Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Energy Committee Grant Opportunity

Here is the information you need about the new grant program the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN) announced at the Dec. 4 conference workshop called 'Building the Power of Vermont Communities to Increase Energy Efficiency and Reduce Climate Change Impacts'.

The VECAN grant program will support Vermont groups working on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their communities that support local sustainability. Goals of the initiative are:
  • To build Vermont's leadership fostering and supporting energy and climate change strategies at the community level;
  • to decrease community carbon footprints;
  • and to increase carbon-free energy independence by supporting the implementation of community based energy projects.
Grants will range from $1,000 to $3000, with an application deadline of January 31, 2011. Grant applications will be reviewd by a committee made up of the key VECAN support organizations and members of the VECAN Advisory Committee. The funding is made possible by a Dept. of Energy grant secured by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Find many more details about the grant program and download the grant application at or call the New England Grassroots Environment Fund's office at 802-223-4622. Please feel free to call or email NEGEF, who is the VECAN partner administering the grant porgram, with questions or to discuss project ideas.

VECAN is a collaborative effort of six nonprofit organizations: Community Climate Action, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Vermont Sierra Club, Sustainable Energy Resource Ground, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.

Thanks for all you do to help save energy and transition Vermont to a clean, green energy future!

Nancy Nottermann, CVRPC Energy Coordinator

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pre Disaster Mitigation Plan Workshop


Pre Disaster Mitigation Plan Workshop

WHEN: December 14, 2010, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

WHERE: The New East Montpelier Fire Station located at 54 Village Acres (Rte 2 & 14), East Montpelier

WHO: Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission

PRESENTATION SPEAKERS: Ray Doherty from Vermont Emergency Management

WHY: Updated plans and new plans are due in the near future & FEMA has made changes in the PDM plan structure and requirements

RSVP – Jen @

(p) 802-229-0389 (f) 802-223-1977

Come learn about the changes FEMA has made to the PDM plan structure. Also learn about the benefits your town can receive by having a PDM plan such as a PDM-C grant, HMGP grant and funding for hazard mitigation projects (culvert expansion, flood mitigation projects, property acquisition, retrofit projects etc.) Please forward this to those you may think are interested. If you are unable to attend this session, we will be holding another workshop in mid January – details to follow.

Refreshments will be served

Monday, November 29, 2010

Montpelier Winners - Rain Garden Contest

At the 3rd annual Vermont Rain Garden contest held this summer, Heather Burt (Montpelier High School) won best garden outside Chittenden County and Jeff Schumann (also Montpelier) won best us of native plants for his garden. Congratulations to both for their attractive landscape that is also used to treat storm water runnoff; nice work, indeed!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bagels & Brownfields!

The Brownfields & Bagels meeting has been postponed to a later date.
Please feel free to contact Jennifer at if you have questions or are looking for more information regarding brownfields funding and redevelopment ideas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Want to save money on your vehicle’s fuel costs – personal and municipal?
CVRPC is pleased, to announce free workshops on vehicle fuel savings for your municipal road crews, town employees, business and the general public. These 2 hour sessions will be held on Nov 11, Thurs, and Nov 12, Friday each from 3 – 5 pm. The workshop is entitled ‘Eco Driving’ and will provide hands on training in proven energy reduction strategies for fuel efficient driving, including the realities of idling. The University of VT Transportation Research Center has developed these highly sought after trainings.

Locations are TBD, but one will be in the Barre/Berlin area and one in the Waterbury area. Since the capacity is 30 people per workshop, please contact me at CVRPC, 229-0389 to reserve a spot. Our goal is to reach as many towns as possible.

Who should attend? Our hope is that towns will send representatives, including planning commission members, select boards, road crews, and managers, who can report back to their towns and then implement the workshop strategies. We also hope that the general public and energy committees will wish to participate.

Small changes in driving habits can save a lot of money.
Whether you are a town employee or a community member or a business with a fleet of vehicles, these workshops are appropriate for you.

To learn more or register, please contact Nancy Nottermann, the Energy Coordinator at CVRPC, 229-0389 or email Feel free to pass this information on to anyone who might be interested.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SAVE the DATE: Low Impact Development Workshop -November 4th, 2010

SAVE the DATE Thursday November 4, 2010, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Low Impact Development Workshop Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Berlin, Vermont

Presentations will include the benefits Low Impact Development, implementation techniques and regional stormwater analysis results. Design charrette will provide participants hands-on opportunity to retrofit an urban site with LID techniques.

What is LID? Low Impact Development is a development technique implemented to manage storm water close to the source to decrease the harmful effects of run off and help increase water quality.

Formal workshop announcement, agenda and registration coming soon!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Municipal Planning Grants Available FY 2011

Municipal Planning Grants (MPGs) will be available once again this year with applications due on November 30, 2010. MPG funds provide assistance for town planning and implementation. Information about the program is available online at:
MPG funding for fiscal year 2011 (FY11) was allocated approximately at the same $400,000 level as in FY10, which is about half of the annual allocation received earlier in the past decade. Because of the reduced funding, the Community Planning and Revitalization Division conducted user surveys, meetings and interviews to determine how best to support the planning needs of Vermont municipalities at this time.

