Reports of High Risk Stream Crossings in the Deerfield River Watershed are now available. The information in the reports and maps is from a pilot project completed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass) that assessed the vulnerability of road-stream crossings to precipitation events. FRCOG planning staff compiled this information for each Franklin County town within the watershed as part of the FY18 Franklin Region Unified Planning Work Program. The purpose of the maps and reports are to help municipal officials and public works staff prioritize bridge and culvert upgrades in their town. The reports also provide information on how to make road-stream upgrades more resilient to current and projected precipitation conditions, and lists potential funding sources for upgrading crossings. The town reports are available here.
The Town of Erving was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s new Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program to complete a climate change vulnerability assessment, develop resiliency strategies, and update the town’s FEMA-approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The town will be working with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) on this project. Communities that complete the MVP designation planning process become certified as an MVP community and are eligible for MVP Action grant funding to implement priority projects.
Erving and FRCOG are hosting a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Community Resilience Building Workshop to help town staff, volunteers, residents, and businesses define top local natural and climate-related hazards of concern, identify existing and future strengths and vulnerabilities, and identify and prioritize actions and projects the Town can implement to increase climate change resilience.
The MVP Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Erving Senior & Community Center, located at 1 Care Drive in Erving. Residents, business owners, and stakeholders are invited to attend. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Bryan Smith, Erving Administrative Coordinator at email@example.com by September 26th.
For more information regarding the MVP planning process contact: Kimberly Noake MacPhee, Land Use & Natural Resources Program Manager, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-774-3167 x130.
The Deerfield River, a major tributary of the Connecticut River, is widely regarded as one of the coldest and cleanest rivers in Massachusetts. The watershed supports a wide variety of ecological, recreational, and commercial uses. There are many active stakeholders who have a vested interest in maintaining the high quality and climate change resiliency of the watershed resources, including wetlands, floodplains, riparian corridors, forests and other vegetated open spaces that help to mitigate the impacts from severe storm events and flooding. FRCOG’s comprehensive watershed-based plan identifies mitigation, restoration, preservation and avoidance projects/strategies that address multiple threats to watershed health and resiliency. The recommendations apply to various scales – the Deerfield River Watershed, its ten HUC 12 subwatersheds and the 14 watershed towns in Franklin County. The plan is available here.
The FRCOG Planning Department received $155,000 from the MassDEP’s 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grant Program, one of only nine awards made for stormwater projects across the state, for a project to improve the resiliency of the Deerfield River Watershed. FRCOG’s project will look at innovative ways to map and protect river corridors in the Deerfield River Watershed, which experienced major flooding and erosion during Tropical Storm Irene. Although the Deerfield River and many of its tributaries are healthy in terms of their high water quality, these same rivers are very unstable in their response to intense rain events. This instability results in erosion and flooding, which threatens infrastructure, homes, businesses and agricultural lands. The rivers are highly reactive to intense rain events for a number of reasons, one of which is the disconnection of the rivers from their floodplains, which provide a “safety valve” during flood events. FRCOG’s project will develop cost-effective river corridor mapping protocols, work with several towns to adapt a model River Corridor Protection Overlay District developed by FRCOG under a FEMA-funded project for the South River Watershed, and develop a model River Corridor Conservation Restriction. For more information, contact Kimberly Noake MacPhee, P.G., Land Use & Natural Resources Program Manager at 413-774-3167 x130 or email@example.com.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is convening public hearings on toll structure changes within the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the Metropolitan Highway System, which includes the Boston tunnels and the Tobin Memorial Bridge. The proposed changes include changes in the toll collection gantry locations and rates through the implementation of all electronic tolling along the Massachusetts Turnpike and the Metropolitan Highway System. Public hearings will be held on the dates and at the locations stated in this notice.
Interested parties will be given an opportunity to present comments orally or in writing at the hearings. In addition, written comments will be accepted for 2 weeks following the hearings, until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2016.
One of the public hearings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14th at the Springfield City Hall, 36 Court St., Springfield, MA 01103. For further information on the public hearings please see the following flyer.
The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) Fiscal Year 2015 Survey and Planning Grant cycle is underway. For the FY 2015 round, eligible applicants will include all local historical commissions, local historic district commissions, municipal planning offices, and other public and non-profit historic preservation organizations. For FY 2015, the MHC/Grantee match shares will be 50/50. The goal of the Survey and Planning Grant program is to support efforts to identify and plan for the protection of the significant historic buildings, structures, archaeological sites and landscapes of the Commonwealth. Potential projects include the completion of cultural resource inventories, nomination of significant properties to the National Register of Historic Places, completion of community-wide preservation plans, and other types of studies, reports, publications and projects that relate to the identification and protection of significant historic properties and sites.
The FRCOG has created a new video with instructions on how to load your bike on the bus. Check it out here.