From the Director, July 2016 - Planning in the World of Act 174 - An Act Relating to Improving the Siting of Energy Projects
It wasn't long after the Governor signed into law Act 174 that I began to get inquiries from towns about what they should be doing. While the act supports more robust comprehensive energy planning at both the regional and town level (which will, incidentally, better inform future state comprehensive energy plans), what most town planners are interested in is better standing before the Public Service Board (PSB) in Section 248 proceedings.
Learn About Vermont's Statewide Parcel (Tax) Map Program, Oct. 12th in Newfane
The Vermont Center for Geographic Information is hosting a series of meetings throughout the state to present the details of a new statewide parcel mapping program. The meeting for the Windham Region will be held on Wednesday, October 12th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Union Hall in Newfane. It is important that a representative from each town is at this meeting to learn about the program, and about funding available for your town to help bring Vermont parcel mapping to the next level.
WRC Seeking Transportation Planner
The Windham Regional Commission (WRC), serving 27 towns in beautiful southeastern Vermont, is seeking a planner to lead our work on transportation. Transportation is about moving people and goods, but it is also about how residents and visitors experience and connect to this place whether through a windshield or window, on foot, or on a bike. This position is responsible for coordinating transportation planning within the region in collaboration with local, state and federal entities. The region ranges from high-density urban-form downtowns and villages to forested unpaved Class 4 town highways.
WRC Seeks Your Feedback on New Renewable Energy Grant Program for Windham County
The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund awarded $400,000 to the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) to develop a program to support renewable energy projects in Windham County. An important part of the program development is feedback from the community on types of projects that funding should support. The program will focus on small-scale projects with a minimum project award of $10,000 and a potential maximum of $300,000.
WRC Welcomes Marion Major to its Staff
Marion Major started in June as a planner at the WRC and will have the lead on energy and natural resources. Marion grew up in Westminster West and graduated from the Natural Resources School at UVM in 2014 where she focused on climate change resiliency and worked with a variety of organizations throughout the state. She has also been a sheep cheese maker and farmer on the Vermont Shepherd Farm, worked with the Vermont Land Trust, and worked with a solar energy development company. She is happy to be working with the towns, people, and environment of the region she is so familiar with and attached to!
WRC Receives $350,000 in Supplemental Funds to Clean up Contaminated Brownfields Sites in the Region
The Windham Regional Commission is pleased to announce it will receive $350,000 in supplemental funding to recapitalize the Windham Region Brownfields Reuse Initiative (WRBRI) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). This funding was recently awarded from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to 33 successful RLF grantees as part of approximately $10.7 million in supplemental funding to help transform communities by cleaning up contaminated Brownfields properties.
Grafton Elementary Students Dig Deep to Help the Saxtons River
This heartwarming video shows a day of buffer planting with the Grafton Elementary School and the Saxtons River Watershed Collaborative. The planting was a result of a project funded by the High Meadows Fund which works with the communities, schools, and organizations along the Saxtons River in cultivating a healthy watershed and a knowledge of flood resiliency. To learn more about the project visit WRC's Natural Resources page.
Village Maps of Readsboro, Jacksonville, and Wilmington Now Available
Detailed base maps which show all buildings, streets, driveways, sidewalks, and other features are now available for the villages of Readsboro, Jacksonville, and Wilmington. WRC GIS staff created these maps from air photos, GPS data, and field mapping.
Each village has a series of maps in a number of different formats. One map show the entire village, while another focuses just on the village core/downtown area. Most maps are in color, but at least one is in simple grayscale so that it can be used as a background for marking up and highlighting specific features.
Sale of TransCanada Hydropower Facilities on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers, updated 6/9
When TransCanada announced its intent to sell its holdings in New England, including its holdings on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers, we understood this was an important issue for 12 of our 27 towns where TransCanada owns property and has flowage rights: Brattleboro, Dummerston, Putney, Readsboro, Rockingham, Searsburg, Somerset, Stratton, Westminster, Whitingham, Wilmington and Vernon.
Collaborative Effort MovesRoute 30 Multi-Modal Gateway Study Forward
The following link provides access to up-to-date meeting notes from the Technical Advisory Committee and the Local Advisory Committee; as well as the existing conditions report. www.placesense.com/gateway
Windham Regional Commission Receives $400,000 in Brownfields Assessment Funds
At an event on Friday, May 20th, at a former brownfield site in Burlington, Vermont, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced that Windham Regional Commission will receive $400,000 in funding to continue its successful Brownfields Assessment program. This announcement was made as part of the national announcement of the selection of 218 new grant investments totaling $55.2 million to 131 communities across the U.S. Recipients will receive Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup grants.
WRC Releases Region-wide maps of Undeveloped Waters
The Windham Regional Commission has released a set of maps showing the status of undeveloped streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds across the entire Windham Region. These maps are culmination of work over the past five years, and bring together the results of three separate projects to identify undeveloped waters in the Region and classify them as to their conservation status and town plan land use district.
Governor Speaks at WRC's 50 Year Celebration
On Tuesday, June 23rd the WRC celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gathering of current and past Commissioners and staff, elected officials, state agencies, and many other friends overlooking the Connecticut River Valley from the vantage point of the School for International Training in Dummerston. The warm and humid evening didn't dampen the energy among the approximately 150 people in attendance, and the threatening storms skirted north and south of the gathering.
"Get to Know the WRC" Video Unveiled at 50th Anniversary Celebration
An epic cinematic debut! Get to know the Windham Regional Commission. We unveiled this 5 minute video at our 50th anniversary celebration. Please share it. Thank you to Mondo Mediaworks for their great job on this video, and to the Windham Foundation for underwriting the effort.