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Rural Policy Advisory Commission Listening Sessions

Listening Sessions

A series of listening sessions has recently been scheduled to gather input from community leaders regarding the suggested focus areas to be included in the development of the Massachusetts Rural Policy Plan.  Listening sessions will be held in several regions across the Commonwealth.

A survey is available to provide input at the RPAC SURVEY –https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RPAC2018

The Western Massachusetts listening sessions are:

  • 12/6   6 PM  at Berkshire Regional Planning Commission register at info@berkshireplanning.org
  • 12/11  5PM at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission register at lgallagher@pvpc.org
  • 12/13 5PM at GCC Downtown  — register at registrations@frcog.org

Click here for Rural Policy Advisory Commission website. 

Municipal Financial Management Workshop Materials

This workshop on 11/8 featured FRCOG Municipal Financial Management Specialist Joe Markarian, who joined us after a long career of supporting towns in improving their financial management practices at the Technical Assistance Bureau of the Massachusetts Division of Local Services.

Materials from the training:
Municipal Calendar from the DOR Division of Local Services
Slides from the workshop
Finance Seminar Spreadsheets
Some cyber-security tips from Mass.Gov

Fall 2018 Local Official Workshop Series

The fall workshop series for local officials is ready for registrations!

Click here for a calendar of the entire fall. For more information on each session, visit the date of the session on the Meetings and Events tab on this website.

To register for any session, email registrations@frcog.org.

Also, stay tuned this fall for two sessions in Greenfield for planning and zoning boards, offered through the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative

FRCOG signs the Stigma Pledge

Massachusetts is in the midst of a heartbreaking crisis of addiction and overdose, and one of the most important things we can all do to prevent further deaths is reduce the stigma experienced by people with substance use disorder. Only 1 in 12 people people with this disorder seek treatment — can you imagine if numbers were similarly low for diabetes?
FRCOG’s staff have signed the Boston Medical Center Stigma Pledge and will work to make sure we use non-stigmatizing language. Join us!

To learn more about the Pledge, click here.

To review an “Addictionary” of stigmatizing and non-stigmatizing language, click here.

Cannabis Control Commission presentation slides

We were pleased to host Commissioner Kay Doyle and Director of Government Affairs David Lakeman at the FRCOG on 6/7 for a review of the final Massachusetts Adult Use Marijuana regulations.

Click here for the slides.

Other handouts at the 6/7 meeting:

How many employees do Franklin County businesses have?

According to the latest U.S. County Business Pattern data, 73% of our region’s private sector employers (i.e. not government establishments and not self-employed) had less than 10 employees.  Interested in more of this data? Contact Jessica Atwood, Economic Development Program Manager at the FRCOG.

 


New Census Data on local population

The latest population estimate by county shows that Franklin County’s population declined from 2000 to 2017 by about 670 people (or <1%), while the state and nation grew by 4.8% and 5.5% respectively.  Of the fourteen counties of Massachusetts, Franklin County along with Berkshire County and Barnstable County (which is Cape Cod) declined in population.

 

Geography 2010 Census Population Population Estimate 2017 2010-2017 Difference 2010-2017 Change
Berkshire County 131,219 126,313 -4,906 -3.7%
Barnstable County 215,888 213,444 -2,444 -1.1%
Franklin County 71,372 70,702 -670 -0.9%
Hampden County 463,490 469,818 6,328 1.4%
Hampshire County 158,080 161,834 3,754 2.4%
Bristol County 548,285 561,483 13,198 2.4%
Worcester County 798,552 826,116 27,564 3.5%
Plymouth County 494,919 515,142 20,223 4.1%
Norfolk County 670,850 700,322 29,472 4.4%
Dukes County 16,535 17,325 790 4.8%
Essex County 743,159 785,205 42,046 5.7%
Middlesex County 1,503,085 1,602,947 99,862 6.6%
Nantucket County 10,172 11,229 1,057 10.4%
Suffolk County 722,023 797,939 75,916 10.5%
Massachusetts 6,547,629 6,859,819 312,190 4.8%
United States 308,745,538 325,719,178 16,973,640 5.5%

 

New Heating Oil Requirements improve air quality, sulfur emissions

FRCOG’s Fuel Bids for FY19 now dictate Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel instead of #2 Heating Oil.  This phased-in law goes into full effect as of July 1, 2018.  In our state alone, distillate oil contributed nearly 30,000 tons of SO2 emissions in 2008; the new regulation will reduce this amount to less than 1,000 tons in 2018 – reducing the allowable amount of sulfur from 500 parts per million in 2014 to only 15 ppm as of July 1 of this year.   Costs are estimated to be slightly higher – perhaps 2-3 cents per gallon.  The cleaner burning fuel will reduce service/cleaning costs in equipment which should mitigate the overall cost increase.  The reduction of these fine sulfur particles will impact our respiratory and cardiovascular health, especially for the elderly and children, and  significantly improve visibility (haze).   FRCOG Fuel Bids will open on May 14 and there are 23 participants for FY19.  More info on FRCOG Collective bids is at https://frcog.org/bids