“Save the Date” for Vermont Council on Rural Development, 2023 Vermont Community Leadership Summit!
Join fellow community builders to gain new skills, meet like-minded individuals, share success stories, and explore big ideas for the future of Vermont!
VECAN Spring Summit – June 3rd at Middlebury College
Community Energy Leaders – REGISTER TODAY at https://bit.ly/vecanspring for the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network Spring Summit on June 3rd at Middlebury College. This event will be entirely free of charge and open to all thanks to Middlebury College and our generous sponsors!
We are at a moment of tremendous urgency when it comes to climate and tremendous opportunity when it comes to unprecedented federal funding. Join VECAN to reconnect, share ideas, strategize, and prepare to collaborate on timely issues and co-create opportunities.
Following light breakfast fare and informal networking, hear from an expert panel on funding the transition – with an overview of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Municipal Energy Resilience Program and other utility, state and federal programs to support households and businesses. Then, dive into a series of small group discussions at breakout tables around timely topics. Continue the conversations over a tasty lunch on VECAN!
We hope to see you there! Please reach out to Sarah Bayer, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
MARC Awarded VT ANR Funding to Assist with Watershed Planning
The Mount Ascutney Regional Commission (MARC) was recently awarded funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, passed through the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, to assist with outreach and project development to advance natural resource restoration projects through the Water Infrastructure Sponsorship Program (WISPr). The WISPr program is intended to address a limited and under-assisted category of water resource needs in Vermont known as natural resource projects. The goal of WISPr is to counter the loss of ecological function and biological diversity that jeopardize the health of Vermont’s water resources by providing financial resources. Natural resource projects and municipal clean water projects will seek each other through lists maintained by the WISPr program. The sponsored project will work within the timeline of the municipal project so both projects are completed in a timely manner. The non-profit natural resource project will receive a loan to complete the project. Upon completion, the balance of that loan will be paid off by the sponsoring municipality’s Clean Water State revolving fund (CWSRF) loan. When both projects are complete, the administrative rate of the municipality’s loan will be reduced to equal a reduction in annual payments equal to the sponsored project over the life of the loan, plus reduced by an additional 0.1% as an incentive to participate in WISPr. Please contact Chris Yurek at email@example.com or 802-674-9201 with any questions or if you have a project that you think may be a good fit through the WISPr program.
Clean Water Design & Implementation Block Grant Round 7 – Request for Applications Due May 8th, 2023
Mount Ascutney Regional Commission is pleased to announce the release of Round 7 Request for Applications for the Clean Water Design and Implementation Block Grant. Application deadline is May 8 th. Please refer to our webpage for more information and application documents.
Park Your CARbon Week – May 15-19 2023
Want to do something about carbon pollution in Vermont and worldwide climate change? Pledge to Park Your Carbon for a day, a week or make it an ongoing habit. It doesn’t take much to make a difference. If every Vermonter opted for one greener travel option, we could reduce tons of carbon pollution – in just one week! Go to parkyourcarbon.org to learn more and sign up.
Sharing your ride, taking the bus, biking and walking are just the start of a greener future that you create. Take the pledge and try a new way of getting to work (or working from home), going to school, the store – or any of your daily activities.
#SafeDrivesSaveLivesVT PSA Video Contest – Enter Today!
The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance invites Vermont high school students, Grades 9-12, enrolled in a public or private high school, home school program, or N.H. cross-border school to enter its PSA Video Contest. To participate, students must create a video exactly 25-seconds in length on the dangers of distracted driving to help prevent serious car crashes and deaths. Entries are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, March 31, 2023. Full details, rules, and instructions to enter are available at www.vermonthighwaysafety.org/activities
Announced 11/29/22: Applications are Now Open for Interested Communities* and Health Equity Ambassadors
From safer, walkable, universally accessible streets to more green spaces, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) in partnership with the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is excited to announce the launch of a technical assistance pilot to support community-led design, placemaking, and healthy equity projects across Vermont.
VDH and DHCD invite eligible Vermont communities* and residents over 18 years of age to apply for the Health Equity and Community Design Technical Assistance (TA) Pilot.
*Communities are flexibly defined, and may include nonprofits, municipalities, and volunteer groups.
Visit the Healthy Communities Vermont website to learn more.
MARC Utilized Section 604(b) Funding to update the Vermont Watershed Project Databases
In 2022, MARC was awarded Water Quality Management Planning Funds from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC). These planning funds are made available through Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act. MARC utilized Section 604(b) funds to review stormwater plans, river corridor plans, and other similar assessments and plans in the Region to ensure that all of the projects identified through those plans are listed in the VT DEC Watershed Projects Database (WPD). Project inclusion in the WPD triggers funding eligibility through various State Clean Water grant programs, such as the Design/Implementation Block Grant (DIBG) program administered by the MARC.
Please contact Chris Yurek at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the project or about Section 604(b) planning funds.
New Transit Service to Launch in Windsor
Windsor is one of only five Vermont towns that has been given a three-year pilot program Microtransit Grant by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). The service will be operated by Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT) – The MOOver and is expected to begin in early 2023.
Help inform the new service by taking the public survey: https://forms.gle/MiWiNL95sLro6XyT9
What is Microtransit?
Microtransit is an Uber-like system of real-time hailed, dynamically routed, public transit service open to all members of the public with service provided by a small bus or van.
How can I learn more?
