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Rural Policy Advisory Commission Listening Sessions

Listening Sessions

A series of listening sessions has recently been scheduled to gather input from community leaders regarding the suggested focus areas to be included in the development of the Massachusetts Rural Policy Plan.  Listening sessions will be held in several regions across the Commonwealth.

A survey is available to provide input at the RPAC SURVEY –https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RPAC2018

The Western Massachusetts listening sessions are:

  • 12/6   6 PM  at Berkshire Regional Planning Commission register at info@berkshireplanning.org
  • 12/11  5PM at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission register at lgallagher@pvpc.org
  • 12/13 5PM at GCC Downtown  — register at registrations@frcog.org

Click here for Rural Policy Advisory Commission website. 

Municipal Financial Management Workshop Materials

This workshop on 11/8 featured FRCOG Municipal Financial Management Specialist Joe Markarian, who joined us after a long career of supporting towns in improving their financial management practices at the Technical Assistance Bureau of the Massachusetts Division of Local Services.

Materials from the training:
Municipal Calendar from the DOR Division of Local Services
Slides from the workshop
Finance Seminar Spreadsheets
Some cyber-security tips from Mass.Gov

2018 Evaluation of Franklin County Park and Ride Facilities is Completed

The FRCOG Staff evaluated the existing park and ride facilities in Franklin County to determine how well they are being utilized.  In addition, FRCOG Staff conducted surveys of the park and ride users to better understand where people were coming from and how they were using the lots.  The study shows that the use of the Whately and Sunderland park and ride lots continue to increase in popularity and that many users of the Sunderland lot are parking there in order to access public transit. For more information, contact Megan Rhodes, Senior Transportation and Land Use Planner, at mrhodes@frcog.org.

Park and Ride Study 2018

Shelburne Falls Receives American Planning Association (APA) Great Places Designation

The Franklin Regional Council of Government is thrilled to celebrate the designation of the village of Shelburne Falls as one of the American Planning Association’s 2018 Great Places and congratulates the Towns of Buckland and Shelburne.  The village of Shelburne Falls is a 19th-century industrial village that spans the Deerfield River in the towns of Shelburne and Buckland, Massachusetts.  While industry is no longer a significant part of the economy of Shelburne Falls, it remains the historical backdrop of this culturally and community rich village. Shelburne Falls has the structures and layout of a well preserved 19th-century industrial village with a mix of commercial, institutional, and residential land uses. The village has a strong sense of community (the estimated population of the village of Shelburne Falls is 1,632), and a well-established business and cultural center and a destination for visitors to the area. The village is located in Franklin County, a rural region of Massachusetts that is characterized by its scenic landscapes and quality of life. Shelburne Falls is being recognized by the APA as a great neighborhood.  It has been shaped and maintained by many proactive and positive planning initiatives involving both of the towns that share the village. While Shelburne and Buckland are separate towns, in many instances the planning initiatives are completed collaboratively.

For more information on the APA’s Great Places program and Shelburne Fall’s designation see the links below:

https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/

https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2018/shelburne/

Public Comment Period for the Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan is now Open

 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the Draft Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan is now available for public comment. You can review the plan and provide feedback online here.  

MassDOT is focused on making the Commonwealth’s transportation system more sustainable – to make it safe and comfortable for people to choose to walk, bike, and take transit for more of their daily trips. The Plan defines a vision for Massachusetts in which all people have a safe and comfortable walking option for short trips.  For more information on the Pedestrian Plan and to provide feedback:  https://www.mass.gov/service-details/pedestrian-plan.

In addition to the Plan, a companion document was created, called the Municipal Resource Guide for Walkability in recognition of the important role local cities and towns play. The purpose of the guide is to support cities and towns in their efforts to improve walkability as the vast majority of roadways and sidewalks statewide are under local ownership. A draft guide was released in September of 2017, and an updated version will be published with the final Pedestrian Plan later this year.

 

 

Erving Residents Invited to Attend Climate Resiliency Planning Workshop

The Town of Erving was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s new Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program to complete a climate change vulnerability assessment, develop resiliency strategies, and update the town’s FEMA-approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The town will be working with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) on this project.  Communities that complete the MVP designation planning process become certified as an MVP community and are eligible for MVP Action grant funding to implement priority projects.

Erving and FRCOG are hosting a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Community Resilience Building Workshop to help town staff, volunteers, residents, and businesses define top local natural and climate-related hazards of concern, identify existing and future strengths and vulnerabilities, and identify and prioritize actions and projects the Town can implement to increase climate change resilience.

The MVP Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Erving Senior & Community Center, located at 1 Care Drive in Erving.  Residents, business owners, and stakeholders are invited to attend.  Refreshments and lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP to Bryan Smith, Erving Administrative Coordinator at admin@erving-ma.org by September 26th.

For more information regarding the MVP planning process contact: Evan Abramson, Land Use & Natural Resources Planner, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, eabramson@frcog.org or 413-774-3167 x131

Erving MVP Meeting Flyer 100318

Fall 2018 Local Official Workshop Series

The fall workshop series for local officials is ready for registrations!

Click here for a calendar of the entire fall. For more information on each session, visit the date of the session on the Meetings and Events tab on this website.

To register for any session, email registrations@frcog.org.

Also, stay tuned this fall for two sessions in Greenfield for planning and zoning boards, offered through the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative