Archive | February, 2016

Procurement in Emergencies

While this winter has been very mild, the season always brings with it the increased possibility of the need for emergency repairs.  Here is a very short guide to handling some emergency issues that involve hiring contractors or equipment that will cost more than $10,000.

*In an emergency, you may only do what is necessary to temporarily repair and restore in order to preserve health and safety of persons or property.

*If you need to procure in an emergency, contact the Division of Capital Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) at emergencywaivers.dcamm@state.ma.us or FAX 617-727-5363 to get permission to waive bidding

*If you need Emergency Heavy Equipment, the FRCOG has a standing contract, the details are at http://frcog.org/bids  under Bid Awards and Rental Equipment for a complete list and pricing.

* Remember that even small emergency building repair and public works projects require the payment of prevailing wage unless you hire an owner/operator. We recommend you request a new set of prevailing wages to have on hand for unforeseen emergencies each year at http://prevailingwage.detma.org/WageRequest.

Contact Andrea Woods, Chief Procurement Officer for help with waivers, emergency procurements, prevailing wage requests or locating resources at bids@frcog.org or 413-774-3167 x104.

What is Mass in Motion?

Mass in Motion is a statewide movement that promotes opportunities for healthy eating and active living in the places people live, learn, work and play. Franklin County’s Mass in Motion initiative is part of the Communities That Care Coalition, which is co-hosted by the Partnership for Youth, a program of the FRCOG. A newly-formed Steering Committee held its first meeting November 9th and will meet quarterly. It will track progress on our nutrition and physical activity outcomes, and strategies associated with making healthy choices easier in our region. The Steering Committee is still welcoming new members, especially people who represent smaller towns. If you are interested, please contact Rachel Stoler at rstoler@frcog.org.

As part of the expanded Mass in Motion initiative, the FRCOG offered a pilot pedestrian “Wayfinding” project in one town in Franklin County, and the Steering Committee awarded the project to the Town of Montague. The Town will receive assistance in the form of mapping and signage for a public walking route to encourage walking as both exercise and a way to get to places of interest and importance. Signs will make the walking route easier to navigate, and will identify destinations and delineate the time it takes to walk to each location. Destinations may include community landmarks, downtown centers, transit stations/stops, institutions, healthy markets, community centers, and other places of interest Montague residents interested in the project can contact Walter Ramsay, Town Planner at planner@montague-ma.gov.

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Deerfield Industrial Park Economic Development Plan Updated

DEDIC EDP_DFLD Industrial Park photo_1-19-16

The vision for the Deerfield Industrial Park includes a mix of industrial and commercial uses.

The Deerfield Economic Development Industrial Corporation (DEDIC) was established in 1977 to implement industrial activities in the Deerfield Industrial Park according to an Economic Development Plan (EDP). Since the establishment of the Park, the industrial and manufacturing sectors of the economy have been substantially altered by the increased effects of globalization and more efficient technologies. While manufacturing remains a prominent economic driver in Franklin County, the nature of the industry and the economy have changed in the ensuing four decades since the publication of the first DEDIC EDP. In 2015, the FRCOG Planning Department worked with DEDIC to develop a revised EDP for the Park that reflects an updated vision of how industrial activities have changed in the 21st century, envisioning a more contemporary mix of industrial and commercial uses.

The revised EDP and associated Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow for expanded commercial uses in the Industrial Park were approved by Deerfield Annual Town Meeting on April 27, 2015. A copy of the EDP can be found on the Deerfield Town Website at: http://www.deerfieldma.us/Pages/DeerfieldMA_News/0211CB28-000F8513

DEDIC and the Town of Deerfield are currently working with the Town’s legislative representatives to seek the enactment of Special Legislation codifying DEDIC’s expanded authority under M.G.L. Chapter 121C. A new set of Industrial Park Rules and Regulations is also being developed that are more in alignment with the current needs of the Park and the community’s economic development goals.

Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning

The Towns of Leyden, Rowe, and Wendell are currently developing Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans with assistance from the FRCOG Planning Department through a grant from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan is to identify natural and other hazards that may impact the community, such as floods, winter storms, and spills of hazardous substances; conduct a risk assessment to identify infrastructure at the highest risk for being damaged by hazards; inventory and assess current Town hazard mitigation policies, programs, and regulations; and identify action steps to prevent damage to property and loss of life. Towns with plans approved by FEMA and MEMA are eligible for state and federal grant monies to fund pre- and post-disaster mitigation projects to reduce the impact of future natural and man-made disasters. The FRCOG has assisted all 26 Franklin County towns with developing a plan. For information on available hazard mitigation grants see http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/hazard-mitigation/grants/ or contact Kimberly Noake MacPhee at kmacphee@frcog.org .

flood rainville photo

Property damage, such as this which occurred as a result of Tropical Storm Irene, is one of many topic explored during hazard mitigation planning.

 

 

 

 

FRCOG’s Health District Wins Federal Food Safety Grant

Thanks to a national push to reduce foodborne illness, seven local towns that share a regional health agent have been awarded a federal grant to support their food safety initiatives. The grant will bring improved inspection and data collection and low-cost and free training for food service employees.

According to Regional Health Agent Glen Ayers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) funding will focus on food establishments in the towns of Buckland, Charlemont, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden and Monroe. The towns, members of the Cooperative Public Health Service health district at the FRCOG, will receive $65,000 per year for five years to support improvements in inspection and education.   “This grant will give us the technology to do food inspections on tablets out in the field and allow the Boards of Health to track data on food safety issues identified over time,” said Ayers. The FRCOG also has hired a part time Food Safety Agent, Randy Crochier, and will start providing low-cost ServSafe, Choke Saver, and allergy training to town residents and food establishments. The first training is scheduled for March 25 in Buckland.

“The Boards of Health in the health district are committed to keeping the residents and the many visitors to our towns safe from foodborne illness, and are excited about the opportunities this grant offers us,” said Doug Telling, Charlemont Board of Health Co-Chair.

The funds are provided as part of FDA’s support for advancing conformance with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards.

On the web:

http://frcog.org/program-services/cooperative-public-health-services/

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/RetailFoodProtection/ProgramStandards/ucm245409.htm

 

CPHS Health Agent Glen Ayers conducting a food inspection

CPHS Health Agent Glen Ayers conducting a food inspection