From the Director, May 2013 - Energy Siting Commission Recommends Strong Planning Role
The VT Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission has released its report detailing its recommendations. Among the recommendations are robust regional and municipal energy siting planning, which can lead to greater standing of plans in the Section 248 process. I strongly encourage everyone interested in this issue to read the report in its entirety, including the dissenting opinion from Siting Commission member Louise McCarren. The report and minority opinion are available here. Thanks to the members of the Siting Commission for their hard work on a challenging subject.
WRC to Host Public Meetings on No. Branch Deerfield River Corridor Plan
The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) will be hosting two public information meetings on May 22 and June 5 to present a draft River Corridor Management Plan for the North Branch of the Deerfield River. Using a combination of funding from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation’s Ecosystem Restoration Program and the Deerfield Enhancement Fund, WRC has been pursuing a project to update and complete an earlier stream geomorphic assessment (SGA) and develop a river corridor management plan for the North Branch of the Deerfield River in the towns of Wilmington and Dover
Upcoming Energy Round Table: Financing Municipal Energy Projects
Our next Regional Energy Round Table will be held May 29th from 6pm-8pm at the Bellows Falls Opera House in Bellows Falls, VT. This event will include a presentation given by WRC Energy Planner, Cullen Meves, on the results of regional municipal weatherization improvement projects, and a follow-up panel discussion on energy efficiency and renewable energy financing.
Recent Forestry Forum Spawned Sharing of Ideas
WRC Natural Resources Committee hosted on April 18 their third forum in an ongoing series to bring together conservation minded people in our region to network and learn. The Spring 2013 topic covered two main topics on Forestry. Graduate students from the Conway School presented their research from last winter, where they collected stories from local foresters, and ideas and data to tell the story of cultural, economic, and conservation values of the working forest landscape of the Windham Region.
It's Spring, and It's Also Traffic Count Season
Ever wonder what this person is doing? A Traffic Count!!!
What is a traffic count? It is a study done on a particular road to collect data on vehicles moving through a particular segment of road. The study collects the volume of vehicles, their speed, and their type (e.g., motorcycle, passenger car, bus, etc.).
What's New With The Southern Vermont Post Tropical Storm Irene Recovery Project
Windham Regional Commission (WRC) and Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC), along with our correlating Regional Development Corporations, the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and the Bennington County Industrial Corporation applied for and received funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration Disaster Recovery Grant program. An important part of this work is to bring added professional capacity to Southern Vermont to assist with economic recovery post Tropical Storm Irene.
January 2013 State Approved Town Road and Bridge Standards
The Town Road and Bridge Standards represent the work of a culmination of working groups (including VTrans, ANR, RPCs, and VT Local Roads) focused on infrastructure criteria to be adhered before hand when a natural disaster occurs. The January 2013 state-approved Standards include: reconstruction of gravel and paved roads, erosion control measures, culvert and bridge designs, installing guardrails based on project specificity, and access management. A copy of these Standards can be found here.
WRC Releases Update for Guide on Weatherizing Town Buildings
The WRC recently completed an update to the guidance document Weatherizing Town Buildings: What Local Officials and Energy Committees Need to Know. This 2013 update provides energy use results for seven of the nine weatherization retrofits completed, providing regional examples of both energy and cost savings realized through completion of these weatherization projects. The WRC was able to compile this document through state Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funding, in addition to the many successful weatherizations completed with this grant.
Parcel Data Now Available in Google Earth-Compatible Format
Have you ever wanted to look at a town’s digital parcel data but you don’t have the necessary GIS software? Now you can look at that data in Google Earth, a popular and free mapping software that many people already have on their computer. WRC GIS staff have recently converted all available digital parcel data in the Windham Region to “KMZ” files.
WRC Compiles Report on Route 9, Route 100 Intersection Public Meeting
In November 2012, a public meeting was held in Wilmington to discuss the impacts of traffic at the Route 9, Route 100 intersection. Following that public meeting, the WRC compiled a report on the input collected through both comments made during the meeting, and comment sheets collected after the meeting. This report is meant to assist the town of Wilmington and VTrans in their future decision making process with regards to traffic improvements. The report is now available in a PDF version below. Please contact Matt Mann at
(ext 120) or Cullen Meves at
(ext 108) if you have any questions about the report.
Rt 9/Rt 100 Intersection Report (1.2MB PDF)
Town Profile Data Available
As part of the information gathering process for the Regional Profile update, the WRC collected current available U.S. Census and American Community Survey data for each of the 27 towns that it represents. The data was collected for broad catagories of analysis pertaining to population, economics, housing, and transportation. In most cases, the data was collected from the 2010 Census figures, but in some cases more recent data was available. The raw data collected is available in Excel or PDF format for any towns wishing to obtain this information. Please contact Cullen Meves at
or (802) 257-4547 ext. 108.
Conway Students Investigate Forestry in the Region
Three graduate students from the Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape and Design are working on a project this quarter to tell the story of forestry in the Windham Region. The goal of their project is to prepare materials to build greater understanding of the cultural, economic, and conservation values of the working forest landscape of the Region.
WRC Releases Report on Undeveloped Waters in SE Vermont
Windham Regional Commission (WRC) has just released the report “Undeveloped Waters in Southeastern Vermont.” It is the result of several years of work by Commission staff to identify and characterize the nature of the undeveloped rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds in the southern portion of the Windham Region and a small area in the adjacent Bennington County Region. Undeveloped refers to the state of the land adjoining these water bodies.
Forty lakes and ponds, with shoreline totaling nearly 100 miles, and over 1,400 miles of rivers and streams, were analyzed. What did we find?
Complete Streets Implementation Guidance for Municipalities Now Available
In May, 2011, the Complete Streets Bill was signed into law. The guidance as to how the law is to be implemented at the municipal level has now been released. Complete Streets – A Guide for Vermont Communities was developed by the Vermont Department of Health in cooperation with a variety of transportation, health and aging organizations in order to demonstrate and provide examples of Complete Streets projects already in place, as well as overarching planning guidelines for future initiatives. Hard copies have been distributed to each town by the WRC. The guide is available from the Vermont Department of Health here, or AARP here.
Windham Regional Mobility Study Completed
Over the past year, WRC staff has been working on the Windham Region Mobility Study: Coordination of Transportation Services to Improve Mobility for All of the Windham Region’s Residents. This Study came about through a collaborative effort among public transit providers, school supervisory unions, youth service organizations, institutions of higher education, human service agencies, non-profits, economic development agencies, and others. This diverse group of stakeholders came together to promote the common goal of increasing mobility in the Windham Region through the coordination and integration of current and future transportation services, including public transit and school buses.