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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 up to July 12

Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please plan to join us on Friday, September 8, in the afternoon for a celebration and Open House (more details TBD)

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.

Our staff in 2014 at our new home in the John Olver Transit Center

Communities That Care Coalition explores the health effects of social injustice

The Communities That Care Coalition’s spring meeting focused on health equity and social justice. Kat Allen provided background information about CTC’s approach and work on social justice. The 2017 Sarah Cummings Leadership Award went to Nicole Zabko for her decade of service as Director of the Greenfield Department of Health, and for her collaboration with groups across the county, including active involvement in Communities that Care.

Jeanette Voas shared a very accessible and interesting presentation on what the social determinants of health are and how they result in health disparities. Powerpoint slides are available here.

Stand Up, a Community Action group for youth of color, engaged the whole audience in an experiential activity about racial inequity. Stand Up members stayed and participated in discussions during the rest of the meeting, providing input based on their experiences in the community as youth of color.

Kent Alexander and Rachel Stoler led the group in discussions about racial disparities and health equity after a viewing excerpts from Unnatural Causes and a TED talk by Dr. Camara Jones.

 

 

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

Massachusetts Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan Update Underway

MassDOT is currently updating the statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan. Check out MassDOT’s website to see how you can provide input and help create safe, comfortable, and convenient bike networks to advance bicycling for everyday travel.  Take a quick on-line survey to provide your input (survey link).  There is also an interactive map that allows you to enter routes, and provide comments and concerns about bicycling conditions statewide.  Here is the link to the interactive map.

 

The draft 2018-2022 State Transportation Improvement Program and 2018-2022 Capital Investment Plan are posted to MassDOT website

The Draft FFY 2018-2022 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), the federally-aided highway and transit portion of MassDOT’s FY 18-22 Capital Investment Plan (CIP), has been posted to the MassDOT website http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/planning/Main/StatewidePlans/StateTransportationImprovementProgram.aspx for public review and comment through May 30th.  With assistance from the MPOs, this marks the first year that the STIP development and programs align with the MassDOT CIP. We appreciate the cooperation in the development of your respective TIPs and this Draft FFY 2018-2022 STIP.

MassDOT to hold a Public Meeting on the Draft Capital Investment Plan in Greenfield

The Draft MassDOT & MBTA Capital Investment Plan (CIP) Update for fiscal years 2018–2022 is a multi-billion dollar program that makes long-term, multi-modal investments across the Commonwealth. The CIP covers all MassDOT highway and municipal projects, regional airports, rail and transit, including MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities as well as the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

MassDOT will hold a series of public meetings across the Commonwealth to present and discuss the Draft Capital Investment Plan Update. One of the meetings is scheduled for Monday, May 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at the John W. Olver Transit Center, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield, MA.  Please join us as we present the Draft CIP Update to seek additional public comments and answer your questions. Your participation is critical to its success!

If you are unable to attend a meeting, a copy of the presentation will be available at www.mass.gov/massdot/cip 
Public comments may be submitted by email to masscip@state.ma.us.

CIP Public Meetings Flyer

Draft 2018 Unified Planning Work Program Released for 21-Day Comment Period

The Franklin County Transportation Planning Organization approved the release of the Draft 2018 Unified Planning Work Program for public review and comment on April 25, 2017. There will be a  21-day comment period from Friday, April 28 through Friday, May 19, 2017. The Draft 2018 UPWP is linked below. Please provide any comments Megan Rhodes at mrhodes@frcog.orgor by mail to 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301.

DRAFT Franklin 2018 UPWP

MVP Program Bidders Conference

Please join the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs this Wednesday, May 3rd at 10 AM at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments Office in Greenfield for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program Bidders Conference. The purpose of the meeting is to answer your questions about the Commonwealth’s new municipal grant program.

10 to 11:30 AM Wednesday, May 3rd, 12 Olive Street, 1st floor conference room, Greenfield, MA

The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program (MVP) will provide support for cities and towns across the state to begin the process of planning for resiliency.  The state will award communities with funding to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans.  Communities will be able to define extreme weather and natural and climate related hazards, identify existing and future vulnerabilities and strengths, develop and prioritize actions for the community, and identify opportunities to take action to reduce risk and build resilience.

MVP certified providers will be trained in workshops across the state to provide technical assistance to communities in completing the assessment and resiliency plan using the Community Resilience Building Framework.  Towns and cities will then be able to choose the provider of their choice from a list of certified providers.

Communities who complete the MVP program will become certified as an MVP community and eligible for follow-up grant funding and other opportunities.

The RFR for communities to enroll in the grant program is posted here.