Based on responses to this outreach, two notable changes have been made in the program for FY11:

1. The emphasis of the statewide priorities is now more focused on implementation of the municipal plan.
2. A cash match will be required for grant requests between $8,000 - $15,000. Matching funds will not be required for grant requests of $8,000 or less.
Please review the online Program Description for details.
Online applications will be required. We encourage you to begin working on your application well before the online application website becomes available later this fall. You can start now by meeting with appropriate boards and consultants and developing your work plan and budget using the Sample Application as a reference. See instructions for getting started on the FY11 MPG Webpage.
Application dates:

End of September/early October, 2010 – Opening of online application website will be announced
November 30 – Application due date
December 31 – Grant decisions announced

For any questions about the MPG program please email or call: 802-828-5249 (direct line) or (800)622-4553 (toll free).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wrightsville Beach Facility 25 Years Old!

Wrightsville Beach Turns 25

For the last 25 years Wrightsville Beach has been providing a low cost, high quality and now diverse recreational experience for residents of its member communities (Montpelier, East Montpelier, Middlesex, and Worcester) and the Central Vermont Region. The beach facilities are widely used and appreciated by families, community groups, and visitors.

The 2010 season witnessed record attendance and revenues for the Beach thanks to great weather, improved grounds and facilities, and more recreational options. The Wrightsville Beach Recreation District, which operates the beach facility with assistance from Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, continues its popular canoe and kayak rentals, improved and expanded hiking trails, 13 holes of disk golf, and attends to its ambitious maintenance program. During the 2010 season, the District hosted the first ever Wrightsville Beach Disk Golf Tournament, the 2nd annual Green Mountain Water Skiers Tournament, and the 6th annual “Beach Party for Charity.”

As Wrightsville Beach celebrates its 25th anniversary, one wonders what the future may hold for the Beach and the surrounding Wrightsville reservoir. Check our web site at for more information, and thanks for another great season.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Barre City Main St Reconstruction

A major three year reconstruction of Main St in Barre City, VT has started. The first year consists of the installation of new traffic signals and the reconfiguration of intersections and lane configuration along the detour route (Maple Ave, Summer St, Elm St and Washington, St). The actual reconstruction of Main St is not scheduled to start till 2011, but Barre is already gearing up for the work to come. The Barre Partnership is working toward keeping everyone informed with weekly or even daily (if needed) traffic updates through a new web page . Visit the web page for the latest traffic delay, construction information, and construction mile stones as they happen.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Environmental Conference October 2010

Recognizing that we ALL are educating about and for the environment, the conference theme, Designing Our Shared Future, says it well. The conference organizers welcome all those who have a role in designing our shared future from health workers to planners, loggers to farmers, energy innovators to green business people and conservation folks to teachers, including those who may not see themselves as educating for the environment.

Join Vermont’s State-Wide Environmental Education Programs alliance (SWEEP) as it hosts the 44th annual New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) conference. This year’s conference takes place October 21-23 at the beautiful Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT and promises to be engaging, fun and informative.

Conference partners include Vermont SWEEP, NEEEA and Promise of Place (POP), along with generous support from the Center for Whole Communities. To learn more about the details of the conference or to register to attend, please visit the conference website at or the conference blog at

Conference attendees can choose to attend any of the 40+ workshops and field trips that fall into three different strands – to create, to cultivate and to collaborate. This year’s conference also highlights three inspiring keynote speakers – Peter Forbes from the Center for Whole Communities, Bill McKibben from and Dana Hudson from the National Farm to School Network. Additionally, there will be a variety of entertainment including a screening of the film Mother Nature’s Child: Muddy Knees in the Age of Technology, an Open Mic Night, an evening of Contra Dancing with the Old Sam Peabody Contra Dance Band and a performance by the Yoh Theater Speakchorus.

This year’s NEEEA Conference is not to be missed. With a line up full of interactive workshops and field trips, dynamic keynote speakers and engaging entertainment, conference organizers are sure there is a place at the table for all community members of Vermont and beyond. Register now at

For additional information, contact Nancy Nottermann, Co-Chair, NEEEA;

Friday, July 16, 2010

$1.3 Million Granted to Vermont Schools for Safety Projects

The Vermont Agency of Transportation announced that 22 schools received a total of $1.3 Million in Infrastructure Awards through the Agency's Safe Routes to School Program. "Safe Routes to School is about kids walking and biking to school regularly, routinely, and safely," said VTrans Secretary David Dill. "The program is an opportunity to have schools and comminities work together to solve some of the pressing safety, environmental and health challenges."

Schools that receiving grants in the CVRPC area include:
Warren School for radar feedback signs and feasibility study.
Moretown Elementary School for installing radar signs, upgrading signage and crosswalk markings.
Waitsfield Elementary for upgrades to school signs, radar feedback signs, and intersection improvement near school.

