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Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission | November 2016 Newsletter
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CVRPC Commissioners

Barre City - Janet Shatney
Barre Town - Byron Atwood
Berlin - Robert  Wernecke
Cabot - Richard Payne
Calais - Paul Rose
Duxbury - Brian Fitzgerald
East Montpelier - Julie Potter
Fayston - Carol Chamberlin
Marshfield - Ivan Shadis
Middlesex - Ronald Krauth
Montpelier -Tina Ruth
Moretown - Dara Torre
Northfield - Laura Hill-Eubanks
Orange - George Malek
Plainfield - David Strong
Roxbury - Gerry D'Amico
Waitsfield - Don La Haye
Warren - Camilla Behn
Washington - Gary Winders
Waterbury - Steve Lotspeich
Williamstown - Larry Hebert
Woodbury - Michael Gray
Worcester - Bill Arrand

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Local Emergency Management Directors Training
December 7, 2016
Berlin, VT


Energy Standards Training for Municipalities
December 14, 2015
Northfield, VT


Animating Infrastructure Grant
Deadline: December 5, 2016

ACCD Certified Local Government Grant
Deadline: December 18, 2016

USDA Community Facility Loan and Grant Program
Deadline: January 9, 2016

Better Connections Grants
Deadline: January 13, 2016
Other News
Redevelopment of Petroleum Contaminated Sites

Contamination from past operations as a gas station, auto repair, or junkyard can cause delays or added costs leading up to purchase and redevelopment of a property.  If contamination from these uses, or use of fuel oil, oil lubricants, heating oil or any petroleum based substance is a concern for the project you are planning, CVRPC encourages you to contact us.  We can assist you to determine which precautions you can take to manage potential environmental liability, and plan to make sure property acquisition and project start up aren’t excessively delayed by discovery of contamination.  If environmental investigation is necessary, CVRPC may be able to assist with funding from the US EPA. Please contact Gail Aloisio at 229-0389 or aloisio@cvregion.com.

Barre City Receives Downtown Designation Renewal

In October, the City of Barre received Downtown Designation renewal from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Barre City has seen tremendous changes since the last renewal, from the Big Dig replacing aging water, sewer and storm water lines to transforming the streetscape into a beautiful pedestrian friendly downtown setting. The city completed the Enterprise Ally project which cleaned up a brownfield site, added parking, LED lighting and greatly improved the connection at an important intersection. The community is currently working on a multimillion dollar floodplain restoration project that will help protect downtown business and residences from future floods. The Downtown program supports local revitalization efforts across the state by providing technical assistance and state funding to help designated municipalities build strong communities. For more information on the State designation program, visit the website >> here. 
Berlin Park and Ride

VTrans is proposing to expand the Park and Ride facility located off I-89 Exit 7 in Berlin.  The Park and Ride is frequently full and needs expansion.  The improvement project aims to maximize use of the site, potentially expanding the park and ride from 81 spaces to 100 spaces.
 
CVRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee hosted the project’s Local Concerns meeting in October and provided local and regional input to guide the expansion.  Concerns expressed by the TAC and members of the public related to bus shelter location, bus circulation, stormwater treatment, poor entrance design, traffic backup, trash, servicing demand, and vehicle actions.  VTrans’ contractor will develop alternatives and for presentation at a future TAC meeting.  Contact Bonnie Waninger, Waninger@cvregion.com.
 

New Municipal Highway Maps Available from VTrans

New municipal highway maps are now avaliable. They can be accessed through the VTrans Mapping Section website >> here. 

The Mapping Section of the Agency of Transportation Policy, Planning and Intermodal Development Division produces the Town Highway Maps. These maps are updated annually based on information supplied by municipalities on an annual Mileage Certificate.  The chief purpose of these maps is to document classification and mileage of town highways for purposes of calculating payment to towns of State Aid for town highway maintenance. Features and data shown on the maps include:
 

  • All state and town highways
  • State highway route numbers & town highway numbers
  • Classification (1, 2, 3, 4, or Legal Trail) of town highways
  • Mileage between all intersections
  • Mileage totals by highway classification
  • Street names within cities, villages & urban compacts
  • Major streams, lakes, public lands, and railroads
  • Town names, boundaries & local place names

For more information, contact Kerry Alley, AOT Mapping & GIS Specialist, Kerry.Alley@vermont.gov

Municipal Emergency Protective Measures System: A Municipality's Roles and Responsibilities

New under the 2012 Rivers Bill, Selectboard members (or their designee) may authorize in-stream work to address threats to life or imminent severe property damage BUT the municipality must notify the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) of the authorization and the project must meet specific implementation standards. 

