ACRPC JANUARY NEWSLETTER
Posted on January 6th, 2023 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]
Weathering the Storm
Addison County took the brunt of a strong weather system on Friday, December 23, with winds measured at more than 60 miles per hour downing trees and power lines, followed by a rapid drop in temperatures to dangerous lows.
ACRPC would like to thank all of the first-responder police, fire, EMS and public works officials that assisted with storm-related incidents. We sincerely appreciate all of the town officials and volunteers that stepped up during and after the storm, and to those that provided status information to the RPC and State Watch Officer.
The wind caused more than 75,000 power outages around the state, making it one of the most impactful storms in the last two decades. Many households remained without power over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Several warming shelters were opened around the county, and information that was provided in advance of the storm and afterwards likely prevented additional challenges for residents. Green Mountain Power and other electric utilities worked through the holiday to have power restored to nearly all users in Addison County by Tuesday morning.
ACRPC will be following up with Emergency Managers and Town Officials about needs that were made apparent in this storm and discussing lessons and opportunities at the February 8th Regional Emergency Management Committee (REMC) meeting. We also encourage towns to revisit and update their Local Hazard Mitigation Plans, and consider applying for upcoming grants to reduce future risks. If your town needs an additional Emergency Management Director (EMD) or Coordinator (EMC), please consider asking residents of your community. Even communities that have superb responders can use additional personnel to step in when people are out of town or called to other responsibilities.
The American Red Cross is offering a “Sheltering FYI” Course on Tuesday, January 31st, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, both remotely and in-person in Rutland. There is a training course for Local EMDs being offered by VEM on February 21-22. Please contact Andrew L’Roe <[email protected]> for more details on these and other hazard mitigation opportunities so that we can do an even better job responding to the next big storm.
|January 11th||5:30 PM||ACRPC Housing Committee|
|January 11th||7:00 PM||ACRPC Full Commission Meeting|
|January 17th||2 PM||E&D Committee|
|January 18th||6:30 PM||TAC Meeting|
|January 19th||7:00 PM||ACSWMD meeting|
|January 25th||2:00 PM||Otter Creek BWQC Meeting|
|January 25th||6:30 PM||ACRPC Executive Committee Meeting|
|February 7th||6:30 PM||ACRPC Energy Committee|
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.
*New* ACRPC Accessory Dwelling Unit Program
ACRPC has been granted $32,000 from St. Stephens Church as pass-through funds for individuals looking to support affordable housing in Addison County by building accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ACRPC is also putting together a guide and various resources to help interested homeowners navigate the entire process of creating an ADU (permitting, financing, design/construction, renting, etc.) and hopes to work further with St. Stephens to develop an outreach program. More information will become available as the program develops.
ACRPC Issues RFP for Water Quality Projects
The Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC), in its role as the Clean Water Service (CWSP) Provider for Basin 3, the Otter Creek, Lewis Creek, and Little Otter Creek watersheds, is issuing a request for proposals for projects that improve water quality in Basin 3. Projects must be in keeping with the vision set forth by Act 76, the Clean Water Service Delivery Act, and policies and guidance set forth by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to implement the Act. The CWSP has approximately $1,000,000 available to fund eligible projects this year. Applications are due February 8, 2023. 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.
Maple Broadband Service Launch
Maple Broadband is building a fiber optic network that will provide fast high-speed internet and local telephone service. The initial build area is in portions of north and east Cornwall, a small portion of southwest Middlebury, and approximately half of the addresses in Salisbury west of Route 7. Construction began in October 2022, and the first phase of the network is being tested. Service launch is planned for late January 2023. Network construction will continue in 2023 covering more of Cornwall, and portions of Shoreham, Orwell, Whiting, and a small corner of Leicester. Residents and businesses will be able to order fiber broadband service at speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second symmetrical (upload and download). To check service availability and register interest, visit https://get.maplebroadband.net/.
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). 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.
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]).
Hunger Council of Vermont Resources
We know many people continue to struggle to put a meal on the table given the rising costs of food and other essentials. Please take advantage of and share the resources below with your communities.
