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 VLCT News - April 2014 

See also: Reprints of recent newsletter articles.

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Please also check our Event Calendar for training, workshops and other events.


News Briefs

  • Northern Border Regional Commission Grants
  • 04/15/2014
  • The Northern Border Regional Commission, created by the 2008 Farm Bill and encompassing some 36 counties in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, has announced a fifth round of funds to award for project funding to develop transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, or telecommunications infrastructure. The commission may also invest in projects related to: job skills training and employment‐related education; basic healthcare and other public services; promotion of resource conservation, tourism, recreation and open space preservation; and the development of renewable and alternative energy sources. Projects from any of the six counties specified in the law (Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans) are eligible to receive grants. Due to a redefinition of "distressed counties," for this round only Essex and Orleans counties are defined as “distressed,” making your projects eligible for up to 80% funding. Projects in other counties can apply for up to 50% funding. The maximum grant is $250,000 with a total of $4.5 million to be granted among the four states.

    Read more >>
  • EPA Grants Available to Improve the Environment and Public Health in New England Communities
  • 04/11/2014
  • EPA is making grant money available for projects that will help reduce environmental risks for New England communities at risk, such as environmental justice areas, urban areas, sensitive populations, and/or those impacted by climate change or stormwater run-off.

    Read more >>
  • Materials Management Summit
  • 04/08/2014
  • The House and Senate Natural Resources and Energy committees will jointly sponsor a Materials Management Summit on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9 a.m. to 12 noon in Room 11 of the State House.

    Read more >>
  • Unit-based Pricing for Waste Disposal
  • 04/02/2014
  • Vermont’s Universal Recycling law (Act 148) requires all Vermont municipalities to “implement a variable rate pricing system [also known as unit-based pricing] that charges for the collection of municipal solid waste from a residential customer for disposal based on the volume or weight of the waste collected” by July 1, 2015. The Waste Management and Prevention Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation has published this guide to unit-based pricing for waste disposal and recyclables. Additionally, the division has created this sample variable rate pricing ordinance by volume or weight for municipal solid waste collection (not reviewed by VLCT).

    Read more >>
  • DEC's Draft Phase One Plan
  • 04/02/2014
  • On Monday, March 31, the Department of Environmental Conservation sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency its Draft Phase One Plan to clean up Lake Champlain. The plan attempts to engage all contributing sectors in reducing phosphorus to the lake and ensuring that scarce money is spent to achieve the most significant reductions possible in phosphorus and sediment loadings.

    Read more >>
  • NERC Spring Workshop
  • 03/27/2014
  • The Northeast Recyling Council will present a two‐day workshop to address organics management in urban and rural settings on April 15-16, 2014, in Freeport, Maine. Managing organics has become a priority for towns due to the requirements of Act 148, and the workshop is a good way for a town's public works and transfer station operators to learn about organics management. The workshop will include technical sessions, hands‐on exercises, a Q&A with experts, and site tours. More information, including the agenda and session descriptions, is here.

    Read more >>
  • FMDA/Tri-State ASBO Facilities Conference
  • 03/25/2014
  • The Facilities Maintenance Directors Association (FMDA), in conjunction with the Tri-State Association of School Business Officials (ASBO), will offer a day of professional development and networking for school business managers and facility directors from Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. This Facilities Conference, scheduled for Tuesday, May 13, at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, kicks off the start of the 22nd Annual Tri-State Association Business Officials' four-day conference. Here is the agenda and here is a registration form.

    Read more >>
  • March 13 Letter from GMWEA to Gov. Shumlin
  • 03/19/2014
  • On March 13, the Green Mountain Water Environment Association urged the Governor to ensure that Vermont addresses the largest contributors to phosphorus loading in Lake Champlain, which are non-point sources and from which the most significant reductions in loading will be realized. Read more.

    Read more >>
  • Community Solar and Wind Turbine Installation RFP
  • 03/19/2014
  • Grants of up to $125,000 for community solar and wind turbine installations will be made on a competitive basis through a request for proposals from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, which is posted here. Questions concerning this RFP must be made in writing by Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Responses to all questions will be posted on the CEDF web page, http://publicservice.vermont.gov/topics/renewable_energy/cedf. Proposals are due by Friday, May 9, 2014, and must include both a cover sheet and budget worksheet (also on the CEDF web page).

