Central Vermont Energy Program Update

Building Energy of Williston has been selected as the energy and lighting auditing firm to do the audits on the municipal buildings enrolled in the CVEP. The municipalities enrolled include: Barre City, Barre Town, Berlin, Cabot, Duxbury, East Montpelier, Fayston, Marshfield, Middlesex, Montpelier, Moretown, Northfield, Orange, Plainfield, Roxbury, Waitsfield, Warren, Washington, Woodbury, and Worcester. Nearly all of these towns are having municipal buildings audited for ways to save on lighting and heating costs. Several towns have had energy audits done and are only enrolled for weatherization assistance.

Building Energy has emailed questionnaires about the 36 municipal buildings that are enrolled in the Program in order to collect data on current heating and electrical costs, building size and age, and other details that are important to completing a thorough audit. If you are the energy coordinator or energy contact person for your community and have not yet received this questionnaire, please contact Laurie Emery (emery@cvregion.com) at CVRPC.

Another aspect of CVRPC’s energy program is having a regional energy coordinator available to assist communities with their energy committees and where there is no energy committee, assist in getting one started. The regional energy coordinator will also provide assistance and direction with the recommendations contained in the energy audits and direct officials to resources to help with energy projects that could be implemented community-wide. CVRPC has signed a contract with Nancy Nottermann who will be available part time at CVPRC’s office (229-0389) or through email at cvrpc@cvregion.com. Nancy will be doing outreach first to those communities who do not have an energy committee, but to all communities with help implementing energy savings.

Finally, the weatherization reimbursement program that is part of the CVEP will begin in the fall when the available dollars to partially reimburse towns for simple weatherization projects will become available. More details will be forthcoming in the next few months. If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Emery or Nancy Nottermann.

Challenges for Change – Thank you!

Thank you to all of the Commissioners, Selectboard members, Planning Commission members, Municipal Managers and Administrators, and Municipal Planners who contacted our legislators to support regional and municipal planning recently. Your efforts were highly effective in achieving a positive outcome in the legislative process.

As one of the last acts before adjourning, the Legislature passed Challenges for Change. This law sets expectations for a new way of providing government services that strive to achieve savings by focusing on performance and outcomes.

Funding for RPCs, though reduced, will continue to be allocated based upon a fair and transparent funding rule intended to increase accountability and foster efficiency. In addition, each RPC will be required to respond to regional needs and increase coordination with other regional groups.

The beginning of this process was frustrating as directives to merge and consolidate with regional development corporations were put forth as the only answer. This was done without input from the affected agencies and their constituents, or a recognition that our statutory responsibilities are very different. RPCs were consistent in our testimony that innovation in regional planning and community/ economic development can and should happen in a more deliberate and thoughtful manner. Your voices provided the perfect harmony to this chorus.

CVRPC also appreciates the leadership and involvement of many members of our region’s House and Senate during the process. It is through their thoughtful engagement that the legislative process evolved to consider a broader approach to this Challenge.

CVRPC believes this legislation as passed is a positive outcome. We embrace the challenge to continuously improve regional planning and community development and identify specific ways to become even more efficient and effective. We hope that the new performance based contracts will be specific enough to hold us accountable, yet flexible enough to allow innovation.

We will be working through the summer and fall to address the legislative directives and look forward to reporting the results.

Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions as we move forward. Thank you again for your continuing support.

Sue Sinclair
Executive Director

National Park Service Technical Assistance

Want to connect your community to nature?

We can help.

Are you trying to protect your local rivers,
save an unspoiled landscape, or build trails
to help everyone in your community enjoy nature?

Applications for the next round of technical assistance
can be submitted until August 1.

Through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, the National Park Service provides staff who can guide communities in conserving waterways, preserving open space, and developing trails and greenways.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project ideas with our staff near you before submitting an application.

Visit www.nps.gov/rtca for complete information and application.

Corridors and Commons Awards Program

2010 Corridors and Commons Awards Program

This program recognizes communities that have developed creative, farsighted methods for linking existing open spaces, such as parks, town commons, ponds or reservoirs, town forests, or wetlands, with public corridors such as riparian zones along waterways, recreational trail systems or tree lined streets.
Entries are due June 15, 2010.

Sponsored by: The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Council and VT Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

For More Info: www.vtfpr.org/urban/CorridorsandCommons.cfm

Biomass forums

Public Forums on the
Role of Forests in Vermont’s Energy Future

More and more Vermonters are seeking homegrown solutions to meet our energy needs. A diverse collaborative of stakeholders is convening a series of public forums to add to the dialogue about how Vermont communities might harness the potential of forest biomass to help provide renewable energy on a sustainable basis. The goal of these forums is to engage Vermonters in a conversation that looks at how wood from our forests can produce efficient, renewable energy while ensuring long-term forest health and maximizing benefits to communities. These forums are intended to serve as an opportunity to hear from Vermonters about their interests, concerns, and hopes for biomass in Vermont. In addition, our goal is to elevate public awareness about important biomass energy issues including maintaining forest health, maximizing efficiency, and balancing the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of forest biomass energy.

When and Where:
 June 2, 2010 — 6:30-8:30 p.m. — Middlebury— American Legion Hall.
 June 9, 2010 — 6:30-8:30 p.m. — Montpelier — Vermont State House (Rooms 10 and 11)
 July 8, 2010 – 6:30-8:30 p.m. – White River Jct. — Bugbee Senior Center

Sponsors:
These public forums are sponsored by the Biomass Energy Resource Center, Forest Guild, National Wildlife Federation, Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club, Vermont Natural Resources Council and Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. The Addison County Regional Planning Commission, Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, and the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission are co-sponsoring the forums in their districts.