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Read the FRCOG Quarterly Updates!

Here are the updates we gave our Council members at their quarterly meeting on July 20 – full of information on the work of the staff and committees over the last quarter!

2017 JULY updates

Legal Marijuana: Municipal Options and Next Steps

Margaret Hurley, Municipal Division Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office,  joined us on September 7th for a review of what the final legislation says and what next steps are for select boards, planning boards, and boards of health. Notes from that session are here: Retail MJ Muni Info Session Notes 2017.9.7

Another great resource is the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies Recreational Marijuana Resource Page.

Celebrate FRCOG’s 20th Anniversary!

We are pleased to announce that July 1, 2017, marked the FRCOG’s 20th birthday.  In the two decades since the FRCOG Charter was enacted by vote of all 26 Franklin County towns, we have been honored to work on behalf of all of you on many diverse projects, including town accounting, brownfields redevelopment, teen substance abuse prevention, health and building inspection, and planning for healthy and vibrant communities.  All summer we will be celebrating our history of working together as a region by digging into our archives to highlight what the towns of Franklin County have achieved together through the FRCOG.  You can follow our daily posts of historical milestones on Facebook  and on Twitter

Not on social media? You can see the posts here: 20th anniversary posts through Sept 6

Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please join us on Friday, October 13 from 3-5:30 for an anniversary celebration! Click here for flyer with all the details!

FRCOG’s front office in the Courthouse… now the District Attorney’s office.

Our staff in the early 1990s, when we were still the Franklin County Commission.

About 2/3 of our staff in 2017!

Summer Reading: FRCOG 2016 Annual Reports are available online

FRCOG’s Annual Reports for 2016 are online and available!

Click here to see the full regional report.

Click here to find  your town’s appendix. These appendices include just the town-specific work done, and were distributed to each town bound into the back of the full Regional Report.

COG staff member Bob Dean’s photo of Zerah Fiske Road in Shelburne – a location used in the movie The Judge

The Town of Montague’s new skate park at Unity Park

FRCOG Program Updates

Interested in learning a bit more about what has been happening here at the FRCOG in the last three months? Check out the updates presented to our Council members on July 21:

Click here for July 2016 Updates

Marijuana Workshop for Municipal Leaders

Local municipal leaders need to prepare themselves to have an opinion on the upcoming legalization ballot question. Join the Communities That Care Coalition and Greenfield Health Department for a 5/19 workshop on the shifting landscape of marijuana in Franklin County/North Quabbin, and an update on what we know now about the drug and its effects on developing brains.

Click here for more information on the workshop.

RSVP for the workshop by clicking here.

 

New MA Climate Change Report

Click here to review UMass’ new Climate Change Report, filled with great data and charts to help you think about the future of our community.

FRCOG FY17 Budget

In January the FRCOG Council endorsed the FRCOG’s FY2017 budget.  Budget highlights budget are:

  • 6% increase to health insurance, as voted by the Hampshire Insurance Trust.
  • OPEB payment of $150,000.
  • 2% Increase to staff wages.
  • Using new revenues and with no financial impact to towns, staffing in the Finance Department increased to include a part-time Grant Fiscal Manager.
  • Minor increases to audit costs, staff training and development, and special project costs.
  • Capital expense of $11,000 to purchase a new server and associated software and equipment.

This results in a small increase to the Regional Services Assessment of 1.7%.  There is also very little change to assessments for participation in the Municipal Service Programs:  Cooperative Purchasing, Cooperative Public Health Service, Town Accounting, and the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program.

View the Budget and/or the Budget Development Workbook, with detailed and transparent information about the FRCOG’s finances.  FRCOG staff are always available to meet with Select Boards and/or Finance Committees and attend Town Meeting to explain the FRCOG budget.  Please contact lindad@frcog.org with questions or if you would like us to attend any of your meetings.

 

Drug Take Back Box Locations

Do you have unwanted or out-of-date drugs in your home? Get them out of the medicine cabinet, away from children and potential abusers, and out of the environment. Thanks to Northwestern District Attorney Dave Sullivan and local police departments, you can safely and anonymously drop them off in a secure MedReturn Box, located at one of 18 local police stations, and they will be disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins and veterinary meds are accepted. NO liquids, syringes, IV equipment or chemotherapy drugs, please.

click here for drug take back box locations

for more on DA Sullivan’s Drug Take Back program click here

Promoting Farm to Institution Relationships

FRCOG staff are working with the Franklin County Food Council and Greater Quabbin Food Alliance to increase the amount of local food used by institutional food services (schools and colleges, nursing homes, the jail, the hospital, etc.). This group held a training on USDA local food procurement, targeting K-12 school food service directors, business managers, local organizations and procurement staff in November. Food services representatives from all Franklin County school districts attended. The training included presentations by local and regional resource providers including MA Farm to School, Franklin County CDC, CISA, Just Roots, Franklin County Solid Waste District, Apex Farm, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and the MA Public Health Association. They plan to organize another gathering or training in the Spring. For more information contact Rachel Stoler rstoler@frcog.org

 

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