Posted on October 3rd, 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 Deron Rixon with questions, [email protected] 

ACRPC Welcomes New AmeriCorps Service Member, Carissa Finnerty!

Originally from New Jersey, Carissa recently graduated from UVM where she studied environmental science and GIS. Her classes and work with the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Watershed Alliance helped grow her interest in environmental chemistry and water quality issues. She will serve as a water quality planner, conduct  road erosion/culvert inventories and assist with River Watch Collaborative work, but she’s excited to explore different types of projects at the ACRPC, too! Carissa is looking forward to learning more about the planning commission’s role in Addison County, getting to know more folks working in and around the office, and serving the region this upcoming year in a way that betters the local environment and communities.

Addison County Receives Rural Agency Disaster Declaration

On September 14, Addison County was added to the disaster declaration due to the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides occurring July 7-17, 2023.  Businesses and homeowners that suffered physical damage or economic injury are eligible for Business Physical Disaster Loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and Home Disaster Loans. 

Application Filing Deadlines:

  • Physical Damage: November 13, 2023
  • Economic Injury: June 14, 2024

Learn More: Here

October Calendar

Date TimeMeeting
October 11th5:30PMHousing Committee Meeting
October 11th7:00PMFull Commission Meeting
October 16th5:00PMEnergy Committee Meeting
October 17th2:00PMO & D Committee Meeting
October 18th6:30PMTAC Meeting
October 24th9:30AMBrownfields subcommittee Meeting
October 25th2:00PMOtter Creek BWQC Meeting
October 25th6:30PMExecutive Board Meeting
October 29th4:00PMCommunity Conversation on Affordable Housing
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.

Congratulations to Cornwall on Their Recent Village Center Designation!

On September 25th the Downtown Development Board designated the village center in Cornwall to receive state benefits. These benefits will help support revitalization efforts and works to build stronger communities. Congrats to Cornwall!

Agency of Natural Resources: State & Local Government Municipal Day

The Agency of Natural Resources is announcing its tenth State and Local Government Municipal Day. The day-long event is hosted by the Agency of Natural Resources in partnership with the Agency of Agriculture, Agency of Transportation, Vermont Emergency Management, Vermont Center for Geographic Information, and the Natural Resource Board, and is dedicated to the education of municipal officials on a variety of state programs and resources. Registration will remain open until the day of the event; walk-ins are welcome. The full-day session costs $35 and includes breakfast pastries and a lunch buffet. Municipal Day will take place on October 20, 2023 at the Stat offices in the National Life building in Montpelier from 7:30am-3:45pm. Register: Here | Learn More: Here

Submit Projects for Annual Regional Priority Project List

Each year, the Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) solicits projects for the Regional Priority Project List. The projects can be municipal infrastructure projects, other municipal projects, and projects planned by nonprofits and businesses. The list is prioritized by a team including ACRPC and the top 10 projects are submitted to state and federal funders, such as NBRC, and may be used as part of their scoring processes.  ACEDC is now accepting projects to be included in the 2023 Regional Priority Project List. Projects should be shovel ready, or close to shovel ready, be seeking funding from multiple sources, but have a funding gap remaining. A Project Form must be completed and submitted to be included on the list. Read more detail here and download the Project Form here. Email the completed Project Form to Fred Kenney at [email protected] no later than October 27, 2023.

Pizza & Power: Green & Just Electricity for Vermont – October 3

On Tuesday at 5PM, join the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, at 2 Duane Ct. in Middlebury. Eat pizza and learn where Vermont’s electricity actually comes from, why changes to current law and energy policies in Vermont are needed to be truly green and just, and how this affects ratepayers. Refreshments and childcare provided. RSVP Here

Dead Creek Wildlife Day: October 7

Dead Creek Wildlife Day offers something for everyone. The day is filled with wildlife demonstrations and guided nature walks. Admission and parking is free and the event runs from 9:30am to 4:00pm. Come for an hour or stay for the day! Check out the schedule of events. Learn More: Here

REV 2023 Conference – October 18 & 19

Now in its 23rd year, the 2023 REV Conference will take place in-person on Wednesday & Thursday, October 18-19 at the DoubleTree Hilton in South Burlington. Attend to hear leaders and innovators in renewable energy discuss how to realize Vermont and New England’s clean energy future! This year municipal leaders and energy committee members are eligible for a reduced registration fee. Contact Maddison Shropshire at [email protected] for more information. Learn More here | Register here

Community Conversation on Affordable Housing for Addison County – October 29

On Sunday October 29th from 4:00 – 5:50 p.m. the Addison Interfaith Affordable Housing Alliance will be holding a community conversation on creating and accessing affordable housing at the Congregational Church of Middlebury located at 2 Main Street. Speakers will discuss how to join the HomeShare Program, accessing a tiny home and creating an accessory dwelling unit. All are welcome to attend. Learn More: Here

Save the Date! – Vermont Health Equity & Community Design Technical Assistance Pilot Project Symposium – November 2

Join in celebrating the culmination of the Vermont Healthy Communities Technical Assistance pilot project. This event will share lessons learned and resources created to support placemaking and health equity in Vermont communities. More info coming soon. Direct questions to [email protected] 