For additional infromation about the selection of these projects or participation in the Safe Routes to School program, please contact Amie Pope at (802) 828-5799 or at

Friday, July 2, 2010

River Corridor Management Program, Vermont

The following is a summary of the river corridor and riparian buffer-related changes in Vermont law (10 V.S.A. Chapter 49 and 24 V.S.A. Chapter 117) as a result of the passage of Act 110 in May of 2010. In several parts of this summary, entire lists and their introductory paragraphs from pre-existing State Statute are presented for the sake of context and clarity, using underlining to indicate the new language enacted as part of Act 110. Unless otherwise noted, the following Vermont law takes effect on July 1, 2010:

It is in the public interest to encourage and promote protected river corridors and buffers adjacent to rivers and streams of the state, where:
“River corridor” means the land area adjacent to a river that is required to accommodate the dimensions, slope, planform, and buffer of the naturally stable channel, and necessary to maintain or restore fluvial equilibrium conditions and minimize fluvial erosion hazards, as delineated by the agency of natural resources in accordance with river corridor protection procedures.
“Buffer” means an undisturbed area consisting of trees, shrubs, ground cover plants, duff layer, and generally uneven ground surface that extends a specified distance horizontally across the surface of the land from the mean water level of an adjacent lake or from the top of the bank of an adjacent river or stream, as determined by the secretary of natural resources.

It is in the public interest to establish policies, plans, and rules that encourage and promote protected river corridors and buffers for the following purposes:
 further the maintenance of safe and healthful conditions;
 prevent and control water pollution;
 protect spawning grounds, fish, and aquatic life;
 control building sites, placement of structures, and land uses;
 reduce property loss and damage;
 preserve shore cover, natural beauty, and natural stability; and
 provide for multiple uses of the waters in a manner to provide for the best interests of the citizens of the state.

A River Corridor Management Program will be established by the ANR Secretary to aid and support the municipal adoption of river corridor and buffer bylaws.
No later than February 1, 2011, state financial incentives shall be offered to municipalities through existing grants and pass-through funding programs which encourage municipal adoption and implementation of zoning bylaws that protect river corridors and buffers. The Agency of Natural Resources will define the minimum standards for a municipality to be eligible for financial incentives.
Under the River Corridor Management Program, beginning February 1, 2011, the secretary shall:
(1) upon request, provide municipalities with maps of designated river corridors within the municipality. A river corridor map provided to a municipality shall delineate a recommended buffer that is based on site-specific conditions. The secretary shall provide maps under this subdivision based on a priority schedule established by the secretary in procedure; and
(2) develop recommended best management practices for the management of river corridors and buffers.
Municipal zoning bylaws may permit, prohibit, restrict, regulate, and determine land development, including the following:
(1) Specific uses of land and shoreland facilities;
(2) Dimensions, location, erection, construction, repair, maintenance, alteration, razing, removal, and use of structures;
(3) Areas and dimensions of land to be occupied by uses and structures, as well as areas, courts, yards, and other open spaces and distances to be left unoccupied by uses and structures;
(4) Timing or sequence of growth, density of population, and intensity of use;
(5) Uses within a river corridor and buffer, as those terms are (now) defined in 10 V.S.A. §§ 1422 and 1427.

Municipal Zoning

Provisions of zoning bylaws must be uniform for each class of use or structure within each zoning district, except that additional classifications may be made within any district to regulate, restrict, or prohibit uses or structures at or near any of the following:
(A) Major thoroughfares, their intersections and interchanges, and transportation arteries.
(B) Natural or artificial bodies of water.
(C) Places of relatively steep slope or grade.
(D) Public buildings and public grounds.
(E) Aircraft and helicopter facilities.
(F) Places having unique patriotic, ecological, historical, archaeological, or community interest or value, or located within scenic or design control districts.
(G) Flood, fluvial erosion, or other hazard areas and other places having a special character or use affecting or affected by their surroundings.
(H) River corridors and buffers, as those terms are defined in 10 V.S.A. §§ 1422 and 1427.

A municipality may define different and separate zoning districts, and identify within these districts which land uses are permitted as of right, and which are conditional uses requiring review and approval. The list of districts now includes:
River Corridors and Buffers A municipality may adopt bylaws to protect river corridors and buffers, as those terms are (now) defined in 10 V.S.A. §§ 1422 and 1427, in order to:
 protect public safety; prevent and control water pollution;
 prevent and control stormwater runoff;
 preserve and protect wetlands and waterways;
 maintain and protect natural channel, streambank, and floodplain stability;
 minimize fluvial erosion and damage to property and transportation infrastructure;
 preserve and protect the habitat of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife;
 promote open space and aesthetics; and
 achieve other municipal, regional, or state conservation and development objectives for river corridors and buffers.

River corridor and buffer bylaws may:
 regulate the design and location of development;
 control the location of buildings;
 require the provision and maintenance or reestablishment of vegetation, including no net loss of vegetation;
 require screening of development or use from waters; and
 reserve existing public access to public waters.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sustainable Communities Grants - HUD funding

During a keynote address to The Atlantic's inaugural Future of the City Forum in Washington, D.C., U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced that HUD is launching a $100 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program, the first of its kind designed to create stronger, more sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation and building a clean energy economy.

The Regional Planning grants will be awarded competitively to multi-jurisdictional and multi-sector partnerships as well as regional consortia consisting of state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), educational institutions, non-profit organizations and philanthropic organizations. The funding was approved by Congress for the first time in HUD's 2010 budget, as part of a $200 million fund for the agency's new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. To read the full text of HUD's funding announcement, visit HUD's Sustainability website.