The Municipality's responsibilities include:
1) Municipal approval of Emergency Protective Measure and notification to ANR. 
2) Preliminary ANR authorization and contact by a River Management Engineer.
3) Final ANR authorization and project documentation to ANR. 

Find the Emergency Protective Measure web reporting for Municipalities website >> here. 

Find municipal guidance documents, training videos and stream alterations rules >> here. 
Land Use and Transportation – Changes to Corridor Management Planning in Vermont

VTrans is revising its corridor management planning process to incorporate an asset management approach and to build a culture of communication between VTrans, regional planning commissions, and municipalities.  This new process will be piloted on the Rt. 100 corridor from I-89 in Waterbury to Rt. 15 in Morrisville in 2016-2017. 
 
VTrans has been gathering information from state, regional, and local plans and resources.  RPC and VTrans staff will be meeting in the upcoming month to review the information, develop a strategic engagement plan, and consider how the transportation network might support the land use vision for the corridor within the resources available to VTrans and municipalities.  The engagement plan will pilot new ways to involve towns and the public in corridor management planning, beyond the usual public meetings.  Contact Bonnie Waninger, Waninger@cvregion.com.
CVRPC Staff

Bonnie Waninger
Executive  Director

Bonnie MacBrien
Finance and Office Manager

Steve Gladczuk
Senior Planner

Eric Vorwald
Senior Planner

Gail Aloisio 
Assistant Planner

Dan Currier
GIS Program Manager

Ashley Andrews
Planner

Laura Ranker
Planner

Marian Wolz
Assistant Planner

News

Energy Planning Standards & Energy Plan

On November 1, 2016 the Department of Public Service released its standards for energy planning.  These standards are intended to provide an avenue for regions and municipalities to receive “substantial deference” when the Public Service Board reviews applications for certificates of public good.  The standards are intended to identify specific information related to electric, thermal, and transportation related energy needs, scarcities, costs, and sources.  These plans will also be required to include mapping that identifies not only where renewable resources should be prohibited, but also where municipalities would prefer to see renewable resources located. 

Municipalities will be able to receive assistance from the regional planning commissions in preparing these plans.  It is also expected that a majority of the data required for the planning effort will be developed or compiled by the regions and made available to the municipalities.  Additionally, funding will be made available through the RPCs to assist at least three municipalities with developing their own plans. 

The Regional Planning Commission will be working over the next few months to begin refining the data and developing resource maps that will lay the groundwork for the regional planning effort.  A draft of the regional plan will be developed by the end of May 2017 and be distributed for public comments.  A final plan will be prepared based on public input and presented for consideration by the Regional Planning Commission in December 2017.  The standards can be found on the Department of Public Service’s website >> here
 
Verizon Wireless/Wireless Telecommunications Facility - Ruby Raymond Road

On October 26, 2016, the Public Service Board under the direction of Hearing Officer Gregg Faber conducted a site visit of the proposed location of a wireless communication tower located along Ruby Raymond Road in the Town of Waterbury.  This project has been under discussion for many months and has raised concerns due to the site’s location along the Worcester Mountain Ridge.  The specific location lies within an area known as Shutesville Hill and provides a significant connection for wildlife traveling between the Northern Green Mountain Wildlife Linkage and the Worcester Mountains to Northeast Kingdom Wildlife Linkage. 

The site visit included representatives from the Town of Waterbury, the applicant, state agencies, the Regional Planning Commission, adjacent property owners, and other interested parties.  With a light coating of snow on the ground, the group made their way up a loosely marked route that would become the access road if the project were to be issued a Certificate of Public Good.  The hike to the top of the ridge allowed the group to understand the location of the tower, the equipment sheds, and the access that would serve the site. 

The purpose of this visit was to explore the site and provide perspective on the issues at hand.  It was not to take evidence or testimony on the merits of the project.  Following the hike to the proposed tower location, the group moved to a location that has been identified as the primary crossing for wildlife between the two previously mentioned wildlife linkages where S.R. 100 bisects the route.  A hearing on the project has not yet been scheduled, however the CVRPC has indicated that this project does meet the thresholds for Substantial Regional Impact.
 
