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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

MassHealth Accountable Care Organization Info

There is an enormous change in the health care received by many people in Franklin County and the North Quabbin going on, as all MassHealth participants join Accountable Care Organizations. FRCOG, the Opioid Task Force, the Community Health Center and others are working to ensure the best possible outcomes for local residents in this promising but complicated shift in how the state funds health care for some of our most vulnerable residents.  Interested in learning more? Here are some helpful resources:
ACO Policy Brief
Insurance Navigation Help Listing for our region
Primary Care Practice ACO list for our region
MassHealth Enrollment Guide

Franklin County and North Quabbin representatives of primary care practices, human service agencies, hospitals, alternative medicine practitioners, and others meet on 4/27 with representatives of MassHealth.

Franklin County Municipal Directory

The FRCOG is pleased to make available the all-new digital municipal directory, with contact information for every board and department in every town. Our thanks to town hall staff for providing the information.

Click here to access the directory.

 

Short Term Rental Workshop Materials

Materials from our 10/5/17 workshop on short term residential rentals are available here:

Slideshow: Short Term Rentals and Your Town

Link to DPH Memo clarifying that short term rentals qualify as public lodging and need  a lodging permit from the Board of Health.

Summary of Lodging requirements and definitions in the 14 member towns of the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program.

Summary of next steps for existing short term rental hosts:

 

Read the FRCOG Quarterly Updates!

Here are the updates we gave our Council members at their quarterly meeting on July 20 – full of information on the work of the staff and committees over the last quarter!

2017 JULY updates