- Stretch your Budget with Vermont Food Programs flier
- 3 Squares VT multilingual trifold flier
- Fuel Assistance and 3 Squares VT flier (see this link to find this flier translated into several languages, scroll down to “Items for New Americans”)
- VT Food Help business card (see this link to find this card translated into 10 languages, scroll down to “Items for New Americans”)
Grants & Funding
Better Places Program
Better Places is a non-competitive, community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program provides one-on-one project coaching, local fundraising support, and two to one (2:1) matching grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 to make your community-led placemaking ideas happen. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis.
Learn more: here | Contact: Katie Raycroft Meyer [email protected]
VLCT Announces New Federal Funding Assistance Program
In response to member requests, VLCT has created the Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFA). Modeled after the successful ARPA Assistance and Coordination Program, FFA expands VLCT’s work with ARPA to include the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL, aka Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and other new and existing state and federal grant programs. They will do the work of sifting through the tsunami of information, and work with their broad network of state, federal, statewide, and national partners to curate only programs and resources for which municipalities are eligible and that are relevant to our Vermont scale. As the program launches, VLCT has developed the following resources:
- New Federal Funding Assistance Program webpage
- VLCT’s Vermont Federal Funding Guidebook
- “Consults On Call” – Book a 15-minute meeting with the FFA team during weekly office hours. Evening hours are available. Book your appointment HERE. Need more than 15 minutes? Email [email protected] to schedule a longer consultation.
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
Special Funding Round for Downtown and Village Center Tax Credits
In January 2023, during this special round of funding, $800,000 in state income tax credits will be competitively available to projects that enhance the historic character and improve building safety of older and historic commercial and community buildings in these designated communities. The credits support general rehabilitation work, code compliance work, façade improvements, and flood mitigation projects, and may be combined with the federal program. The Vermont Downtown Board will make its allocation decisions at their regularly scheduled board meeting in February 2023.
Learn more: here | Due: January 16, 2023
Health Equity and Community Design TA Pilot Program
From safer, walkable, universally accessible streets to more green spaces, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) in partnership with the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is excited to announce the launch of a technical assistance pilot to support community-led design, placemaking, and healthy equity projects across Vermont. Approximately 20 to 35 communities will be accepted for in-person and virtual engagement sessions between December 2022 and October 2023. Visit the Healthy Communities Vermont website to learn more.
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
Municipal Energy Resilience Program
The VT Department of Buildings and General Services has begun to develop the municipal energy resilience program as required by Act 172. The program will provide multiple opportunities for municipalities including:
- $4,000 mini-grants for towns to educate their community on energy efficiency and generate buy-in and consensus around applications for the following opportunities below. Applications open in March
- Free energy assessments of any building owned by the municipality except school buildings. Applications open in March
- Up to $500,000 in construction funds for municipal buildings to undergo recommended improvements following the assessments above.
- A revolving loan fund to provide additional construction funds and access to investment grade audits beyond the one time funds available for the rest of the program.
More information will become available as the program is developed. If you are interested in applying for this program please add the buildings to this list. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Maddison Shropshire [email protected].
Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program
WRAP will allow Vermont households to pay for qualifying weatherization projects like insulation and air sealing as well as heat pumps and advanced wood heating systems through a monthly charge on their utility bill that can be paid back over time. The program is open to Vermonters of all incomes and both homeowners and renters can participate in the program. Learn more: Here
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]
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]
2023 Watershed Grants
The Vermont Watershed Grant Program supports the protection, restoration, enhancement, and public appreciation of Vermont’s lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, and efforts to improve surface water quality. Awards are up to $10,000, depending on the project category type, and can go to towns, nonprofit organizations and community groups with specific watershed projects. Learn more: Here | Due: February 8th
Contact: William Eldridge [email protected] if you have any questions.
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)
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].
State Homeland Security Program grants
This program supports terrorism preparedness with 100% funding for specified training and equipment, including items like generators, cybersecurity software and training, and many other security items. Applications require multiple quotes and documentation from municipalities, so it’s not too early to get started! Contact the RPC if you have ideas for your town. The FY 2023 round will open mid-January.