Better Roads, Your Town, and CVPRC

Roads can be a significant phosphorus source depending on how the roads are maintained and upgraded. The majority of gravel road miles in Vermont are maintained by municipalities, averaging 50 road miles each. Vermont’s roads effectively become part of the stream network during a rainstorm or spring melt, with many roadside ditches discharging directly into streams, lakes or wetlands. Eroded road material contains significant amounts of phosphorus and thus, as with all eroded soil, is a source of phosphorus to Lake Champlain and other important waters in Vermont.

The Vermont Better Roads Program’s goal is to promote the use of erosion control and maintenance techniques that save money and prevent road erosion while protecting and enhancing Vermont’s lakes and streams. The Vermont Better Roads Program accomplishes this by:
  • offering grants to towns to fix road erosion problems;
  • offering grants to towns to inventory and develop capital budgets to fix road erosion problems;
  • providing on-site technical assistance to towns; and
  • Providing the Vermont Better Roads Manual which details cost-effective procedures towns can use to reduce the impact of their roads on streams, lakes and wetlands.
Faced with tight budgets, many towns address erosion problems with a short-term approach, and end up repairing the same problem year after year. The Better Roads grants are intended to help towns correctly fix eroding sites in order to reduce erosion and save the town money over the long run.
 

VTrans Re-Opens VT 100 with Corssett Brook in Duxbury

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) re-opened VT 100 over Crossett Brook in Duxbury on November 10, a day ahead of schedule.  Crews worked all summer to replace the aging culvert which carries Crossett Brook beneath VT 100 in Duxbury.  Earlier this spring, the large aging culvert began showing signs of failure.  Inspections showed significant deterioration of the structure and signs of cracking and sagging in the northbound lane pavement of VT 100.  A temporary two-lane bridge was installed as a temporary measure to carry traffic until the permanent project to replace the culvert was developed.

The Duxbury VT Route 100 Bridge replacement project is part of the Waterbury Area Transportation Projects (WATP), a series of transportation and infrastructure improvement projects in the Waterbury area that will meet the immediate and long range needs of the community and the region.  The Roundabout and Stowe Street sidewalk projects were also a part of WATP.  The entire series of projects is scheduled to be completed in 2021. To read more about WATP projects, visit the website >> here. 
VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan Phase II Statewide Meeting

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is developing an On-Road Bicycle Plan in support of enhancing on-road bicycle improvements on the State roads. The VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan is a planning effort to categorize the state roads into high-, moderate- and low-use/priority corridors based on current and potential bicycle use. The Plan will assist VTrans in understanding where to focus limited resources towards bicycle improvements and, allow better integration into Agency projects and activities.

Attend the statewide meeting on December 1, from 6-8PM (Snow Date: December 8) to learn about the statewide VTrans On-Road Bicycle Plan Phase II, review identified bicycle safety hotspots and learn about upcoming opportunities to provide feedback on what makes roads feel comfortable and to identify network gaps.

There are three options to attend this event:

· 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier - In Person
· At the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission office – who will host a live webinar viewing
· Attend from anywhere using the webinar link available on the project webpage >> here. 

Get Involved! This is your plan.

Attending the public meetings. Provide input during open comment periods or sign up from project updates at vermontbike@gmail.com.

Visit the website >> here to participate in an online survey on draft roadway evaluation criteria to determine comfort levels and to participate via an interactive crowdsourcing map to provide feedback on the draft gap analysis map.


Training Opportunity For
Local Emergency Management Directors, Emergency services personnel and volunteers, and municipal employees.


Did you say, “Yes” when asked to volunteer as the local EMD or EMC and later wonder what you said yes to?  You are not alone. 
 
Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about your role as the Local Emergency Management Director (EMD) for your community and how best to interact with the other emergency service providers and municipal officials while preforming your job as EMD.
 
When: December 7, 2016 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Where: Agency of Transportation Facility, 2178 Airport Road, Unit A, Berlin, VT (across from the Knapp Airport in Berlin)

This class is being offered by the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security “as a cornerstone for the new Vermont EM Certification Program.”  As taken from the course description, “the Vermont Local Emergency Management Course incorporates many different aspects of “emergency management” to include its partnership with emergency services. The course describes the realistic responsibilities of the job here in Vermont. The course includes all mission areas of emergencies and disasters, the core capabilities that make up the responsibilities, the integration and communications needed to be successful. And finally the course strongly emphasizes the teamwork between emergency management, emergency services and the municipal leadership.”
 