"At HUD, and across the Administration, we believe that the "future of the city" is tied to the future of the region-the cities, suburbs and rural areas that surround them, and that America's ability to compete and create jobs in the 21st century depends on our metro regions," said Donovan. "That is why I am proud to say we are taking another big step forward in the Obama Administration's efforts to encourage more sustainable development as I announce $100 million for our new Sustainable Regional Planning Grant program for regions to integrate economic development, land use, and transportation investments."

"The Sustainable Communities Partnership is one part of President Obama's broader urban and metropolitan agenda, which aims to break down traditional silos and ensure that federal programs and policies across all agencies better respond to the unique needs of specific communities," said Melody Barnes, President Obama's Domestic Policy Adviser. "The Administration's efforts aim to develop urban and metropolitan areas that are economically competitive, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive."

The funding being announced today will support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments in a manner that empowers jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of economic competitiveness and revitalization; social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity; energy use and climate change; as well as public health and environmental impacts. The program places a priority on partnerships, including nontraditional partnerships including arts and culture, philanthropy, and bringing new voices to the regional planning process.

The program will support a number of activities related to the development and implementation of integrated long-range regional plans including, but not limited to:

identifying affordable housing, transportation investment, water
infrastructure, economic development, land use planning,
environmental conservation, energy system, open space, and other
infrastructure priorities for the region;
establishing performance goals and measures;
providing detailed plans, policies, and implementation strategies
to be implemented by all participating jurisdictions over time to
meet planning goals;
engaging residents and stakeholders substantively and meaningfully
in the development of the shared vision and its implementation.

The program builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide more sustainable housing and transportation choices for families and lay the foundation for a 21st century economy. Guided by six Livability Principles, the Partnership is designed to remove the traditional silos that exist between federal departments and strategically target the agencies' transportation, land use, environmental, housing and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.

Recognizing that areas are in different stages of achieving sustainability, HUD established two funding categories for the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. Category 1 Funds can be used to support the preparation of Regional Plans for Sustainable Development. Category 2 Funds can be used to support efforts to fine-tune existing regional plans so that they address the Partnership's Livability Principles, to prepare more detailed execution plans for an adopted Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, and limited predevelopment planning activities for catalytic projects. Of the funds available, $2 million will be reserved for capacity support grants distributed separately, and not less than $25 million will be awarded to regions with populations of less than 500,000.

Ultimately, this regional planning initiative will provide a blueprint for public and private investment decisions that will support a more sustainable future for a region. The size of grants awarded will be determined by the size of the applicants geographic area, whether a large metropolitan region or a smaller rural community. Grant applications, which will be reviewed not only by HUD, but also by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, are due August 23, 2010.

To demonstrate HUD's commitment to listening and learning, HUD issued an advance Notice of Funding Availability in February 2010, which was posted on the Federal Register for 21 days for public comment and feedback. Many of the comments received through that process where integrated into the final Notice.

In addition, Secretary Donovan and HUD are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as the Office of Sustainable Communities works to streamline federal investments. HUD's new sustainability website will allow tax payers to see where funds are being spent and hold federal leaders accountable, and for local partners to access valuable information and resources.

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weatherization Skill Shops

Do-It-Yourself Weatherization Skill shops and Home Energy Efficiency Program
Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) is organizing a series of day-long Weatherization Skillshops in nine locations statewide for do-it-yourselfers on how to weatherize their homes. These skillshops are being organizing in partnership with the Adult Technical Education Centers throughout the state. The first two skillshops are coming right up in your area -- these are:

June 12 Barre Technical Center, Barre
June 19 St. Johnsbury Academy, St. Johnsbury

Skillshop participants will learn the core fundamentals and hands-on techniques needed to improve building efficiency on their own, including background on building science, how-to demonstrations, and hands-on skill building. The weatherization skillshop consists of three distinct modules:
 Air-sealing and insulating attics,
 Air-sealing windows and doors, and
 Air-sealing and insulating basements.

Participants will learn how to choose the right energy saving products and tools for basic projects and how to safely and effectively use materials.
The cost of the skillshops is $150 – which includes $100 in weatherization tools, supplies, and resources – and lunch. CVCAC gratefully acknowledges the support of the High Meadows Foundation for underwriting a portion of the costs of the skillshops. Attached please find a flier about the skillshops to distribute to interested participants. We have only space for 15-20 participants at each workshop – so please encourage your neighbors and friends to sign up today through the following link or by calling Laurie Fielder at 802 476 2093 x116.

At each Skillshop, participants will get the opportunity to sign up for the DIY Home Energy Efficiency Pilot Program, a new program being launched to help do-it-yourselfers work under the guidance of a certified home performance contractor and gain access to home performance incentives. CVCAC has partnered with Efficiency Vermont to ensure that the homeowner's work meets efficiency standards and thus qualifies for incentives.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Biomass Forums June 9, 2010

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 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

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.