Save the Date! – Addison County Conservation Commissions Summit: Connecting and Collaborating – November 4

Conservation commission members in Addison County and anyone interested in starting a conservation commission in their Addison County municipality are invited to a summit on Saturday, November 4th at Bristol’s Holley Hall. The overarching intent of the summit is to  work together collaboratively and regionally on issues of common concern, such as climate change mitigation, water, habitat connectivity and educational programs about conservation. RSVP via an email with your name and town by Friday, October 20 to Heidi Willis, Salisbury Conservation Commission, [email protected]. Find out more information, and direct questions to Katherine Branch, Cornwall Conservation Commission, at [email protected]

Emergency Management
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
The HMGP program is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by Vermont Emergency Management on behalf of the state. Typically, federal funds are available to cover up to 75% of approved project costs; and there is a 25% local match requirement that is the responsibility of the applicant town. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as funding is available. HMGP applications must be completed in their entirety, including maps, list of alternative proposals, engineering plans, hydrology studies (if needed) and a full benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in the FEMA-approved format, if applicable. Learn More: Here | Due: Spring 2024
AARP VT Livable Community Program – Winter Placemaking
AARP Vermont’s 2023 Winter Placemaking Grants will provide financial support to non-profit or other ad-hoc groups, which meet the eligibility requirements, and that are also focused on reinventing a space that improves the safety, accessibility and overall appeal and are either temporary or permanent projects.  The Placemaking Project is intended to inspire and educate community leaders and residents in their aim to have a positive impact on older adults living in your community. AARP VT will select up to five communities for funding of up to $4,000 each. The application period for this opportunity is open now! Submit this form by October 6 to request grant writing assistance. Learn More: Here | Due: October 16, 2023
Bylaw Modernization Grants
In fiscal year 2024 (July 1, 2023– June 30, 2024), the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has funding to grant to municipalities for land use, development, and zoning bylaw updates in support of a pedestrian-oriented development pattern that increase housing choice, affordability, and opportunity in areas planned in accordance with Vermont’s smart growth principles. This funding is intended to help municipalities confront the State’s housing shortage and ready areas for new housing investments. Municipalities may submit an individual application for a maximum of $25,000 or apply with other municipalities as part of a multi-town application, which are eligible for grants of up to a $60,000 maximum. Bylaw Modernization Grant projects must be completed within 24 months. The grant term will be January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2025. No time extensions will be granted. Learn More: Here | Due: November 1, 2023 
New Manufactured Home Improvement & Repair Program Launched
Vermont State Housing Authority has launched the Manufactured Home Improvement & Repair Program. The program will provide financial assistance for park improvements, home repair and foundation installation. Learn More: Here.
Community Recovery and Revitalization Program 
Program guidelines have been posted on the ACCD website and the application is OPEN NOW. 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.   Learn more: Here | Due: Rolling basis 
Accessibility, Equity, & Inclusion
Vermont Healthy Communities
VDH and DHCD invite eligible Vermont communities* and residents over 18 years of age to apply for the Health Equity and Community Design Technical Assistance (TA)Pilot which provides extra capacity and resources and helps prepare communities that are interested in the DHCD’s Better Places placemaking grants. Closes in October | Contact: Maddison Shropshire, [email protected]
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.
Municipal Energy Resilience Program
*ASSESSMENT APPLICATIONS CLOSE OCTOBER 31* Established by Act 172,the Municipal Energy Resilience Program (MERP) will provide $45M in funding to help reduce municipal building energy usage, operating costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. No local match is required for this funding. The ACRPC Energy Webpage will provide updated information on this program moving forward. Contact: Maddison Shropshire [email protected] or Deron Rixon [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 
Natural Resources
Working Lands Enterprise Initiative – Business Enhancement Grants –  Open October 6 – November 20
The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEI) offers funding opportunities to a variety of business structures encompassing forest, farm, and food enterprises. These include producer associations, farms, food cooperatives, business assistance provider organizations and more. Farm, forest, or local food businesses are eligible to apply.Learn more: Here. | Direct question to: [email protected] 
DEC Water Quality Project Development Block Grants
ACRPC is administering a 2022 Environmental Conservation (DEC) Project Development Block Grant to subgrant up to $34,000 to develop water quality improvement projects. Funds should be used for getting landowners, municipalities and other partners “on board” with projects to improve water quality and to move those projects towards design and implementation. All project work, invoicing and reporting must be complete by July 1, 2024. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and can be sent to Hannah Andrew [email protected]. Learn More: Here.
VT Urban & Community Forestry Grant Programs
The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program will be administering nearly $500,000 through three separate categories of grants. The program will also be supporting two additional grant programs through other organizations. Due: January 2024 | Learn More: Here
2024 Park & Ride Grant Program
The Park-and-Ride program helps to provide safe and convenient parking facilities to encourage the consolidation of travelers and the reduction of single occupancy vehicles on the roads. $150k has been appropriated from the transportation fund to encourage and support the development of new Park & Ride lot projects. Due: November 3, 2023 | Learn More: Here | Apply: Here
Intersections Initiative
The initiative helps build capacity to apply for infrastructure funding to support active and public transportation projects and identify the policies and practices that make this a reality. In addition to the technical assistance offered by this program, the initiative has also developed an extremely useful funding sheet for bike/ ped infrastructure. Contact: Maddison Shropshire, [email protected] 
Emergency Management
MGT 417: Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents for Key Decision Makers
The purpose of this 2 day management/planning level course is to provide the operational-level details to support many of the topics covered in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved AWR 148: Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law Enforcement and the Local School Systems awareness-level course. This two-day course will provide content instruction, develop concept-specific skills, and provide opportunities for law enforcement, school personnel, and community stakeholders to collaboratively apply the course objectives in scenario-based applications.

