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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

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.

Important step in using churches as shelters

Using a church to house overnight guests for an emergency, march/demonstration, athletic or educational event? Read on!

In the last few months, the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program has become aware that there are churches that have been using their facilities as temporary overnight shelters for various community events.  While these facilities are generally suitable to house a considerable number of overnight guests, they may or may not be considered safe.  In an effort to assure a reasonable degree of safety for such uses, The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards has provided a legal means of permitting this use in the State Building Code.

In short, a church cannot use its facilities as an overnight shelter unless a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Building Official after a mutual inspection is done with the Fire Chief and Board of Health and all officials agree that the temporary use will be reasonably safe.  If you would like to apply for a permit, please feel free to call  or email James Hawkins, Building Commissioner at extension 113.

Some of the beautiful churches in our region:

TownHall&Church Baptist Church @ cemetery rte 112 Buckland--Mary Lyon Church (MHC 106) & Grange Hall (MHC 107) Advent Church in Shelburne Falls

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.

 

Natural Disasters Don’t Have to Be a Disaster for You

Between 2000 and 2011, more than 2.7 billion people were affected by disasters. Natural hazards can’t be prevented but we can  prevent them from becoming a disaster for us.  Be Prepared!

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

FRCOG E-Newsletter Debuts

Click here to read our Winter Newsletter or subscribe to future issues.

Presentations from the Municipal Partnerships Conference

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Lt. Gov. Polito kicks off the conference to a standing-room only crowd of municipal officials.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies hosted the Elevating Municipal Partnerships Conference in Worcester on 11/12/15.  For more information on the Community Compact program, click here.  Session presentations are available below:

Financial Management Best Practice Session Presentations:

MTWP Community Compact Conference Nov 2015
JOHN Budgeting Best Practices Presentation 11-12-15
SARAH Fiscal Management-Sarah Stanton-City of Salem
SEAN Slide for Muni Summit 11-2015

IT Best Practice Session Presentations:
Charlie_Desourdy_IT_Best_Practices
Nat_Ashland_coUrbanize Presentation
JerrardWhitten_RegionalCMMS11.2015

Housing and Economic Development Best Practice Session Presentations:
Athol Interactive Mapping
COM_RHSOs_Raitt_11_12_15
Presentation_Easthampton_110915

Regionalization Best Practice Session Presentations:
Regional Partnerships – Group Purchases – Holy Cross 2015
South County EMS Regionalization Presentation
For more information on sharing municipal services in Massachusetts, click here.

Transportation Best Practice Session Presentations:
2015-11-12 CrossTown Connect TMA Presentation
Beverly_Complete Streets

Energy and Environment

Climate Vulnerability Assessment, Quincy MA

FRCOG Autumn Newsletter

connrivWe are pleased to release this season’s issue of the FRCOG Newsletter. Please let us know if you would like it emailed to you by clicking here, and read the information-packed issue here: 2015 autumn newsletter