In response to COVID-19, FRCOG offices are closed. Staff are working remotely. Email is likely the most efficient way to reach us. You can find our contact information on the Staff page under the About link below.

Building, plumbing and wiring inspectors are available for meetings by appointment only.

All meetings, workshops and forums are cancelled or have been changed to a call-in or video format.  Please look for emails from FRCOG staff about specific meetings or on our calendar at the Meetings and Events link below.

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New rounds of the MassDOT Shared Streets & Spaces Grant have been Announced

MassDOT has announced new funding for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program to help municipalities address the challenges of winter and the ongoing public health crisis. This new phase of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program is called Shared Winter Streets and Spaces. The program provides grants from $5,000 to $300,000 for quick-build improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces, and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce.

MassDOT has allocated $10 million for this program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and decisions will be made in four rounds. The deadlines for the 4 rounds are December 4th, January 5th, January 29th, and February 26th. Please note that this review schedule is different from the first, summer version of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program.

For further details about the program go to https://www.mass.gov/shared-winter-streets-and-spaces-grant-program.

New grant program for small businesses – deadline extended!

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched two new programs to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide grants of up to $75,000 to eligible small businesses (businesses with 50 or fewer employees) and grants of up to $25,000 to eligible microenterprises (businesses with 5 or fewer employees) to fund certain activities.  The application round opened on October 22 and was scheduled to close on November 12. However, the deadline has been extended to Tuesday, November 17 at 11:59 pm. For details, go to: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/covid-19-grants-massachusetts-small-businesses.

This program as well as information about other programs and resources to support businesses and community economic development are posted at: https://frcog.org/publication/view/business-development-resource-guide/

2020 Census Events

Everyone in Franklin County needs to be counted in the 2020 Census by the end of September 2020!

To help complete the 2020 Census, check out one of these upcoming Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) Center events in Franklin County see the list below by date or by town. For more information about these MQA events, contact US Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Elaine Arsenault at elaine.m.arsenault@2020census.gov.

BY DATE:

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

 

BY TOWN:

ASHFIELD

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

CHARLEMONT

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

GREENFIELD

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

ORANGE

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

ROWE

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

SHELBURNE FALLS

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

TURNERS FALLS

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

WENDELL

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

 

Help spread this message in your community that the US Census is safe, easy and important. Click here for information about the 2020 Census and graphics and materials that can be shared.

Draft 2020 Franklin County CEDS Plan

Click here to view the Draft 2020 Franklin County CEDS Plan (PDF file, 4.4 mb)

The Draft 2020 Franklin County CEDS Plan is available for public review and comment through June 7, 2020. Please submit comments by email to jatwood@frcog.org or leave a voicemail message with contact information at 413-774-3167 x123.

The Draft Plan was created by the FRCOG, under the guidance of the CEDS Committee.  Using the EDA framework, this new five-year plan will serve as a roadmap for the FRCOG and its partners to foster an environment in Franklin County that cultivates business and job growth and enhances opportunity for all.

2020 Census Preparations and QACs

The 2020 U.S. Census. It’s safe, easy, and important. And we need your help!

Please help spread the message that the 2020 Census is safe, easy, and important.  Talk to your friends and families. Post a message or video clip on social media. Hang a poster at your office or where people gather in your community. Check out our list of resources (including links to video clips, posters, FAQs, and more) at: https://frcog.org/publication/view/census-2020-preparation/.

From March 12 to March 20, every household will receive an invitation to complete the 2020 US Census. Responses can be submitted online, by telephone, by mail, or in-person by an official Census-taker. It is important that everyone is counted. This data is used to determine our political representation and how much federal and state funding comes to our region. It is estimated that if 3 out of every 100 people in Franklin County are not counted, we could lose up to $50 million in funding over a ten-year period. For more information, check out MIRA Coalition’s 2020 Census: Frequently Asked Questions or visit 2020census.gov.

HELP RESPONDING TO THE 2020 CENSUS

Given the current situation with COVID-19, most Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) are not available currently or in the near term. Please contact the QAC directly to confirm their status and hours of operation.  Click here for the list of QACs in Franklin County as of March 12, 2020 at 3:30 pm (PDF, 497 kb)

However, there are other resources to helpfully guide people when responding to the 2020 Census questionnaire:

Video guide on how to respond online, available in 63 language options – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLewV-zKXDZkiAT8Tp96NysEoq3dDEMi7L

Online guide on how to respond by phone, available in 17 language options – https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html

 

 

 

Opportunity Zone Presentation on October 15

Great things are happening in Downtown Greenfield and Turners Falls. However, vacant storefronts and buildings in need of redevelopment remain. What can be done to create more dynamic and sustainable downtown economies? One tool that can be used is the new federal Opportunity Zone program, which seeks to drive private investment into downtowns in need of revitalization.

Earlier this year LOCUS and Smart Growth America selected the City of Greenfield and the Town of Montague to participate in their Massachusetts Opportunity Zone Academy. The Academy provides one-on-one expert technical assistance to Greenfield and Montague on advancing smart growth best practices and policies to revitalize the designated Opportunity Zones in their communities (i.e. areas of Downtown Greenfield and the Village of Turners Falls). Smart growth best practices and policies encourage sustainable, equitable and walkable development that create healthy communities and expand economic opportunity.

As part of this award, experts from LOCUS and Smart Growth America will host a public presentation about the Opportunity Zones program and how these communities can leverage their designation to attract private investment. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:00 pm -7:30 pm, John Zon Community Center, 35 Pleasant Street, Greenfield. Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to attend.