LOCATION: VT National Guard Training Facility-RRTC- Norwich University,  Northfield, VT
DATE/TIME: October 9, 2023, 8:00am- 4:00pm & October 10, 2023, 8:00am- 3:30pm

LOCATION: Brattleboro Fire Department, Brattleboro,
VTDATE/TIME: October 19, 2023, 8:00am- 4:00pm & October 20, 2023, 8:00am- 3:30pm
VLCT Fall Planning & Zoning Training: The HOME Act – Summary and Studies – October 17
The 2023 HOME (Housing Opportunities Made for Everyone) Act (Act 47) signed into law this summer includes numerous statutory changes and requires four committees to study reports that are due to the Legislature in December. This training features a summary of Act 47, an introduction to guidance available from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, an in-progress overview of the Act 250 reform summer study committee report, and information on the status of the summer study committee report on Act 250 reform changes to regional and municipal land use plans which are due in December. Learn More: Here | Register: Here
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. 
Vermont Health Equity Planning Toolkit
Municipalities, Regional Planning Commissions, State agency partners, non-profit/for-profit organizations, and Vermonters who are curious should find this document beneficial in determining how and why to take steps toward creating a healthier and more inclusive Vermont. These steps could include but are not limited to, improvements to policy, bylaws, community engagement, and infrastructure to promote healthy and inclusive communities.
Learn More: Here
Vermont Professionals of Color Network Financial Literacy Series
VT POC is excited to offer a free year-long series on financial literacy. Each month, they will have a curated topic led by experts in the field from across the state. This event is for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members as an affinity space for the purpose of bringing together Vermonters of color from across the state to build community. Learn More: Here 
Efficiency Vermont 2023 RebatesExplore 2023 rebates here.
Green Saving Smart Program
GreenSavingSmart connects financial coaching with energy savings for low- and moderate-income Vermonters.
VLR Rivers and Roads Training Program – Rivers & Roads Tier 2 – October 11-12
Tier Two of the Rivers and Roads Training Program targets a wide range of state, municipal and private sector transportation infrastructure. Participants leave the training with the knowledge and skills required to distinguish between stable and unstable rivers, identify various types of river instability, forecast a rivers response to alternative structural treatments and build those treatments. Tier 2 is a two-day training and is both indoors and outdoors. Bring, or wear, appropriate field clothes and waterproof boots or old sneakers you can get wet! Each day will be indoors for slideshows, class exercises, and river flume table demonstrations and outdoors on rivers and streams to observe in the field what we’ve seen and discussed indoors.
Learn More: Here
Natural Resources
VT F&W Community Wildlife Program – Better Zoning to Prevent Forest Fragmentation Webinar
Vermont’s increasing demand for housing and love of our forests is an opportunity to rethink the relationship between development and conservation. Providing housing for those who need it most while maintaining a connected, intact, and diverse ecosystem requires strategic land use planning at the town and regional level. Zoning can steer development into downtown, village, and growth centers and prevent forest fragmentation in rural areas. Towns that have redrawn their zoning lines and adapted development standards have successfully conserved large forest blocks and maintained wildlife connectivity across boundaries. The VT Fish & Wildlife’s Community Wildlife Program has partnered with the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission’s Senior Planner, Darren Schibler, for a deeper understanding of zoning in our state’s fastest growing county. Learn more: Here

Session 1: Tuesday, October 3, 2023, 2:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.   REGISTER
Session 2: Thursday, November 9, 2023, 10:00a.m. – 11:00a.m.   REGISTER
VT F&W Community Wildlife Program – Environmental Leadership Training Unit 1: From Science to Planning
These courses are designed for Vermonters serving on municipal boards or who work as conservation volunteers and want to learn more about the science, concepts, and leadership involved in VT land use planning and land management. This training will introduce participants to important scientific concepts involved in planning for natural resources and focus on skills leaders need to operate effectively. Participants will explore the full suite of issues at play in natural resources planning, from forests and wildlife to floodplains and climate change. Presentations on context, ecological scale, and planning for whole Communities are interspersed with interactive hands-on activities that make this an intensive and exciting training. To Register Email [email protected]

Session 1: Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 6:30p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  (Online)
Session 2: Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 6:30p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Online)
Session 3: Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 6:30p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Online)

Note: This is a 3-session training course. You must sign up for all three sessions if you wish to take this class and receive the certificate.

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