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Northfield and Warwick MVP / HMP Listening Session & Public Comment Period

Listening Session, May 27, 2021 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

The towns of Northfield and Warwick, with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is hosting a public listening session to review key findings and priority actions that have come out of over a year of stakeholder outreach and virtual workshops. Both towns are seeking to become designated as a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) communities through the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) MVP Program. Four Community Resilience Building workshops were held virtually in February and March to discuss impacts of climate change, identify the towns’ top hazards of concern, review current strengths and vulnerabilities, and brainstorm actions to increase resiliency in three categories – infrastructure, society, and environment. By becoming a designated MVP community, both towns will be eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants to pursue identified action items.

The process will also result in an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan for each town. Once the plan is approved by FEMA and MEMA, both towns will also be able to apply for hazard mitigation funding from those agencies.

The session will be held virtually on Thursday, May 27, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. An agenda with meeting link is below:

Northfield Warwick MVP HMP Listening Session_Agenda

Public Comment Period on Draft Plan, May 28 – June 11, 2021

The session will be followed by a 2-week public comment period on the final draft plan (see links below). Comments are due by Friday, June 11, 2021. Please submit comments to Alyssa or Helena, contact information below.

FULL PLAN – Northfield and Warwick Community Resilience Building and Hazard Mitigation Regional Plan

Northfield MVP Community Resilience Building Matrix

Warwick MVP Community Resilience Building Matrix

For more information please contact: Alyssa Larose, alarose@frcog.org, 413-774-3167 x127, or Helena Farrell, hfarrell@frcog.org

Northfield Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Survey and Materials

Northfield Seeks Public Input for MVP Action Items

The Town of Northfield, in collaboration with the Town of Warwick and with assistance from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is seeking to become designated as a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) community through the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) MVP Program. Two Community Resilience Building workshops were held virtually in March to discuss impacts of climate change on Northfield, identify Northfield’s top hazards of concern, review the Town’s current strengths and vulnerabilities, and brainstorm action items to increase resiliency in three categories – infrastructure, society, and environment. By becoming a designated MVP community, Northfield will be eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants to pursue identified action items. The result of the two workshops is a draft summary matrix outlining strengths, vulnerabilities, and potential action items:

Northfield CRB Risk Matrix_Wkshp2Completed

Northfield needs resident and stakeholder input on the draft action items – what should be Northfield’s top priorities to address vulnerabilities and build upon strengths? Please fill out THIS SURVEY to let us know! 

Your input will be used to prioritize actions in Northfield’s final MVP Plan. A public listening session will be held in May to present the final plan, date TBD.

Questions? Please contact Helena Farrell, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, at hfarrell@frcog.org, 413-774-3167 x134

Warwick Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Survey Link and Materials

Warwick Seeking Public Input for MVP Action Items

The Town of Warwick, in collaboration with the Town of Northfield and with assistance from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is seeking to become designated as a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) community through the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) MVP Program. Two Community Resilience Building workshops were held virtually in February and March to discuss impacts of climate change on Warwick, identify Warwick’s top hazards of concern, review the Town’s current strengths and vulnerabilities, and begin brainstorming action items to increase resiliency in three categories – infrastructure, society, and environment. Links to the workshop presentations are below:

MVP Workshop #1 Presentation Warwick

Moores Pond Beach in Warwick

MVP Workshop #2 Presentation Warwick

By becoming a designated MVP community, Warwick will be eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants to pursue identified action items. The result of the two workshops is a draft summary matrix outlining strengths, vulnerabilities, and potential action items:

Warwick MVP Workshop Matrix_March2021

Warwick needs resident and stakeholder input on the draft action items – what should be Warwick’s top priorities to address vulnerabilities and build upon strengths? What actions are missing? Please fill out THIS SURVEY by Sunday, April 11! 

Your input will be used to prioritize actions in Warwick’s final MVP Plan. A public listening session will be held in May to present the final plan, date TBD.

Questions? Please contact David Young, Warwick Town Coordinator, at coordinator@town.warwick.ma.us, 978-729-3224 (mobile), 413-676-9544 (broadband), or Alyssa Larose, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, at alarose@frocg.org, 413-774-3167 x127.

This is a joint project with the Town of Northfield. For more information about Northfield’s MVP progress, please see this summary document, or go to the Northfield Town website.

Registration now open for MHP’s Western MA Housing Virtual Workshop Series

Registration is now open for the Western Mass Housing Conference, sponsored by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP).

Geared towards officials, volunteers and employees in small and rural towns in Western Mass, the conference has been redesigned as a weekly virtual series that will engage participants in discussion and problem solving around the development of affordable housing in the region.

Registration is free but you must register in advance for EACH session you’d like to attend. Please go to https://www.mhp.net/community/events to register. Contact Katie Bosse at kbosse@mhp.net or 857-317-8517 for more information about this or any other MHP-sponsored events.

Zoning for Housing Diversity in Small Towns

When: Sept. 22, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Playbook for Building Support for Community Engagement

When: Sept. 29, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Pathways to Homeownership in Western Mass

When: Oct. 7, 2020, 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless

When: Oct. 15, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Bringing Affordable Senior Housing to Small and Rural Towns

When: Oct. 21, 2020, 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Distressed and Abandoned Properties

When: Nov. 5 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

CDBG Housing Rehab 101

When: Nov. 9, 2020 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Registration is now open for MHP’s Western MA Housing Conference

Registration is now open for the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s Western MA Housing Conference, Thursday, April 16, 2020 at the Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035.

Geared towards officials, volunteers and employees, this one-day conference will address housing challenges facing small towns and rural communities in Central and Western Massachusetts.

Topics & agenda:

  • Findings from the Rural Policy Plan
  • Using data to support your housing needs
  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Affordable home-ownership opportunities
  • Distressed and abandoned properties
  • Senior housing
  • Community outreach and coalition building

A full agenda will be made available by the end of February.

Registration details:

Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Cost to attend is $30 for municipal planners/volunteers/non-profit organizations and $50 for for-profit organizations.

All training materials will be provided electronically before the event.

Click Here to Register

Contact Katie Bosse at kbosse@mhp.net or 857-317-8517 for more information about this or any other MHP-sponsored events.

Buckland Green Streets Project Information

Buckland Green Streets is a project initiated by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) with funding from a MassDEP 604b grant to assess the potential for Green Infrastructure (GI) stormwater management in Shelburne Falls on the Buckland side.  The goals of the project are to improve water quality in the Deerfield River, to help the village and surrounding watershed become more resilient to increasingly frequent and intense precipitation, and to mitigate the flood hazards resulting from heavy rain events. FRCOG staff worked with the Town Highway and Wastewater Superintendents to develop a stormwater management concept for Crittenden Hill Road where GI can be implemented in conjunction with planned municipal road work currently needed to repair the road and address erosion hazards that threaten residential properties and steep slopes flanking the road.  The concept proposes to retrofit and utilize an abandoned water tank and implement a new bioretention basin to capture and clean large volumes of stormwater before it enters the storm sewer and outlets to the Deerfield River. This concept design will be developed to 25% with cost estimates by a Professional Engineer.  FRCOG will also develop a guide for the Town to continue to integrate GI in its future transportation projects, including an assessment method and links to design and funding sources that will serve as a resource for other towns.

For more information please check out the presentation below, or contact Helena Farrell, Land Use and Natural Resources Planner, at HFarrell@frcog.org or 413-774-3167 ext. 134.

Buckland Green Streets Presentation

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.