The Deerfield River, a major tributary of the Connecticut River, is widely regarded as one of the coldest and cleanest rivers in Massachusetts. The watershed supports a wide variety of ecological, recreational, and commercial uses. There are many active stakeholders who have a vested interest in maintaining the high quality and climate change resiliency of the watershed resources, including wetlands, floodplains, riparian corridors, forests and other vegetated open spaces that help to mitigate the impacts from severe storm events and flooding. FRCOG’s comprehensive watershed-based plan identifies mitigation, restoration, preservation and avoidance projects/strategies that address multiple threats to watershed health and resiliency. The recommendations apply to various scales – the Deerfield River Watershed, its ten HUC 12 subwatersheds and the 14 watershed towns in Franklin County. The plan is available here.
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.
FRCOG Planning staff assisted the Town of Wendell’s Agricultural Commission, along with the Wendell Energy Committee, with a Community Food Assessment in 2017. The focus of the assessment was to determine the level of interest of residents to buy more locally produced food, and to determine what types of foods are already being produced in Wendell. Findings of the Community Food Assessment Survey can be reviewed here. A directory of food producers and food-related resources has been developed and will be published by the Wendell Agricultural Commission in early 2018.
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!
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.
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!
We are pleased to announce that July 1, 2017, marked the FRCOG’s 20th birthday. In the two decades since the FRCOG Charter was enacted by vote of all 26 Franklin County towns, we have been honored to work on behalf of all of you on many diverse projects, including town accounting, brownfields redevelopment, teen substance abuse prevention, health and building inspection, and planning for healthy and vibrant communities. All summer we will be celebrating our history of working together as a region by digging into our archives to highlight what the towns of Franklin County have achieved together through the FRCOG. You can follow our daily posts of historical milestones on Facebook and on Twitter
Not on social media? You can see the posts here: 20th anniversary posts through Sept 6
Also — no big anniversary is complete without a party! Please join us on Friday, October 13 from 3-5:30 for an anniversary celebration! Click here for flyer with all the details!
FRCOG’s Annual Reports for 2016 are online and available!
Click here to see the full regional report.
Click here to find your town’s appendix. These appendices include just the town-specific work done, and were distributed to each town bound into the back of the full Regional Report.
Brownfields Clean-up and Demolition at Former Ramage Paper Mill in Monroe
The Town of Monroe and it contractors are completing the clean-up and demolition of the collapsing wooden building at the former Ramage Paper Mill. Funding from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) Brownfields program, the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and Great River Hydro (formerly TransCanada) is supporting this work. Concerns about potential impacts on the Deerfield River and public safety led the Town of Monroe to remedy this situation, with the assistance of the FRCOG, after repeated requests to the property owner went unanswered.
The next stage of this project is to design, engineer, and construct an overlook park on the site, as funded by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
Photos after demolition of the wood structure at Ramage Paper Mill site and with rocks placed along the river’s edge from July 2017
The Division of Ecological Restoration has funding available for Massachusetts municipalities to complete the critical collection of field data for culvert replacement design (field data collection) for a degraded or undersized culvert located in an area of high value for fish and wildlife habitat and which replacement would benefit community and ecological storm resiliency. The purpose of a field data collection is to gather technical information and analyses necessary to engineer and design a culvert or road-stream crossing to meet the goals of the Massachusetts River and Stream Crossing Standards. Eligible Projects must be located on a public way, owned and maintained by the town, and be associated with a freshwater, non-tidal stream crossing. Massachusetts municipalities are eligible to apply.
Interested communities can find more information in the RFR itself and are encouraged to contact Tim Chorey 617-626-1541; firstname.lastname@example.org. LINKED HERE: https://www.commbuys.com/bso/external/bidDetail.sdo?docId=BD-17-1046-DER-FWE01-11818&external=true&parentUrl=bid
The deadline for the application is January 27, 2017. Mr. Chorey can answer questions regarding potential projects up until January 16, 2017. After January 16, 2017, he can only answer technical questions about the application, and they must be submitted by email prior to January 20, 2017 5pm.