-16th! This year’s conference is once again FREE and open to all.  

Register: Here

Green Saving Smart 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.

Community

Grants Management Symposium Date Change

The Vermont Community Development Program is hosting a Grants Management Symposium. Events will be held all day at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier, Vermont.

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2022

VCLN Workshop: Effective Grant-Writing To Fund Your Initiative

Hear from a panel of grant funders and successful grant writers who will share tips and strategies on how to find grants that may support your work, how to craft an effective grant narrative, and where to find resources and support.

Learn more: Here  |  Date: December 7 @ 10 – 11:30 

Equity

Safe Space Anti-Violence Program Rural Providers Education Series

Pride Center of Vermont’s SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program invites rural Vermont healthcare, social service, and other community support professionals to a FREE monthly virtual learning space, where we will work with colleagues from across rural Vermont to increase support and access for rural LGBTQ+ people experiencing sexual violence, intimate partner violence, dating violence, or stalking.

The monthly installments can be attended à la carte or as a whole series. We suggest attending in pairs or trios for most impact, though individuals are welcome. We cannot accommodate whole teams in this specific offering, but free larger team trainings for rural Vermont groups and organizations can be scheduled by reaching out to [email protected]. Register Here!

Lake Champlain Basin Program Seeks Public Input on Proposed Definition for Disadvantaged Community

Grand Isle, VT – The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) seeks public comments on criteria to be included in a draft definition of a “disadvantaged community” that will be used to help prioritize projects for LCBP funding in 2023 and beyond. Public comments will be accepted through December 12, 2022. Comments may be submitted directly on the Disadvantaged Community Proposed Definition comment form.

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.

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