Archive | Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program

RSS feed for this section

New MA Climate Change Report

Click here to review UMass’ new Climate Change Report, filled with great data and charts to help you think about the future of our community.

Traffic Count Season is Here!

Transportation Planning Staff are gearing up for the 2016 Traffic Counting season, getting supplies and requests in order.  The FRCOG has operated and maintained traffic counting equipment since 1991, primarily for the purpose of conducting state-requested counts required by our contract with MassDOT. However, fulfilling this obligation has taken only a portion of the traffic counting season, making it possible for us to use the equipment to conduct local traffic counts at no charge to our communities and support ongoing planning studies. The FRCOG operates automatic traffic recorders that have the ability to collect vehicle classification and speed data at most locations. The count season typically runs from May and October. Traffic count requests can be made in writing (mail, fax or email) to Laurie Scarbrough, Transportation Planning Engineer at lscarbrough@frcog.org.

Important step in using churches as shelters

Using a church to house overnight guests for an emergency, march/demonstration, athletic or educational event? Read on!

In the last few months, the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program has become aware that there are churches that have been using their facilities as temporary overnight shelters for various community events.  While these facilities are generally suitable to house a considerable number of overnight guests, they may or may not be considered safe.  In an effort to assure a reasonable degree of safety for such uses, The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards has provided a legal means of permitting this use in the State Building Code.

In short, a church cannot use its facilities as an overnight shelter unless a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Building Official after a mutual inspection is done with the Fire Chief and Board of Health and all officials agree that the temporary use will be reasonably safe.  If you would like to apply for a permit, please feel free to call  or email James Hawkins, Building Commissioner at extension 113.

Some of the beautiful churches in our region:

TownHall&Church Baptist Church @ cemetery rte 112 Buckland--Mary Lyon Church (MHC 106) & Grange Hall (MHC 107) Advent Church in Shelburne Falls

Wood Stove Change-Out Program

DEP’s new Change Out Program offers rebates of up to $1,500 to all Massachusetts residents who replace their old woodstoves by August 22, 2016, and up to $2,500 for those who meet certain income requirements!

Flyer about the program:  2016_Change-Out_Brochure_Standard.

For more information, click here!

FRCOG FY17 Budget

In January the FRCOG Council endorsed the FRCOG’s FY2017 budget.  Budget highlights budget are:

  • 6% increase to health insurance, as voted by the Hampshire Insurance Trust.
  • OPEB payment of $150,000.
  • 2% Increase to staff wages.
  • Using new revenues and with no financial impact to towns, staffing in the Finance Department increased to include a part-time Grant Fiscal Manager.
  • Minor increases to audit costs, staff training and development, and special project costs.
  • Capital expense of $11,000 to purchase a new server and associated software and equipment.

This results in a small increase to the Regional Services Assessment of 1.7%.  There is also very little change to assessments for participation in the Municipal Service Programs:  Cooperative Purchasing, Cooperative Public Health Service, Town Accounting, and the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program.

View the Budget and/or the Budget Development Workbook, with detailed and transparent information about the FRCOG’s finances.  FRCOG staff are always available to meet with Select Boards and/or Finance Committees and attend Town Meeting to explain the FRCOG budget.  Please contact lindad@frcog.org with questions or if you would like us to attend any of your meetings.

 

Rabies Clinic & Tick-borne Disease Testing Clinic for pets

Click below for more information on this great opportunity to get your pets tested for dangerous tick-borne diseases and vaccinated!

March 26 10-12 at Hawlemont School in Charlemont.

Information below:

2016 Rabies Vaccination Clinic & Tick testing information

DART volunteers and Veterinarian vaccinating the first customer at October's rabies clinic

DART volunteers and Veterinarian vaccinating the first customer at October’s rabies clinic

Drug Take Back Box Locations

Do you have unwanted or out-of-date drugs in your home? Get them out of the medicine cabinet, away from children and potential abusers, and out of the environment. Thanks to Northwestern District Attorney Dave Sullivan and local police departments, you can safely and anonymously drop them off in a secure MedReturn Box, located at one of 18 local police stations, and they will be disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins and veterinary meds are accepted. NO liquids, syringes, IV equipment or chemotherapy drugs, please.

click here for drug take back box locations

for more on DA Sullivan’s Drug Take Back program click here

FRCOG E-Newsletter Debuts

Click here to read our Winter Newsletter or subscribe to future issues.

Procurement in Emergencies

While this winter has been very mild, the season always brings with it the increased possibility of the need for emergency repairs.  Here is a very short guide to handling some emergency issues that involve hiring contractors or equipment that will cost more than $10,000.

*In an emergency, you may only do what is necessary to temporarily repair and restore in order to preserve health and safety of persons or property.

*If you need to procure in an emergency, contact the Division of Capital Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) at emergencywaivers.dcamm@state.ma.us or FAX 617-727-5363 to get permission to waive bidding

*If you need Emergency Heavy Equipment, the FRCOG has a standing contract, the details are at http://frcog.org/bids  under Bid Awards and Rental Equipment for a complete list and pricing.

* Remember that even small emergency building repair and public works projects require the payment of prevailing wage unless you hire an owner/operator. We recommend you request a new set of prevailing wages to have on hand for unforeseen emergencies each year at http://prevailingwage.detma.org/WageRequest.

Contact Andrea Woods, Chief Procurement Officer for help with waivers, emergency procurements, prevailing wage requests or locating resources at bids@frcog.org or 413-774-3167 x104.

Deerfield Industrial Park Economic Development Plan Updated

DEDIC EDP_DFLD Industrial Park photo_1-19-16

The vision for the Deerfield Industrial Park includes a mix of industrial and commercial uses.

The Deerfield Economic Development Industrial Corporation (DEDIC) was established in 1977 to implement industrial activities in the Deerfield Industrial Park according to an Economic Development Plan (EDP). Since the establishment of the Park, the industrial and manufacturing sectors of the economy have been substantially altered by the increased effects of globalization and more efficient technologies. While manufacturing remains a prominent economic driver in Franklin County, the nature of the industry and the economy have changed in the ensuing four decades since the publication of the first DEDIC EDP. In 2015, the FRCOG Planning Department worked with DEDIC to develop a revised EDP for the Park that reflects an updated vision of how industrial activities have changed in the 21st century, envisioning a more contemporary mix of industrial and commercial uses.

The revised EDP and associated Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow for expanded commercial uses in the Industrial Park were approved by Deerfield Annual Town Meeting on April 27, 2015. A copy of the EDP can be found on the Deerfield Town Website at: http://www.deerfieldma.us/Pages/DeerfieldMA_News/0211CB28-000F8513

DEDIC and the Town of Deerfield are currently working with the Town’s legislative representatives to seek the enactment of Special Legislation codifying DEDIC’s expanded authority under M.G.L. Chapter 121C. A new set of Industrial Park Rules and Regulations is also being developed that are more in alignment with the current needs of the Park and the community’s economic development goals.