NOTE: For geographic distribution we are hosting three forums — all covering the same topic and with the same speakers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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 ( 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 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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

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 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:

Friday, May 14, 2010

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

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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FY 2011 Transportation Enhancement Grants

The 2011 Transportation Enhancement grants are now available. Letters of intent are due by June 4, 2010. Completed applications are due to VTrans by August 20, 2010. These grants can fund such projects as new sidewalks, bike paths, historic preservation, environmental mitigation, and aid in the creation of a multi-modal and environmentally sustainable transportation system that encourages non-motorized use and enhances Vermont's historic landscape and development. The application document is available online at or go to www.aot.state.vt and search under grants. CVRPC is here to assist you in formulating your project and can provide some assistance with the application process. Contact Steve Gladczuk at or 229-0389. These applications do require a 20% local match and require a letter of support from CVRPC. Let us know how we can help.

Vermont "Renewable Energy Atlas"

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), in conjunction with the Vermont Center for Geographic Information and Fountains Spatial, Inc., announced the launch of The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont, a state-of-the-art GIS-based web application that identifies, analyzes, and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects.

"The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont will be an important tool in helping us all to consider the responsible energy options when thinking about our renewable energy future." - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States to enable users to choose their town or county and then select from a suite of renewable energy options including biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind. With a click of the mouse, users can map their selection.

Existing and potential renewable energy sites, renewable energy installers and consultants will appear on the map, and an analysis panel will summarize the results. The simple to use web application can be accessed anywhere and users can save their maps and analyses as unique URLs or export them to a PDF document.

The Atlas can be viewed and used at: The Atlas will be active as of April 22, 2010. For future reference, there will be a link on Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission's web site:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Challenges for Change -- Comments to the Legislature

Jeff Carr is looking for comments on Challenges for Change and is surprised that more Vermonters haven't spoken out. If you want to read what the Challenges for Change includes and/or want to send a comment to the Legislature and Administration, this is the link. It should take you right to the Legislative Council's page of the State's web site and in the right hand side column you will see Challenges for Change and a link to send an email.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Municipal Education Grants until May 15, 2010

Depatment of Economic, Housing, and Community Development is accepting FY10 Municipal Education Grant (MEG) applications until Saturday, May 15, 2010 (postmarked). Up to $800 reimbursement is available per training. One grant per town per year.

If you’ve been wanting to hire a trainer for local board/commission training on land use issues and procedures here’s how.
1. Review MEG program description and guidelines -
a. Decide on a training topic (review Menu of Training Topics in Grant Application Package)
b. Find a qualified trainer (review List of Trainers on website for a list of possible trainers)
c. Determine a training date
2. Complete application and obtain necessary signatures (Don’t forget to sign in the gray box on Page 7 of the application)
3. Mail to DHCA, postmarked by May 15, 2010
4. If approved, you will receive your grant agreement by the end of May
5. Conduct training within 120 days of executing the grant agreement
6. Within 30 days of training, submit request for reimbursement, financial documentation, copy of sign-in sheet and copies of training evaluation forms.

MEG funding can be used for training local volunteer planning commissions, development review/zoning boards and/or for all-boards training on topics related to statutory roles, responsibilities and functions. (Please see page 4 of the Grant Application Package for more on eligible topics.)

If you have any further questions about eligible topics or the grant guidelines please feel free to contact me. Brenda Greika is also available to assist you at 802-828-3243. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MORE Energy and how to access it!

Renewable Energy Atlas
You've Got the Power

On April 22, 2010, The Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont will be unveiled. The new state-of-the-art GIS-based web application identifies, analyzes and visualizes existing and promising locations for renewable energy projects. The Atlas was developed in collaboration between the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Vermont Center for Geographic Information (Waterbury), Fountains Spatial (Montpelier), and Overit Media (Albany, NY).

The Atlas is the first tool of its kind in the United States that enables end users to click on their town (or several towns or county/counties) and select from a thorough suite of renewable energy options: biomass, efficiency, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind.

With the proliferation of energy committees in over 90 towns and cities, it’s clear that Vermonters want a renewable energy and efficiency based economy. To support such efforts, a variety of new programs and funding sources have become available, including the Clean Energy Development Fund, Vermont Community Climate Change Grant Program and Community Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants. Two additional opportunities — the state’s new feed-in tariff program and the enablement of ‘clean energy assessment districts’ — will also result in the development of new renewable energy projects in the state.

Despite these opportunities, and the growing interest in taking advantage of them, Vermonters struggle with how to best navigate the process of moving projects from concept to reality. How, for example, can we assess the renewable energy and efficiency possibilities in our communities? How much local renewable energy generation is theoretically possible? How can Vermonters influence local energy planning and the decision making process?

The Atlas will assist town energy committees, the Clean Energy Development Fund and other funders, educators, planners, policy-makers, and businesses in making informed decisions about the planning and implementation of renewable energy in their communities – decisions that ultimately lead to successful projects, greater energy security, a cleaner and healthier environment, and a better quality of life across the state.

The Atlas is a collaboration between VSJF, Vermont Center for Geographic Information (Waterbury), Fountains Spatial (Montpelier), and many helpful experts. “Our Vermont office is particularly excited to be working on a project that supports the maturation of Vermont’s green economy,” said Mark Haberle, Senior Project Manager at Fountains. “The Atlas is a unique, forward-thinking, and important tool for analysis and review of alternative energy solutions. It is our goal to create a solution that facilitates influencing the decision-making process at all levels through robust information discovery and dissemination. It is our hope that the Atlas will cement VSJF’s position at the forefront of sustainable jobs development and innovation in Vermont and, through this effort, become a national leader in deploying pioneering solutions for responding to a carbon constrained future.”


