Archive by Author

Funding Municipal Culvert Replacements – FREE Forum

Many culverts and bridges are aging, undersized and in need of repair or replacement. Replacing them with structures that meet the current design standards can lead to safer, lower maintenance and more storm resilient roadways. However, securing funds to pay the upfront costs for these upgrades is a challenge for many municipalities. This forum will discuss some of the funding programs that can be used to help implement replacements and upgrades of culverts and small bridges.

When: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 (2:00 – 4:00 PM)

Where: Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG)

1st Floor Meeting Room

Olver Transit Center, 12 Olive Street

Greenfield, MA 01301

Please contact Brian at (617) 626‑1541 or brian.kelder@mass.gov to RSVP

Select the link below for more information.

Culvert Funding Flyer

Rivers and Roads Workshops

The goal of the Rivers & Roads Training Program is to advance an understanding of fluvial geomorphology across the transportation sector, to ultimately develop and implement projects that improve the resiliency of the Commonwealth’s transportation network.

Target Audience: Anyone who manages, plans, designs or builds roadway infrastructure around rivers and streams.

The workshops are FREE but require registration. For information on how to register and locations and dates of workshops, please see the below links:

Rivers and Roads Workshop website

Rivers and Roads Workshop Flyer

River Corridor Toolkit Released

Over the last 10 years, FRCOG has been using the science of Fluvial Geomorphology to develop and pilot cost-effective, sustainable river and watershed assessment, restoration and management techniques in the Franklin County portion of the Deerfield River Watershed.  Historic land clearance and the legacy of channel modification are two of the main stressors still affecting the rivers and streams in this watershed. Continued development and encroachments in the river corridor, along with the more frequent and intense rain events due to climate change, also stress these unstable river systems.

In 2017, FRCOG was awarded a $155,000 s.319 grant from MassDEP to develop a river corridor mapping protocol and a River Corridor Management Toolkit, which includes two innovative tools: a Model River Corridor Protection Overlay Zoning District Bylaw and a draft River Corridor Easement Restriction.

The Toolkit can be used by state agency staff, communities and landowners in the Deerfield River Watershed and across the Commonwealth who are interested in river restoration and protection, climate resilient land use, and the reduction of threats to critical infrastructure caused by increasingly severe and frequent flood events.  More Information:  Kimberly Noake MacPhee at kmacphee@frcog.org or ext. 130.

River Corridor Toolkit_Part_1

River Corridor Toolkit_Part_2

River Corridor Toolkit_Part_3

 

$50,000 Culvert Replacement Grant Awarded to the Town of Leverett

Leverett was recently awarded $50,000 from the DER’s Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance (CRMA) Grant Program to conduct field data collection and analysis, design and engineering, and permitting for the replacement of a culvert on a tributary to Roaring Brook, a coldwater fishery.  Upgrading the culvert eliminates the risk of collapse, protecting infrastructure and access between Amherst and Routes 202 and improving fish and wildlife passage. The CRMA program is designed to help communities replace existing culverts with structures that will be more flood resilient and meet the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards.  Please contact Brian Kelder (brian.kelder@mass.gov, 617-626-1541) for more information.

Funding a Municipal Culvert Replacement Project – Save the Date, October 30, 2019

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments is partnering with the Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) to host a forum highlighting some options to secure funding assistance for municipal culvert replacement projects. The free event will be held on October 30, 2019 from 2-4 pm, at the JW Olver Transit Center, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield.   The forum will highlight the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program, MassDOT Small Bridge Program, MEMA/FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants and the DER Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance (CRMA) Grant Program, as well as other state and federal funding sources. Please contact Brian Kelder (brian.kelder@mass.gov, 617-626-1541) for more information.

Congratulations to Charlemont, Colrain, and Heath on becoming designated Green Communities!