Learn More: Here | Due: End of February | Contact: Andrew L’Roe ([email protected])
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. This program funds 100% of costs and is a limited time opportunity, so please reach out to property-owners that might benefit!
Learn More: Here | Due: Rolling Basis, before March 31, 2023
Contact: Andrew L’Roe ([email protected])
Tool & Training
The Northern Tier (VT/NH/ME) Clean Cities’ Coalitions present:
Medium and Heavy-Duty EV Charging Solutions.
Successful electrification of heavy-duty vehicles and equipment will require sound charging solutions. In particular, towns and fleets are seeking strategies that address the unique challenges of rural areas and our northern climate. Join the Clean Cities Team Northern Tier to learn about diverse solutions like a solar powered EV charging canopy project and propane-powered mobile fast charging technology. This could be the spark that spurs a heavy-duty EV project in your community.
Date: Thursday, January 12th from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm ET | Register: here.
Efficiency VT’s – Brad’s Energy Corner: Leave air leaks in 2022
Today’s energy corner is about corners – and windowsills, door sweeps and outdoor water faucets too! The coldest time of year is when we notice drafts in our homes, making it a perfect time to chase down air leaks and stop cold air from displacing the heated air. The US Department of Energy has this excellent guide to help people find air leaks in their structures. Sealing up some leaky spots is also one of the qualifying projects of our DIY Weatherization incentive, helping reduce the cost of creating a warmer living space. Don’t let air leaks keep you chilled all winter! Learn about DIY incentive 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. Contact Maddison Shropshire: [email protected] for more information.
Online Clean Water Project Virtual Training
DEC is hosting a virtual training event to introduce and demonstrate how to use the new ANR Online Clean Water Project – New Project Form. This form is designed to be used by project proponents to streamline the process of reviewing new clean water projects for inclusion in the DEC’s Watershed Project’s Database. A recording of the training and FAQ document will be available on the Applicant and Recipient Resources webpage following the event.
How to attend: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting Or dial 1-802-828-7667 and enter phone conference ID: 357 748 813# | Date: January 25th, 2023 | Time: 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Clean Water Initiative Program – State Fiscal Year 2023 Funding Policy Released
The Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) is announcing the release of an updated State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023 Funding Policy. The CWIP Funding Policy serves as a communication tool to clean water project proponents and prospective funding recipients to clarify expectations on the division of roles and responsibilities related to CWIP-administered funding programs, and to provide clear guidelines on the appropriate use of CWIP-administered funds and expected outcomes from those investments.
A Question and Answer (Q&A) document is under development. Please submit any Funding Policy questions to [email protected] by January 31st with “CWIP Funding Policy Q&A” as the subject line.
- View the CWIP State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023 Funding Policy
- Submit Funding Policy questions
Announcing: Upcoming Clean Water Lecture
On January 26th, 12-1 pm, join Gianna Petito, the CWIP Grants Coordinator, in a virtual lecture for Clean Water stakeholders to hear an overview of some of the major changes that accompany this updated Funding Policy including project and grantee eligibility, budget guidance, project deliverables, and grantee responsibilities. Register for the January 26th Clean Water Lecture. Visit the Clean Water Lecture Series webpage for more information. Subscribe to the Clean Water Stakeholder listserv to get regular announcements and updates on upcoming clean water lectures.
Vermont Community Health Equity January Workshops
Zoom: Link | Meeting ID: 988 3873 2497 | Passcode: 654269 | Wednesday, January 25th @ 1-3pm
- Stories with Purpose: Storytelling Tools for Engagement, Equity, and Action with Rebecca Stone. Thursday, January 12th, @ 1-3pm
- Centering Equity in Facilitation with LJ Wallace and Gina Rodriguez from Health Resources in Action (HRiA). Thursday, January 19th @ 1-3pm
- Identities and Biases: Navigating Difficult Conversations with Indra J. Acharya.
VLCT 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.