    Read more >>
  • 2014 AVCC Tiny Grant Program
  • 03/07/2014
  • The Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions (AVCC) is seeking applications for its 2014 Tiny Grant program. The objective of the grants is to provide seed money and/or matching funds for specific conservation projects at the local level. Last year, AVCC awarded grants to groups in Dorset, Fayston, Plainfield and Warren for projects including a new info kiosk at a town forest, an improved shelter at a nature center, trail design services, and on-the-ground verification of wildlife corridors.

    Read more >>
  • 8th Annual Vermont Organics Recycling Summit
  • 03/05/2014
  • The 8th Annual Vermont Organics Recycling Summit, scheduled for Thursday, April 3, 2014, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, Vt., is Vermont's premier annual event to learn about current issues, technologies and practices related to organics repurposing and recycling. The one day event includes eight workshops, vendors, exhibitors, and networking opportunities with organics diversion experts and regulators. This year’s summit will include a two-part workshop on Community Composting. This decentralized approach to managing organics is gaining popularity across the country and already has broad support in Vermont.

    Read more >>
  • Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery competitive grant program
  • 03/04/2014
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation has made available $600 million to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. Applications are due April 28, 2014.

    Read more >>
  • 2014 Elevator Safety Rules
  • 02/26/2014
  • The purpose of the proposed 2014 Elevator Safety Rules is to ensure that elevators are correctly installed and operated in Vermont by authorizing and enforcing rules for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of conveyances, and by licensing mechanics and inspectors who work on them.

    Read more >>
  • UVM MPA Program
  • 02/25/2014
  • The University of Vermont offers courses towards a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Here are its listings for the Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 semesters. For more information, contact Leslie Barchard, Community Development and Applied Economics MS/MPA Student Services Coordinator, at 802-656-0009 or Leslie.Barchard@uvm.edu.

    Read more >>
  • Available USDA Rural Development Low Fixed Rate Loans
  • 02/06/2014
  • If you are looking at funding options for a new facility, facility upgrade, or equipment, long-term, low fixed rate loans are available from USDA Rural Development. Direct loan money is plentiful and Rural Development is dedicated to assisting Vermont public bodies. Projects may include public safety equipment, town vehicles, town halls, fire stations, libraries, police stations, schools, water treatment, and just about anything to do with improving or sustaining the economic vitality and livability of a community. To learn how Rural Development funding can provide the low rate and fixed term to ensure an affordable project, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/NHVTCommunity.html.

    Read more >>
  • Cultural Facilities Grants
  • 02/05/2014
  • The Vermont Arts Council will award grants of up to $30,000 to assist Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities to enhance existing buildings. The deadline for grant applications is Thursday, May 1, 2014. All applications must be submitted online through the Vermont Arts Council website, www.vermontartscouncil.org.

    Read more >>
  • Animal Control and Cruelty Investigation Workshop
  • 02/04/2014
  • The Vermont Humane Federation will present a free Animal Control and Cruelty Investigation Workshop on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at the VA Hospital in White River Junction. Scheduled topics include Regulating and Inspecting Pet Dealers, When and How to Issue Civil Tickets, Municipal Dog Ordinances and The Big Book of Woof, Assessing Horses in the Field, and A Holistic Approach  to Animal Hoarding Interventions. More information is on this flyer.

    Read more >>
  • VHFA Blog
  • 02/04/2014
  • The Vermont Housing Finance Agency maintains a housing matters blog www.vhfa.org/about/news/blog that's worth the occasional read.

    Read more >>
  • New Floodplain Manager Regions
  • 01/16/2014
  • The Floodplain Manager regions have changed for 2014. You can see the new regions on the Flood Hazard Management website. Municipal permit applications for flood hazard area development can be sent to the Floodplain Manager for your region.

    Read more >>
  • Local Emergency Operations Plan
  • 01/08/2014
  • The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) has just released a new local emergency operations plan template, which is posted at http://vem.vermont.gov/local_state_plans/local.