This information just came to us today and the deadline for applying is April 30!

e-Vermont is a new $4 million initiative to help rural Vermont towns take full advantage of the Internet and advance a wide variety of local needs including economic development, school innovation, job creation, downtown marketing, community engagement, and e-commerce. Community applications due April 30. Details at VT Council on Rural Development web site:, or call 802 223-6091.
e-Vermont partners are the Vermont State Colleges, the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont Department of Public Service, Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Snelling Center for Government, Front Porch Forum, and Digital Wish.

Friday, April 2, 2010

U. S. Census Information

Do you or your neighbors have questions regarding the Census survey? Here's where you can find many of the answers.

The State Data Center front page at is dedicated to helping Vermonters with some of the Census questions that are being asked the most often. For more information, please contact: Will Sawyer, Manager, Vermont State
Data Center at the Center for Rural Studies,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Municipal Planning Grants

The work by VT Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development on the online application is complete and they are now ready to accept applications. You can find all MPG information and instructions at Applications are due April 30, 2010.

Municipalities that already have a Municipal/Authorizing Official (AO) are enabled to create a new MPG application without further contact with our office. All other municipalities will need to follow the instructions for registering an executive of the municipality as an M/AO before initiating an MPG application.

Conference call training for using the online application system will be available on Tuesday, March 23, and Friday, April 16, from noon – 1:00 pm. If you have any questions about this year’s MPG application or wish to sign up for the training, please don’t hesitate to contact Wendy Tudor (828-5249 or

Monday, March 8, 2010

Planning Volunteers Workshop, VT Law School

June 18-19, 2010
Development Review Volunteers’ Summer Retreat
Speakers and Workshops (under construction)

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Marc Mihaly Friday evening
Prof. John Echeverria Saturday morning
Prof. Sean Nolon Saturday lunch

Workshops: (aimed at timely topics, leadership building, skills, best practices…)

These are aimed for development review volunteers who are leaders in their municipalities, and so should be highly interactive; anticipating and incorporating their feedback. The information exchange among them is as important as the info the speaker wants to convey. Also, examples should be aimed at rural skills, examples and issues rather than more urban.

First session (choice of one):
1. Promoting More Energy Efficient Communities: Implementation via Project Review (Peg Elmer with Kat Roos, VLS): regulatory implementation
2. Takings: Lessons for the local decision-maker from the direction of the Courts (Prof. John Echeverria)
3. Basic Ethics (Garrett Baxter, VLCT): exploring the dilemmas posed in local land use decisions

Second session (choice of one):
4. The Developers' Perspective (speakers yet to be determined from the private sector) the experience from the other side – what helps/what doesn’t; how to get more development happening (incentives) in the centers; small town examples; successful examples and why
5. The Effective Land Use Board (Stephanie Smith, VLCT)
6. Pushing that Density (Noelle MacKay and, tentative, Sharon Murray): Beyond enabling, to requiring. What to look for, issues to address

Third session (choice of one):
7. Dispute resolution: some successful models, and when to fit into development review decisions? (Prof. Sean Nolon, Director, VLS Dispute Resolution Center)
8. Making Decisions that Stick, post JAM Golf (Sharon Murray, Jim Barlow, VLCT both tentative - Offspring of VLS/VPA 4/23 professional workshop): Crafting defensible decisions under discretionary review criteria in the town bylaws.

The registration form is up and ready to use at the following link, for use by sponsors of participants as well.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Municipal Planning Grants Apps due April 30, 2010

Municipal Planning Grants (MPGs) will be offered again this year. MPG funds provide assistance for town planning and implementation. Information about the program is available online at:
Municipalities may apply for any amount up to $15,000 for single applications or up to $25,000 for multi-town (consortia) projects. No local match is required.

Approximately $250,000 is available for grants statewide in FY10.

Priority will be given to the following types of projects this year:
• Update of municipal bylaws for the purpose of bringing bylaws into conformance with the municipal plan by 2011 as required in 24 VSA §4401 & §4481.
• Developing or updating a municipal plan that addresses pressing planning concerns in the community. (A recently expired plan or pending expiration of a plan alone is not considered a priority.)
• Studies or activities furthering growth center planning that will help meet requirements for designation [24 V.S.A. § 2791].
• Studies or activities leading to a Vermont Neighborhoods designation application [24 V.S.A. § 2791(15)].

Please review the Program Description first for an overview of MPG program requirements and competitive criteria. The Application Instructions will orient you to the online application process and provides tips on preparing a competitive application. We encourage you to begin working on your application before the on line application is available on March 15th. You can start by meeting with appropriate boards and consultants and developing your work plan and budget using the sample application as a reference.