Congratulations to Charlemont, Colrain, and Heath on becoming designated Green Communities! The three towns were recognized by State officials at a ceremony in Colrain on May 2. See the official press release from the Department of Energy Resources below. FRCOG staff provided technical assistance to the three towns with their designation efforts. To date, 24 of the 26 towns in Franklin County are Green Communities, with a total of over $5.4 million in grant funds awarded to Franklin County Towns through the program.

Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Award to Western Massachusetts Municipalities
Seven Communities Receive $927,786 for Energy Efficiency Projects

WESTHAMPTON –– The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $927,786 to Charlemont, Colrain, Heath, Sandisfield, Westhampton, Wilbraham and Worthington. The awards will fund energy efficiency projects and were presented by Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson during ceremonies in Western Massachusetts.

In December of last year, 30 communities across Massachusetts were designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions. With 240 of the Commonwealth’s municipalities having earned their Green Communities designation, 78 percent of residents now live in a Green Community. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $100 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.

“We are proud to support the Green Communities program and the work it allows state and local governments to do in order to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through responsible clean energy policies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Cities and towns that participate in the Green Communities program have access to additional resources that help facilitate investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects while reducing energy costs and carbon footprints.”

“These towns are making tremendous strides to reduce energy consumption and save money and this grant funding is another step we are taking to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth with the tools they need to continue to move Massachusetts forward as a leader in energy efficiency,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding, including reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. The 30 newly designated Green Communities have committed to reduce their energy consumption by 293,936 MMBTUs in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering 2,281 homes, and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction of 21,380 metric tons equivalent to taking 4,501 cars off the roads.

“Close collaboration between communities and the Commonwealth is a critical component of efforts to create a cleaner energy future by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “With today’s designation, the Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in collaborating with our municipal partners to reduce energy costs, consumption and emissions.”

“The Green Communities program is an important partnership with cities and towns to help them find clean energy solutions that reduce long-term energy costs and strengthen local economies,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “These grants represent another milestone for both the communities and the Commonwealth as we continue to collaborate to meet our shared energy goals.”

DOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities:

Municipality                Award

Charlemont                 $129,074

Colrain                         $129,880

Heath                          $129,582

Sandisfield                   $128,805

Westhampton             $129,135

Wilbraham                  $152,815

Worthington               $128,495

Under the Green Communities Act, DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns.  The goal of the Designation Grant Program is support communities’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the designated communities.  Initial Designation Grants are based on a $125,000 base for each designated Green Community, plus additional amounts tied to per capita income and population, and for municipalities that provide as-of-right siting for renewable energy generation.

“I’m thrilled that Charlemont, Heath, Sandisfield, Westhampton and Worthington are now designated as Green Communities,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield). “Taking this step to improve collective efforts to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy is good news for the entire Commonwealth.”

“I am pleased to see Charlemont, Colrain, and Heath be recognized for their efforts to promote green, renewable energy and mitigate the effects of climate change,” said State Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru). “Increasingly, we understand that our future relies on innovative solutions that foster energy efficiency and a diversified portfolio of renewables. The Green Communities designation helps local municipalities lead the charge towards much needed sustainable solutions and has my full support. Congratulations to these three communities on their efforts.”

Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from the Renewable Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as well as Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) paid by retail electric suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.

A full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.

Draft Montague MVP Resiliency Plan Available for Public Comment

Montague MVP Plan Available for Review and Comment

The Town of Montague’s draft Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Resiliency Plan is available for public review and comment. Click on the link below to read the MVP Plan and/or attend the Montague MVP public meeting, held in conjunction with the Montague Select Board meeting on Monday, June 18 at 7:15 p.m., located at the Montague Town Hall, Second Floor.  Public comments will be accepted during the meeting as well as during a public comment period from May 24 to June 18. You may hand in your comments at the public meeting or email comments to Walter Ramsey, Montague Town Planner, at planner@montague-ma.gov.  You may also mail comments to:

Town of Montague

One Avenue A

Turners Falls, MA 01376

Attention: Walter Ramsey

https://www.montague-ma.gov/news/newsfile_64_Montague_MVP_Plan_PublicCommentDRAFT.pdf