Two public information meetings will be held at the Windsor Welcome Center, one on September 14th at 6:00 pm and on September 17th at 11:00 am. We hope you will join us and bring your input. You can also find more information and periodic updates at the MOOver’s dedicated webpage: https://www.moover.com/windsor-microtransit/
Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Receives Supplemental Funding Award
The Mount Ascutney Regional Commission, of Ascutney, has received $3,500,000 to supplement their successful revolving loan fund program which serves communities in the Mt. Ascutney area in Windsor County by providing loans and subtracts to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. This May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $4,870,000 investment in Vermont, $3,500,000 of which was awarded to the Mount Ascutney Regional Commission to supplement our successful Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund. This award, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help to revitalize our regional communities by cleaning up contaminated and blighted sites and allow for redevelopment and reuse in residential, commercial, light industrial and renewal energy projects.
Seeking your feedback on Efficiency Vermont programs
Every three years Efficiency Vermont creates a plan for rebates and services Vermont needs to help save money on energy, and lower greenhouse gas emissions in our state. This document is called the Demand Resources Plan (DRP), and it is overseen by the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
To develop this plan, Efficiency Vermont wants to hear from you! www.efficiencyvermont.com/feedback
Efficiency Vermont is primarily funded by an Electric Efficiency Charge, and it supports programs that reduce Vermont’s overall electric costs for all ratepayers. They do this through programs and services like:
New Resource for Municipalities: VLCT Equity Toolkit
The Vermont League of Cities & Towns (VLCT) has announced a new VLCT Equity Toolkit to assist municipalities in their work toward justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The toolkit includes resources for internal use within your organization and for external use, ensuring our communities are welcoming places to all.
The Toolkit provides in-depth resources to assist municipalities with:
· Forming municipal equity committees
· Building Equity frameworks
· Creating a strategic action plan
· Conducting equity training
This toolkit has been provided by VLCT’s Equity Committee, Board of Directors, and VLCT staff, funded by the Vermont Community Foundation.
Learn more at https://www.vlct.org/JDEIB-resources
Springfield Area Community Health Needs Assessment
Please take this brief survey and be part of the Springfield Area Community Health Needs Assessment!
Ten minutes can win you $25! Click on the link above to tell us what’s important to YOU when you think about a Healthy Springfield area. We’d love to learn about what you think makes a community healthy for you and your family! And FIVE chances to win a $25 gift card!
Regional Priority Project Process
The Mt. Ascutney Regional Commission (MARC) is partnering again with the Springfield Regional Development Corp. and our towns to develop a list of Priority Projects with an economic development nexus for state and federal fund eligibility. The Priority Project process is going on in each region in the state and the final product is provided to the Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD), who will share with other funders for consideration in making decisions on grant programs. For more information, see an overview, project form has been awarded $350,000 in supplemental funding from the EPA for clean-up of contaminated sites for redevelopment.
Keys to the Valley Publishes Assessment of Homes
and Toolbox of Solutions on Interactive Website
The findings and resources from the Keys to the Valley housing initiative are now publicly available on the new Keys to the Valley website. We are glad to share these resources for your contemplation, conversation, and active use when considering the many challenges facing our region’s homes.
To learn more, visit https://www.keystothevalley.com.
Essentials of Land Use Planning + Regulation: Meetings, Hearings and
Due Process Training Video
EPA showcases Goodyear Industrial Campus Success Story in Windsor
Mount Ascutney Regional Commission’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund provided environmental cleanup financing and technical assistance to initiate the redevelopment of this blighted site which now produces 500 kilowatts of solar energy for the region.
November 17th: Informational Meeting on Housing in Springfield
November 16th: 2022 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference in Burlington
Registration is now open for the Vermont Statewide Housing Conference on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at the Hilton Burlington.
With a theme of “What YOU can do to help solve the housing crisis,” an exciting line-up of interactive, cutting-edge sessions will cover policy tools, community case studies and strategies for pulling together the pieces needed to solve big housing problems.
For a limited time, the registration fee is offered at a discounted early-bird rate. You cannot afford to miss this productive, innovative conference, so register today!
Oct 28th – Homes for All Summit: Exploring Housing Solutions for the Upper Valley
Join Vital Communities and Keys to the Valley virtually for the Homes for All Summit: Exploring Housing Solutions for the Upper Valley on Friday, October 28th from 9am-12pm.
Do you serve on your town’s housing committee, planning commission, or zoning board? Do you volunteer with a local housing advocacy group? Are you interested in helping to solve the housing challenges in your community? If so, then this event is for you.
The Summit will include time to hear and discuss housing stories in action from the community, as well as breakout sessions to learn more about possible zoning, financing, infrastructure and land-use solutions for your towns.
Oct 24th – Emergency Management Roundtable
The Mount Ascutney Regional Commission (MARC) will be hosting a quarterly Emergency Management Roundtable meeting on Monday, Oct 24th from 12pm-1pm at MARC office in Ascutney (virtual option also available). This will also be our first meeting of the new Regional Emergency Management Commission (REMC).
For more information, visit our REMC page at marcvt.org/remc.
October 19th: Upcoming Webinar to Learn How to Create Better Places through Crowdfunding
Whether you are dreaming of more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, colorful public art projects, community gardens, or cultural events, Better Places grants can help turn your idea into a reality. Learn more about DHCD’s Better Places program and hear from local leaders in Arlington and White River Junction on how they used crowdfunding to create vibrant public places in their communities. Those who are interested can learn more on Wednesday, October 19th at noon by attending our fall project creator’s webinar. Register here or visit the website to learn more.
September 29th: Native American History and Current Experiences
September 15th: Composting Workshop in Cavendish
The Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District in conjunction with the Cavendish Energy Committee and the Town of Cavendish will host a workshop specifically about composting on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cavendish Town Offices, 37 High Street, Cavendish. Masks will be required for all.
Residents of Cavendish and any other town are invited to attend. To sign up for the workshop, or for more information, please email email@example.com. If you’d like to purchase a composter but cannot attend the workshop, please email your order. While sign-up is encouraged, walk-ins will be welcomed.