Application dates:
March 15, 2010 – Online application website available
March 23 – Training on the online application system, noon – 1 pm
April 16 – Training on the online application system, noon – 1 pm
April 30 – Application due date
Late May – Grant decisions

To register for the training or for any questions about the MPG program, please email Wendy Tudor or call: (802)828-5249 – direct line, or (800)622-4553 – toll free.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FY 2010 Municipal Planning Grants Funded

Apparently, the FY 10 State budget adjustment bill as passed by the Vermont Legislature includes $250,000 in funding for municipal planning grants for this current fiscal year. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development will be sending notices seeking grant applications. The deadline for applying will be April 30, 2010. If you have a need for GIS services or build out analyses, please contact CVRPC, particularly Dan Currier, our GIS Manager, at Let us know if there is any way we can help with the municipal planning grants.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Muncipal Bonds available; reduced interest rate

Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds

The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank (VMBB) has received authority from the
State of Vermont to issue up to $90.0 million in Recovery Zone Economic
Development Bonds (RZEDBs) in 2010.

RZEDBs are a category of Build America Bonds (BABs), used to fund
public infrastructure, facilities and equipment in “recovery zones”. The
entire State of Vermont has been declared a “recovery zone”. RZEDBs
are sometimes known as “super BABs”. Regular BABs are taxable bonds
with a 35% tax credit feature. RZEDBs are also taxable bonds, but with
a 45% interest payment subsidy. By passing the subsidy on to
participating municipalities, the VMBB is able to make a 20-year Recovery
Zone Economic Development Bond between 15% and 20% cheaper than
tax-exempt municipal bonds.

Interest rates change on a daily basis.

The final RZEDB pricing will be determined at the time the bonds are sold.
Eligible RZEDB borrowers include: counties; cities; towns; villages; school
districts; and other state recognized districts – the same definition as
those able to borrow on a tax-exempt basis through the VMBB.

Recovery Zone Economic Bonds can be used for the following:
1. New money capital expenditures for real and personal property;
2. Public infrastructure and facilities; and
3. Expenditures for job training and education programs.

In order to qualify for Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, a
funded bond project must have started after February 16, 2009. A bond
anticipation note (BAN) may be refinanced by an RZEDB provided the BAN
was entered into after February 16, 2009 for a permissible use.

Like tax-exempt bonds, Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds
will require voter approval by Australian Ballot. Consult your local counsel
for advice and assistance with the bond approval process.

The VMBB will be using the same application process for Recovery Zone
Economic Development Bonds as that used for tax-exempt bonds. A
municipality wishing to be included in this July’s RZEDB pool will need to
file a VMBB application by May 15th along with the following: a CPA audit
of your municipality’s most recently completed fiscal year, a preliminary
bond counsel’s opinion; and three years of annual reports. See VMBB’s
website for further information on municipal finance and making application
for admission to the VMBB bond pool (

To request an estimated debt amortization schedule or for more information
on Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds and tax-exempt
bonds contact:

Robert W. Giroux, Executive Director
Vermont Municipal Bond Bank
20 Winooski Falls Way
Winooski, VT 05404

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Central Vermont Energy Program

Central Vermont Energy Program


The Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission has received economic stimulus funding to assist municipalities and the Washington County Court House with implementing energy efficiency measures. CVRPC has funds available to perform energy and lighting audits on municipally-owned buildings and potentially will have funds available to undertake subsequent weatherization measures identified by the audits.

CVRPC also anticipates receiving additional funding from the VT Department of Public Service to provide technical assistance to new and existing town energy committees with primary focus on committee development (i.e. capacity building) and project implementation. Anticipated start date is June 2010.

The overall goal of the Central Vermont Energy Program is to improve municipal energy efficiency and promote municipal energy committee sustainability. The Program period is three years, ending in December 2012.

Energy Audits and Weatherization Grants

Municipalities that wish to have a municipal energy and lighting audit undertaken and/or have access to weatherization funds are asked to enroll in the CV Energy Program. CVRPC anticipates funding at least two audits per municipality. To enroll, please complete the Central Vermont Energy Program Enrollment Form. (Contact CVRPC at 229-0389 or email to get a copy of the form.)

The Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission will contract with certified contractor(s) to perform the energy audits. The contractor(s) will be chosen based upon a competitive Request for Proposals process coordinated by CVRPC. The chosen contractor(s) will then schedule the audit process directly with the town. The contractor will be available to attend one public meeting to share the audit findings with the town. This will also be scheduled directly with the town. All audits will be completed by October 2010.

With a completed energy audit a municipality will have the necessary information to make informed decisions about steps to increase their buildings’ energy efficiency. CVRPC expects to have funding available to assist towns with the implementation of some of the audit recommendations.

Weatherization funding will be available to towns on a reimbursement basis. Towns will be responsible for hiring a professional contractor and/or coordinating volunteers to undertake the work. Funds will be allocated to towns on a per capita basis, currently estimated to be $3.00 per/person. For example, a town with a population of 4,000 may expect to receive $12,000 in weatherization funding. CVRPC will work with towns to identify and prioritize eligible, reimbursable weatherization work. For questions about the reimbursement process, please contact Laurie Emery at 229-0389.

Municipalities that have already received audits on municipal buildings by a qualified contractor are potentially eligible to receive weatherization funding assistance.

In order to track the success of the program, municipalities will be asked to provide follow-up information about the results of the audit, implemented work and other energy efficiency measures. Your town’s energy committee could be helpful with this reporting. CVRPC will provide a simple worksheet to be completed a year after the energy audit is completed.

