In response to COVID-19, FRCOG offices are closed. Staff are working remotely. Email is likely the most efficient way to reach us. You can find our contact information on the Staff page under the About link below.

Building, plumbing and wiring inspectors are available for meetings by appointment only.

All meetings, workshops and forums are cancelled or have been changed to a call-in or video format.  Please look for emails from FRCOG staff about specific meetings or on our calendar at the Meetings and Events link below.

Archive | Regionalization and Special Projects

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Coalition Educates on Youth Marijuana Use

In November, MA residents will vote on the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  Whether or not this legislation passes – and how this legislation is implemented if passed – will have a significant impact on the use of marijuana by young people.  The FRCOG’s Partnership for Youth, as part of their work with the Communities That Care Coalition, has developed a presentation on what we know about the effects of marijuana on young people, and what works in preventing youth use.  Partnership for Youth staff have provided this presentation at several community venues this spring, including as part of the Selectboard Essentials series.

In July staff hosted a “Training of Trainers” where they trained a small group of community leaders (including staff from Clinical and Support Options, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Greenfield’s Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition, the Opioid Task Force, and the Collaborative for Educational Services) to be part of an informal Speakers Bureau on this topic.  If you are interested in learning more or in setting up a presentation for your community, please contact Kat at kallen@frcog.org.

Rural Policy Advisory Commission kicks off in Greenfield

Massachusetts’ new Rural Policy Commission held its first meeting at the Olver Transit Center recently.  Franklin County representatives on the Commission include our own Linda Dunlavy (who was elected Treasurer) and local realtor Corinne Fitzgerald.

The Commission will serve as a research body for issues critical to the welfare and vitality of rural communities and, according to its creating legislation, shall: study, review and report on the status of rural communities and residents in the commonwealth; advise the general court and the executive branch of the impact of existing and proposed state laws, policies and regulations on rural communities; advance legislative and policy solutions that address rural needs; advocate to ensure that rural communities receive a fair share of state investment; promote collaboration among rural communities to improve efficiency in delivery of services; and develop and support new leadership in rural communities.

The Commissioners decided to organize into four subcommittees and to meet again in September. Interested in learning more about what the Commission will do? Check out the webpage here.

Presentation on Rural MA June 10 2016

Recorder article about the event

Commission Members are sworn in.

Commission Members are sworn in.

Presentation on the demographics of rural Massachusetts

Presentation on the demographics of rural Massachusetts

Senator Rosenberg and DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay kick off the day.

Senator Rosenberg and DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay kick off the day.

New Regional Sign-Making Machine

FRCOG is pleased to announce the purchase of a new shared resource for Franklin County’s municipalities.  Greenfield’s DPW is now hosting a regional sign making machine that is considerably faster than the previous one, and can be used by any town that has received the training and signed a regional Memorandum of Understanding.

The machine’s purchase was made possible through funds from the Baker/Polito Administration’s District Local Technical Assistance program.

For questions about the project, contact bids@frcog.org

Click here for a video from GCTV on the new regional equipment

click here for a Facebook post about the project

 

Staff from Orange and Greenfield making a Stop Sign

Staff from Orange and Greenfield making a Stop Sign

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

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.

 

We’re Hiring: Prevention Strategies Coordinator

Please click here for a flyer and a job description about this opening in the Partnership For Youth and Communities That Care Coalition.

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

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.