Target Audience: The audience for this fundamental course includes local emergency management directors, coordinators and staff, emergency services personnel and volunteers, and municipal employees.
 
A Certificate of Attendance will be given to those who complete the four hour course.  There is no prerequisite for the course and there is no fee for attending.
Registration is required by completing a registration form which can be downloaded >> here.

Send Completed forms to: DPS.EMHSTraining@vermont.gov
 
Contact Laura Ranker for more information or if you need assistance with registration at ranker@cvregion.com or by phone at 229 0389.
 
CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED SO REGISTER NOW.
Vermont Supreme Court Affirms Role of Local and Regional Plans in Act 250
 

The Vermont Supreme Court recently issued a decision overturning a Vermont Environmental Court decision that approved a large, multi-use development project adjacent to I-89’s Exit 1 in Hartford.  The Environmental Court approved the project on appeal after the District 3 Environmental Commission denied the project, finding that it did not conform to the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Plan.  The Supreme Court heard the case after both the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission and the Vermont Natural Resources Board, which oversees Act 250, appealed the decision.  Several organizations and regional planning commissions, including the CVRPC, filed an Amicus (Friend of the Court) brief to provide information and context about planning in Vermont.  CVRPC participated due to the potential statewide ramifications for local and regional planning. 

The Supreme Court found that the Regional Plan should be considered because the project would have a substantial regional impact and the meaning and intent of the Plan was clear in directing large-scale commercial developments to areas planned for such growth.  Ignoring the clear language of the Regional Plan would have been contrary to the regional land use plan and inconsistent with the statutory planning goals it is attempting to implement. 

The decision affirms the role that regional plans, and by extension municipal plans, play in the Act 250 process.  It does not change the existing statutory relationship or role of local and regional plans.

Municipal Highlights

Waitsfield and Montpelier Awarded 2016 Bicycle and Pedestrian Project Funding Through VTrans

The Town of Waitsfield was awarded funding for its Waitsfield Village West Sidewalk Phase 2 Design/Construction project. The funds will be used to design and construct the remaining segment of sidewalk that will complete the concrete sidewalk from Old County Road near the Waitsfield Elementary School with Bridge Street in the Village Core. 

The City of Montpelier was awarded funding for a Main Street/Barre Street scoping study that will be performed for Main Street from Memorial Drive to Spring Street, and additionally on Barre Street from Main Street to the Montpelier Recreation Center. 

Congratulations to both municipalities for the awards and their dedication to bike and pedestrian mobility!

You can view all the 2016 Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Awards >> here.
Active Transportation Planning in the Mad River Valley

In late October, the final presentation for the Active Transportation Plan for the Mad River Valley was held at Waitsfield Elementary School. The MRV Moves Active Transportation Plan was a planning project led by the Mad River Planning District and funded in partnership by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Strong Communities, Better Connections ProgramVermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), Towns of FaystonMoretownWarren, & Waitsfield, the Mad River Valley Rotary Club and the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The presentation in October covered the year-long community process to develop the plan, which envisions a consistent, cohesive and connected regional system of trails, roads and sidewalks in the Valley. After the presentation and discussion, excitement for the future of walking and bicycling in the Valley was high among the 30 residents who attended as they milled around stations of maps and survey results. You can view the final plan presentation and final maps >> here. 

Waterbury Joins FEMA’s Community Rating System Program

The Town and Village of Waterbury were notified at the end of October that their applications to the FEMA Community Rating System were accepted.

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program that municipalities across the United States can apply for that assigns points for various local flood protection and mitigation activities. Activities include maintaining elevation certificates for properties, providing on-line parcel mapping information service through the Planning and Zoning webpage, providing brochures and other FEMA publications, and maintaining a separate webpage on the municipal website that relates to managing property located in the 100-year floodplain and minimizing or mitigating the associated risks.

Based on the number of points received the municipality is rated on a scale of 1-9. The Town and Village have entered the CRS at Level 9 which has a corresponding 5% discount on flood insurance premiums for property owners with buildings in the 100-year floodplain and insurance policies that were issued or renewed after October 1, 2016.

CVRPC assisted with the Town and Village of Waterbury's Community Rating System application and is willing to assist other communities to evaluate potential benefits of the program. If your municipality is interested in exploring this option, please contact Dan Currier, at 229-0389 or currier@cvregion.org

Copyright © 2016 Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, All rights reserved.
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