Downtown Action Team To Focus On Northfield

In the aftermath of the spring floods and Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, the State of Vermont Downtown Program assembled a team of architects, planners, landscape architects, branding professionals and recovery funding and organizational experts.  The Vermont Downtown Action Team (V-DAT) will be coming to Northfield, April 7-9, 2014 to help with long-term recovery, future planning and resiliency.  Vital to this process is input from community members.  Bring your suggestions, hopes and dreams for Northfield.

The first event will be a public input meeting that is open to all of Northfield. The Northfield Community Input Meeting will be held Monday, April 7, at 5 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

A poster about the V-DAT visit, aimed at Water Street residents, states:

Many factors including the storm have brought recent and dramatic change to the Water Street neighborhood. The team wants to here your vision for YOUR neighborhood. Please join us for the breakfast meeting on Tuesday, April 8.

The next day V-DAT will hold a series of meetings on the two separate projects.

Water Street meetings are as follows:

  • Water Street Neighborhood Breakfast Meeting, 7:30 a.m., Library Community Room
  • Water Street River Park “Placemaking” Workshop 10 a.m., River Park Site, Water Street
  • Water Street River Park “Placemaking” Workshop 11 a.m., Library Community Room

And Village meetings also happen on Tuesday:

  • Merchants Meeting 9 a.m., Library  Community Room
  • Economic Development Meeting, 10:30 a.m., Library Community Room

The V-DAT visit will conclude with a Public Presentation Meeting on Wednesday, at 5:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

(Vermont Public Radio)

Emergency Generators now eligible for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has been informed by FEMA that HMGP applications may now be submitted for emergency generators in the regular project category.    Previously, FEMA would only fund these under the 5% initiative.

Vermont communities may now apply for an emergency generator grant in the upcoming HMGP round of applications due on May 2.     

Throughout the state, potentially there are many critical facilities that either don’t have generators or which  have older generators that are in need of replacement.   This may include police stations, fire stations, rescue squads, water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, hospitals and similar critical facilities.     Some of these larger facilities require generators that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

View Eligibility of Generator Purchase under HMGP and Generator FAQ

There are several advantages regarding  generator projects:

1)      These do not involve lengthy Environmental & Historic Preservation reviews

2)      With a well prepared and complete application, HMGP reviews can be expedited, particularly in communities that have local mitigation plans in place

3)      While a Benefit-Cost-Analysis is required, the attached guidance provides useful case studies which can be easily replicated, particularly for critical facilities

Let State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Ray Doherty, know if you have any questions or concerns about this new FEMA policy on generator grants.    The FEMA memo and guidance on frequently asked questions is attached.

If you’ll need any assistance in preparing your HMGP application for an emergency generator, please let RPC staff (Kim McKee: McKee@cvregion.com, Dan Currier: currier@cvregion.com) or Ray Doherty know.  See contact information below.

Ray Doherty,  State Hazard Mitigation Officer
Vermont Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (DEMHS)
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT  05671
Tel  (802) 241-5258  (office)
Email: ray.doherty@state.vt.us

Welcome to new Assistant Planner, Amelia Norris

Please join us in welcoming temporary Assistant Planner, Amelia Norris, who will be assisting with community engagement and the housing and natural resource elements of the Plan Central Vermont project.  A Starksboro, VT native, Amelia joins our office by way of the University of Vermont where she recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies.

In addition to her educational background, Amelia brings her experience as a member of Hinesburg’s Affordable Housing Committee and from a recent internship with Central Vermont Community Land Trust where she assisted in the development of affordable rental housing.  In her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time outside.   She is looking forward to learning more about Central Vermont and exploring the great natural areas the region has to offer.

Amelia can be reached at norris@cvregion.com.

Association of Vermont Conservation Commission’s 2014 Tiny Grants Now Available

AVCC’s 2014 round of Tiny Grants is underway! Individual grants are available from between $250-$600. Applications are due April 15 and awards will be announced May 1.

Click below for an information sheet and application for the grants. The objective of the grants is to provide seed money and/or matching funds for specific conservation projects at the local level.

More information at this link:  http://vtconservation.com/avccs-2014-tiny-grants-now-available/2014/02/

New Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Opportunity, LOIs due Apr. 1

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP): New Grant Opportunity

The State of Vermont has received funds from FEMA for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in connection with the disasters declared in 2013, DR 4120 and DR 4140.

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is now accepting HMGP applications from towns and agencies in all Vermont counties in connection with the most recent disasters. The HMGP program is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the VT Division of Emergency Management.   Federal funds are available to cover up to 75% of project costs.  Applicants are responsible for the 25% local match requirement.  This announcement is being sent by mail to all Selectboard chairpersons in the state.

We encourage you to identify potential hazard mitigation sites in your communities and apply for funds under the HMGP program.  Typical hazard mitigation projects would include:  mitigation of local roads and bridges, home or property acquisition (buy-out), structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, remediation of stream bank erosion, flood proofing of municipal buildings, etc.   This is an opportunity for repetitive loss structures, businesses and other buildings located in the 100-year flood plain to consider elevation, buyout or relocation.

New FEMA policy makes it easier for homes located in designated flood zones to be elevated or acquired in a buyout.  Project proposals need not be directly connected to flooding from the most recent declared disasters.  Towns may also apply for a grant to develop a local hazard mitigation plan or for mitigation initiative projects (5% initiatives).

You may download the HMGP application from our agency’s website at www.vem.vermont.gov or you may contact the State Hazard Mitigation Officer for an application.   On the DEMHS website, first go to the Mitigation Tab, and then click on Mitigation Forms.

Please note the following FEMA eligibility requirements:

1)  Communities must have a FEMA approved and adopted local mitigation plan no later than the date that funds are awarded.  Those towns lacking an approved plan should contact their local Regional Planning Commission for assistance.

2)  Communities must be participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), if a special flood hazard area (SFHA) has been identified in the community and if the proposed project is located within the SFHA.   Please contact the Agency of Natural Resources state floodplain coordinator for additional information on applying for NFIP membership.

The application must be completed in full, including maps, list of alternative proposals, engineering plans, hydrology studies (if needed) and a full benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in the FEMA approved format.  If you need help in completing the BCA, you may contact your local Regional Planning Commission.  Some BCA assistance may be available from DEMHS mitigation staff if you make a prior appointment.

Deadline for HMGP applications:   Friday, May 2, 2014

If you wish to apply for an HMGP grant, please submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to DEMHS by April 1.   The LOI should include a brief description of your proposal and the total estimated cost of your project.  Please indicate if you’ll need assistance in completing the application or benefit cost analysis (BCA).

Please submit LOIs and completed applications to:

Ray Doherty, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
VT Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT  05671
Tel (802) 241-5258 (office)
Email:  ray.doherty@state.vt.us

Applications should be submitted in hard copy (paper application) and in electronic format such as a scanned PDF file.  Applications will not be accepted if submitted past the deadline.

Please note that HMGP funds are awarded on a competitive basis and all applications are subject to review and selection by the state mitigation project committee and by FEMA.  Of course, feel free to contact the DEMHS mitigation staff if you have any questions or concerns regarding HMGP or any other FEMA mitigation grant program.