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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.

Flu Clinics

FRCOG’s Cooperative Public Health Service (CPHS) and the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition (MAPHCO) are pleased to offer influenza vaccines (with no insurance co-pay) to area residents at Flu Clinics at various locations throughout the fall. Information on each individual clinic is available via a link below the schedule.

CPHS Clinics: 

All Flu Clinics Poster 2017 as of 9_20
Charlemont Federated Church 10/10/2017
Conway (COA-Town Hall) 10/6/2017
Conway (Grammar School) 11/1/2017
Deerfield (SCSC) 9/19/2017
Deerfield Site Drill (Elem School) 10/14/2017
Gill (Elementary School) 10/18/2017
Gill (Stoughton Place) 10/13/2017
Hawlemont 9/30/2017
Leyden 10/29 and 11/7/2017
Mohawk Trail Regional School (Buckland) 10/30/2017 
Shelburne Falls (Highland Village) 10/24/2017
Shelburne Falls (Sr Center) 10/2

Other Town Clinics: 

Ashfield Board of Health Clinic — Sanderson School 10/21/17  10 AM-2PM. Contact: Carrie O’Gorman, BOH

Everyone six months of age or older needs a flu vaccine. When we all are vaccinated, we build community immunity that protects the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems from the terrible effects of influenza.

Peak Month of Flu Activity
1982-1983 through 2015-2016

For information on prevention, symptoms, and treatment of influenza, visit www.flu.gov

For more information on the CPHS, click here.

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

Brownfields clean-up and demolition underway at Mill in Monroe

Brownfields Clean-up and Demolition at Former Ramage Paper Mill in Monroe

The Town of Monroe and it contractors are completing the clean-up and demolition of the collapsing wooden building at the former Ramage Paper Mill. Funding from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) Brownfields program, the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and Great River Hydro (formerly TransCanada) is supporting this work.   Concerns about potential impacts on the Deerfield River and public safety led the Town of Monroe to remedy this situation, with the assistance of the FRCOG, after repeated requests to the property owner went unanswered.

The next stage of this project is to design, engineer, and construct an overlook park on the site, as funded by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

 Photo of the Ramage Paper Mill site from May 2015


 Photos of the demolition of the wood structure at Ramage Paper Mill site from June 2017

Photos after demolition of the wood structure at Ramage Paper Mill site and with rocks placed along the river’s edge from July 2017

Municipal Resources on Marijuana Legalization

The FRCOG recently hosted a workshop with Attorney Joel Bard and State Rep. Steve Kulik on the many changes coming as a result of the legalization of recreational marijuana. We have collected a number of resources for towns and others on our website.   Click here for a collection of useful information on the new law.

Climate Change Survey Open

The FRCOG is in the beginning stages of developing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Franklin County and is seeking responses to their Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency for Franklin County Survey. This survey focuses on Franklin Town towns and how flooding impacts their infrastructure and natural resources.

CLICK HERE to take the survey. And check back for more information on the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, getting underway in 2017!

$155K Grant Awarded for River Corridor Planning

The FRCOG Planning Department received $155,000 from the MassDEP’s 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grant Program, one of only nine awards made for stormwater projects across the state, for a project to improve the resiliency of the Deerfield River Watershed.  FRCOG’s project will look at innovative ways to map and protect river corridors in the Deerfield River Watershed, which experienced major flooding and erosion during Tropical Storm Irene.  Although the Deerfield River and many of its tributaries are healthy in terms of their high water quality, these same rivers are very unstable in their response to intense rain events.  This instability results in erosion and flooding, which threatens infrastructure, homes, businesses and agricultural lands.  The rivers are highly reactive to intense rain events for a number of reasons, one of which is the disconnection of the rivers from their floodplains, which provide a “safety valve” during flood events.  FRCOG’s project will develop cost-effective river corridor mapping protocols, work with several towns to adapt a model River Corridor Protection Overlay District developed by FRCOG under a FEMA-funded project for the South River Watershed, and develop a model River Corridor Conservation Restriction.  For more information, contact Kimberly Noake MacPhee, P.G., Land Use & Natural Resources Program Manager at 413-774-3167 x130 or kmacphee@frcog.org.

 

Greenscape Challenge Aims to Improve Water Quality

Act for cleaner rivers logo finalFall is a great time to get outside and spend time in your yard and gardens. The Greenscape Challenge can help you to decide what projects to focus on which can improve your yard and gardens and help protect water quality at the same time! The Greenscape Challenge, part of a collaborative project between the Town of Greenfield, the FRCOG and Greening Greenfield, is aimed at teaching you about various projects and techniques you can use in your yard and gardens to help reduce stormwater runoff from your property. Stormwater runoff can often carry with it lawn chemicals, motor oil, dog poop, grass clipping and much more, which in turn wash into storm drains and on into our streams and rivers. Take the Greenscape Challenge and join the growing numbers of people working to protect water quality in Greenfield and beyond. Learn more.