Municipal Education Grants

Applications for the FY10 Municipal Education Grants (MEGs) will be accepted any time until May 15, 2010 or until available funding runs out, whichever occurs first. MEGs offer up to $800 reimbursement for on-site training of local volunteer officials dealing with land use planning and regulation, including all-boards training.

The MEG Program Description and the quick and simple application form is available online: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MEG.htm. We are often able to issue a grant agreement within a week of receiving the application.

Please pay special attention to the following points when applying for a MEG:

• Eligible training – MEGs will fund core training on the roles, responsibilities and statutory requirements related to municipal land use planning and regulation. Training on various specific topics that may be of interest to planning commissions and other boards such as energy, stormwater, transportation, natural resources, etc. will not be eligible this year. Training on Ancients Roads, however is eligible. (See page 4 of the Program Description for more detail.)
• Schedule for training – You will have four months to hold the training(s) after receiving a grant agreement. This allows for flexibility in scheduling the training date. Extensions can be granted in some circumstances.
• Read the application instructions carefully. Remember to sign in the gray box on Page 7 (grant agreement form) and submit that form with your application. This will reduce delay in processing your application.

If you have any questions about MEGs please contact Brenda Greika at 802-828-3243, brenda.greika@state.vt.us. If you have questions about training content, contact Faith Ingulsrud directly at 802-828-5228, faith.ingulsrud@state.vt.us.

Montpelier, Energy funds, biomass for downtown

The City of Montpelier has just been awarded an $8 million grant for a District Energy plant.

It’s a great day for Montpelier. They’re well on their way to implementing the dream of enVision Montpelier and becoming this country’s first sustainable state capital.

Secretary Chu Announces More Than $20.5 million for Community Renewable Energy Deployment Projects Will help promote widespread renewable energy installations and create jobs

Washington, DC— U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today the selection of five projects to receive more than $20.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support deployment of community-based renewable energy projects, such as biomass, wind and solar installations. These projects will promote investment in clean energy infrastructure that will create jobs, help communities provide long-term renewable energy and save consumers money. They will also serve as models for other local governments, campuses or small utilities to replicate, allowing other communities to design projects that fit their individual size and energy demands.

“Smaller, more localized renewable energy systems need to play a role in our comprehensive energy portfolio,” said Secretary Chu. “These projects will help create jobs, expand our clean energy economy, and help us cut carbon pollution at the local level.”

The selected projects will be leveraged with approximately $167 million in local government and private industry funding. DOE estimates that these projects will provide enough clean, renewable energy to displace the use fossil fuels to power approximately 10,700 homes.

Projects selected for awards include:

City of Montpelier (Montpelier, VT)
This project will further Montpelier’s energy goals by supporting installation of a 41 MMBtu combined heat and power district energy system fueled with locally-sourced renewable and sustainably-harvested wood chips. The CHP system will be sized to provide heating to the Vermont Capitol Complex, city owned schools, the City Hall Complex, and up to 156 buildings in the community’s designated downtown district for a total of 176 buildings and 1.8 million square feet served. By providing 1.8 million KWh of power to the grid, the system will maximize its operating efficiency and reduce thermal costs for users in the community. Montpelier will conduct outreach to encourage replication regionally and nationally through its project partners, the Biomass Energy Resource Center, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, and Veolia Energy North America. DOE share: $8,000,000

GIS workshops

The VT Center for Geographic Information is partnering with UNH Extension to bring the following hands-on workshops to VT Technical College on March 30.

Brochure: http://extension.unh.edu/GISGPS/documents/GISVTMar10.pdf

Making Maps the Google Way:
Learn how to make interactive and 3D maps using free Google mapping tools!
This course explores the basics of Google Earth and Google Maps with a special focus on creating your own maps to share with others. Make Google Earth and Google Maps work for you on PC?s and Macs!

Description: http://extension.unh.edu/GISGPS/GISGPSTO.htm#TO_GW
Register: https://www.events.unh.edu/RegistrationForm.pm?event_id=6712

GIS on Pennies a Day Test Drive:
Take a variety of full-functioned, free GIS programs for a test drive! After a brief intro to the software, hands-on exercises will provide a framework to learn the basics of the programs, including how to create maps, edit GIS data and do basic geoprocessing. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data to use after they understand the basics of the software.

Description: http://extension.unh.edu/GISGPS/GISGPSTO.htm#TO_10CTD
Register: https://www.events.unh.edu/RegistrationForm.pm?event_id=6713

Call Leslie Pelch with questions: Leslie Pelch, Outreach Coordinator
VCGI – 802-882-3002; www.vcgi.org

VT Community Development grant app workshop

Please save the date, the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) will be hosting an application workshop on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 here at our offices at National Life (6th Floor Calvin Coolidge Room), 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, Vermont. Registration and refreshments will begin at 8:30AM with the program starting at 9AM. Please find the agenda attached.

Starting January 13, 2010 you will be able to register online for the event and will have the option to pay by check or credit card, simply log on to http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/Application/Workshops.htm#app and click on the February 3, 2010 date to register. The registration fee for this workshop will be $20.

You should plan on attending the workshop if you are considering applying in the upcoming round – 2009 Cycle III, which has an application deadline of March 9, 2010.

If you have any questions regarding the workshop feel free to contact via email or phone at 828-5219. E-mail is: cindy.blondin@state.vt.us for further information, or contact Laurie Emery at CVRPC at emery@cvregion.com or 229-0389.

Extra ARRA $ possible for clean water projects

There is a small chance that additional ARRA funds may be available to municipalities seeking Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) for eligible projects that can proceed by June 17, 2010.

This email is being sent to municipalities with projects on the State FY 2010 priority list that may have projects that could meet the deadlines for this funding. To meet the deadlines to use this funding municipalities need to have both signed construction contracts and an executed loan agreement by 6/17/2010.

Should you want your project to be considered for possible additional ARRA funding, you need to reply to this email by January 15, 2010 with the following information.

1. Municipality Name
2. Municipality Contact Name, Phone and Email
3. Project Name
4. Estimated total project cost that can be placed under contract by June 17, 2010
5. Project Description
6. Engineering Firm Contact
7. Environmental Information Document Date ____ (Must be completed on or before 2/26/2010)
8. Bond Vote Date_____ (Must be on or before 3/2/2010)
9. Complete Application Date ____ (Must be on or before 3/13/2010)
10. Final Plans and Specifications Date ____ (Must be on or before 4/1/2010)
11. Advertise Contracts for Bid (Must be on or before 4/16/2010)
12. Municipality Signs Loan Agreement Date ____ (Must be on or before 5/28/2010)
13. Municipality Signs Construction Contract ____(Must be on or before 6/17/2010)

Background

Vermont received about 18.5 million dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) for CWSRF eligible projects. This process started with the signing of the ARRA on 2/17/2009 and ends with all funds committed by 2/17/2010. To commit funds, municipalities need to have both signed construction contracts and executed loan agreements by 2/17/2010. Vermont projects funded using ARRA dollars received a 50% subsidy, in the form of principle forgiveness, for up to two million dollars of eligible project costs.

EPA anticipates that some states may not use all of their allotted funds. Unused funds will be reallocated nationally to other states for use on eligible projects. States are required to send EPA a list of projects that may use these funds by 2/1/2010. This email helps us identify projects that will be included on the list of potential projects to be funded by any reallocated ARRA funds.

Please let us know if you have questions, Winslow

Winslow Ladue
Facilities Engineering Financial Management
VT Department of Environmental Conservation
103 South Main St., Laundry Building
Waterbury, VT 05671-0511
(802) 241-3404
Winslow.Ladue@state.vt.us
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/fms.htm