Before having an energy audit, a municipality may want to consider the following suggestions:

a.) Form a team/steering committee – Identify a group of people who will be responsible for guiding the audit and weatherization process. This group can help by gaining municipal and public support of the process, coordinating volunteers to implement some of the weatherization measures, securing funding for audit recommendations, documenting and monitoring results, and developing a strategy for additional municipal energy efficiency improvements.

This may be the task of an existing municipal energy committee or could be an ad hoc committee. This could be a great catalyst to start a new energy team! For more information on starting an energy team, check out:

 The Vermont Energy and Climate Action Guide, available at
 A Guide to Improving Energy Efficiency in Vermont Municipal Buildings, available at

b.) Prioritize municipal buildings – Many towns have at least two municipal buildings, maybe more. Before deciding which building(s) to enroll in the program, we encourage you to review each building’s energy costs over the last 12 months (electric and heat) to better understand the current usage. Further, we encourage you to conduct a walk through assessment to visually inspect buildings to identify potential air leaks in basements, attics and walls; examine insulation levels; look at the status/quality of the heating equipment; and examine lighting and other electricity-using equipment. This information can help identify where the greatest gain could be in energy efficiency. For more information about what to look for during a walk through assessment see: The Guide to Improving Energy Efficiency in Vermont Municipal Buildings cited above.

c.) Identify additional funding sources – Audit recommendations may range from simple weatherization measures such as caulking around windows and changing out light bulbs to sealing air leaks in attics and basements and retrofitting a building’s heating and cooling system. The Central Vermont Energy Program is designed to help municipalities get a jump start on energy efficiency. However, some audit recommendations may exceed the program’s parameters. Municipalities are encouraged to identify additional funding sources to continue energy efficiency on the municipal level.


Below is a list of website and publications to assist with municipal energy efficiency:

 Guide to Improving Energy Efficiency in Vermont Municipal Buildings. Prepared by Paul Markowitz, VT Chapter Sierra Club. Includes info about building support, walk through assessments and energy efficiency resources and funding.

 Clean Energy Guide Book: Understanding Vermont’s Clean Energy Resources. Prepared by Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Identifies resources and funding sources for business, local governments and citizens. .

 Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Historic Preservation: A Guide for Historic District Commissions. Prepared by Clean Air - Cool Plant. A Guide for preservationists, local energy committees and homeowners regarding energy efficiency in historic homes and buildings.

 Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont has a range of incentive programs for improving both electrical and thermal efficiency.

 Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network. VECAN helps start and support town energy and climate action committees in their efforts to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance renewable energy projects.

 Clean Energy Development Fund. The goal of the Fund is to increase the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources – primarily with respect to renewable energy resources, and the use of combined heat and power technologies - in Vermont.

Request for Proposals for Municipal Energy Audits

Request for Proposals—Energy Audits

Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission is seeking consulting services to conduct detailed energy and lighting audits of municipal buildings within the 20 Washington County towns and the Towns of Washington, Williamstown and Orange in Orange County, and including the Washington County Courthouse in Montpelier. Proposals are due March 5, 2010. For a copy of the request for proposal, contact: Laurie Emery (802) 229-0389 or email: You can also download the RFP without the ARRA and standard contract attachments at and go to the energy page of the site. We hope to select an energy audit firm by the first week of April.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Safe Routes to School Applications

Please check the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) website for the Infrastructure Grant announcement and take a look at the Safe Routes to School application. There is a notice of intent that is required for this year’s process. Please contact Aimee Pope at VTrans, 828-5799, with questions. Here is the link to the VTrans web site and the Safe Routes to School application. The notice or letter of intent is new for this year.

Friday, February 5, 2010

JAM golf case update

The Environmental Court recently issued a new ruling in the JAM Golf case on whether certain regulatory provisions in South Burlington's 2003 regulations are sufficiently specific to guide a development review board's decision-making. The decision is available at:

This and similar cases will be among the topics of discussion at the Vermont Planners Association's spring workshop scheduled for April 23, 2010 at Vermont Law School.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Energy Grant Signed; Municipal Bldg Audits coming soon

Department of Energy ARRA grant: CVRPC today signed the agreement with the Department of Energy for the ARRA stimulus funding for municipal building audits. CVRPC will now prepare a RFP for energy audit firms and will keep the municipalities informed of the status. We anticipate that the selected firm(s) will contact municipal officials directly to arrange for energy audits of your municipal (not school) buildings, but we will let you know the process as soon as it is finalized. We will continue to keep you posted through staff reports and on our blog at

Staff will soon be mailing a project description and sign up form for municipalities to provide to us for participation in the municipal building energy audits to be known as the Central Vermont Energy Program. Please keep your eyes peeled for this forthcoming email and attachments. If you have questions, contact Laurie Emery or Clare Rock at 229-0389. Thanks!

Friday, January 22, 2010

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: 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, If you have questions about training content, contact Faith Ingulsrud directly at 802-828-5228,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

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.


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!


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.


Call Leslie Pelch with questions: Leslie Pelch, Outreach Coordinator
VCGI - 802-882-3002;

Thursday, January 7, 2010

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 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: for further information, or contact Laurie Emery at CVRPC at or 229-0389.

Monday, January 4, 2010

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)


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