This week at the WRC: 04/13 - 04/17
- April 13, 12:00 pm: Public Policy & Legislative Committee, WRC Conference Room
- April 13, 4:30 pm: Transportation Committee, WRC Conference Room
- April 14, 5:00 pm: Finance Committee, WRC Conference Room
- April 16, 5:00 pm: Vernon Town Plan Public Hearing, Vernon Town Office, Vernon, VT
From the Director, March 2015 - It's Spring! Are you Ready?
Spring will be most welcome after a particularly cold winter. But as we all know, the spring thaw and rains can present towns, businesses and households with water issues. Some of these are relatively benign, like the annual appearance of groundwater in a basement. Others, such as ice flows and ice jams on streams and rivers, can cause catastrophic damage. Still others, such as muddy, rutted town roads can isolate individual homes and neighborhoods.
Vt. Economic Resiliency Initiative's Brattleboro Community Forum, April 20
The second Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative Brattleboro Community Forum about flood risks along the Whetstone Brook will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Marlboro College Graduate Center, 28 Vernon St., Brattleboro. Over the past six months, the VERI team has combined community input with the work of river scientists to develop preliminary recommendations to improve public safety and help residents and businesses near the Whetstone Brook to quickly bounce back from future floods. This forum will present the work thus far.
Public Transit on Rte. 30? We'd like to know your thoughts!
WRC staff has collaborated with VTrans, Connecticut River Transit and Deerfield Valley Transit Association on a study that examines the feasibility of establishing public transit to serve the West River Valley/Route 30 corridor. We need to know who the potential users might be, where they might travel from and to and for what purpose (i.e., medical needs, work, pleasure, shopping, etc.), what time of day they would want to travel, and whether there might be seasonal differences.
WRC Releases Forest Stewardship Report
Do you know what threats, both global and local, face our forests and our forest economy? Are you concerned that climate change and invasive species could change the composition of forests as we know them? Is Windham County really the “Timber Capital of Vermont?” The Windham Regional Commission’s recently-released report, “Landscape Based Forest Stewardship,” provides insight into topics such as these, including what strategies exist to preserve the region’s forestlands.
Windham Region hosts “A Roadmap to Energy Efficiency” Roundtable
Energy efficiency: less risk than the stock market, often better returns. The economic and environmental merits of energy conservation and efficiency have long been touted, but navigating the process of weatherizing homes and upgrading heating systems can be a difficult and confusing one. On January 20, 2015, citizens from throughout the Windham Region packed the conference room at the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust building in Brattleboro, VT. The event was co-sponsored by the NeighborWorks Heat Squad, Brattleboro Climate Protection, Sustainable Energy Outreach Network, and the Windham Regional Commission.
Upcoming Grant Opportunities
Study of Economic Impacts to Tri-County Area Due to Vermont Yankee Closure is Released
On December 29, 2014, the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY) will no longer operate as an energy production facility. When fully operational, the facility had over 600 workers, most living in Windham County, VT; Cheshire County, NH; and Franklin County, MA. For over 40 years, VY has been an important component of this region’s economy. So what is the magnitude of economic impact to our tri-state region due to the discontinuing of operations and decommissioning of VY, especially the loss of local income? This is a question that four regional economic development planning organizations are seeking to answer. These organizations are: the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, the Southwest Regional Planning Commission, and the Windham Regional Commission. A study completed by the University of Massachusetts’ Donahue Institute that begins to provide some insight can be found here: UMDI Study of Economic Impacts of VY Closure.
WRC Engages with the Clean Energy Development Fund
The Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) will distribute half of the funds in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Program Plan in or for the benefit of Windham County (equal to roughly $2.6 million of the $5.3 million available statewide). The Windham Regional Commission has been actively engaging with the CEDF Board to support a program plan for Windham County that will provide the greatest benefit to the region.
The Windham Regional Plan is Approved!
We are pleased to announce that the Windham Regional Plan was approved by a unanimous vote on September 30, 2014 during the meeting of the Windham Regional Commission. This concludes our regional plan update process that began in October 2012. We wish to extend our gratitude to everyone who participated in this effort.