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The Spring Scoop: Updates from the FRCOG

Interested in new initiatives and our progress on current FRCOG projects?  Check out the link below for quarterly updates presented to the FRCOG Council in April.

The Spring Scoop: News from the FRCOG

FRCOG 2017 Annual and Town Reports Are Here!

The FRCOG is pleased to present the 2017 Annual and Town Reports, highlighting the work and accomplishments of our programs and Franklin County communities.  Please click on the image above or this link to access the reports.

 

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

Legal Marijuana: Municipal Options and Next Steps

Margaret Hurley, Municipal Division Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office,  joined us on September 7th for a review of what the final legislation says and what next steps are for select boards, planning boards, and boards of health. Notes from that session are here: Retail MJ Muni Info Session Notes 2017.9.7

Another great resource is the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies Recreational Marijuana Resource Page.

First West Nile Virus found in mosquitos in Franklin County

Press Release about WNV risk in Franklin County from DPH.   Recorder article on West Nile Virus.

Please spread the word to residents to: (1) wear bug spray,  (2) repair torn screens, (3) prevent ALL standing water around houses. For more information on mosquito-borne diseases check out the Mass DPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito 

Kudos to the Deerfield and Greenfield Boards of  Health for their leadership in this arena!