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.
Evaluation of Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
In 2017, FRCOG Staff assessed the demand for electric vehicle charging stations in the region with the goal of determining if the existing infrastructure is adequate or if additional charging stations are needed. The Study found that existing public charging stations in Franklin County are well used and additional stations are needed throughout the region. The Study and its findings can be found here.
The FCTPO has released a Draft Amendment #2 to the 2018-2022 TIP Highway Project List for public review and comment. Comments on Draft TIP Amendment #2 will be accepted from Tuesday, January 30, until Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Please submit comments to email@example.com. A link to the Draft Amendment follows:
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.
Click here to see the annual compilation of pay rates and benefits for all town positions in all Franklin County towns.
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.
For more information, please visit our employment page.
Materials from our 10/5/17 workshop on short term residential rentals are available here:
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:
Have you been watching the responses to Hurricane Harvey and Irma with anxiety? Do you know what to do in your role as town administrator, elected official, or board of health member if a hurricane hit New England again? Join us for three seminars and a tabletop exercise to learn risk communications skills, how to master FEMA paperwork, and how to effectively manage unexpected and untrained disaster volunteers. Check out the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition‘s webpage for more information.
There are four important upcoming training opportunities for local boards of health. Click on the bold links to see the flyers or websites for each:
1. October 5: Short Term Residential Rentals: Public Health and Safety & Neighborhood Issues. This workshop will cover building codes, zoning, and sanitary codes as they relate to short term rentals, explore models for local regulation, and give information on how current hosts can come into compliance.
2. October 10: The Western Mass Public Health Association’s Totally Title 5 Conference, bringing together a diverse group of experts on important issues that impact septic systems and water quality in our region.
3. October 18: Western Mass Hoarding Conference (See poster to the right). Hoarding is a serious public health challenge in all of our towns. Come learn how to help people recover. Registration is open and that we expect the conference attendance to fill up quickly.
4. December 7, Jan 11 and February 8: FRCOG’s Emergency Preparedness program is bringing back its very popular Elected Officials Emergency Preparedness Training Series from five years ago. Town Administrators, Boards of Health and Select Boards are invited to learn how to prepared for disasters, and then practice those skills in a tabletop exercise. Bring your town hall colleagues! Click here for Elected Officials Series Flyer