    Read more >>
  • Draft Materials Management Plan
  • 12/30/2013
  • The draft MMP amends the previous solid waste management plan that was readopted in 2006 and includes significant changes to the structure and layout of the previous plan. The draft MMP is based on five material specific chapters and a chapter addressing general planning needs. Each chapter contains tools of action, state goals, and performance standards. The state goals and performance standards establish deliverables for the planning period that include reporting, outreach and education, and convenience requirements. The draft MMP includes revisions that incorporate recommendations from an ANR solid waste stakeholder group that convened in 2008. The public comment period ended February 21, 2014. A link to the Draft Materials Management Plan is here. Additional information relating to the Universal Recycling law (Act 148) is here.

    Read more >>
  • Mitigating Impacts of Climate Change on Vermont
  • 12/20/2013
  • State and Federal Reports Focus on Mitigating Impacts of Climate Change on Vermont. Recent reports from the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detail recommendations to mitigate the effects of climate change on Vermont. For more information, red the ISC report, “Vermont’s Roadmap to Resilience, Preparing for Natural Disasters and the Effects of Climate Change in the Green Mountain State,” and the EPA’s “Disaster Recovery and Long-Term Resilience Planning in Vermont.”

    Read more >>
  • Rising Education Property Taxes
  • 12/17/2013
  • Education property taxes just keep rising – $64 million more this year than last, if the prognosticators are correct. That's a 6.7 percent increase. And municipal property taxes are concomitantly constrained as a result. On November 26, the Commissioner of Taxes sent the legislature this letter required by statute that projects statewide education property tax rates for the coming year based on the law and forecasts. She recommended that both the homestead and non-residential education property tax rates increase by five cents. In mid-December, the commissioner had to revise those rates up by another two cents, as noted in this follow-up letter, to a total of seven cents after discovering an error in the earlier computation.

    Read more >>
  • The 10 Critical Imperatives Facing Cities in 2014
  • 12/12/2013
  • Cities large and small confront challenges that not only impact the quality of life of those who live and work there, but the success of our entire nation. In its report titled The 10 Critical Imperatives Facing Cities in 2014, the National League of Cities highlights the most pressing of these challenges.

    Read more >>
  • Front Porch Forum
  • 11/22/2013
  • Do you wish there was an easy and timely way to let everyone in town know about planned special events, upcoming meeting agendas, or other town announcements? Front Porch Forum (FPF) offers just that—and at no cost. In times of need, such as during and following natural disasters, your FPF becomes even more powerful.

    Read more >>
  • Flood Resilience Planning Website
  • 10/01/2013
  • A Sharepoint website has been set up to support planners working on flood resilience. Anyone working on a first generation resilience plan can use this site to find data and share ideas. And as you develop draft plans, please use this site to share your work with others. A separate website is in development to support the Flood Resilient Communities program. When released next summer, it will supplant this temporary site. Your feedback on the Sharepoint will inform the design of the final site.

    Read more >>
  • Municipal Flood Recovery Projects Assistance
  • 09/26/2013
  • The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will receive an additional $17,932,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. This second allocation of HUD CDBG-Disaster Recovery funding was secured through the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriation Act and is in addition to the $21.6 million received last year. The rules governing the use of the allocation are essentially the same as the first with the major exception being, funds must be spent within two years. As was also the case under the first allocation, the Federal Notice requires the state to target at least 80 percent of this funding ($14,345,600) to Washington, Windham, and Windsor Counties.
     
    DHCD has developed an Action Plan that is presently under review by HUD which identifies the method of distribution and the unmet and long-term recovery needs of areas most impacted as the result of declared major disasters in Vermont in 2011 and 2012. These disasters include FEMA Disaster Declaration 1995 (April 23-May 9, 2011 flood), 4001 (May 26-27, 2011 flood), 4022 (August 27-September 2, 2011: Tropical Storm Irene), 4043 (May 20, 2011 flooding) and 4066 (June 29, 2012, tornado and flooding). Funds will be available to help communities with the necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas receiving major disaster declarations. Of the funding available, DHCD has proposed that $4.8 million be made available for Community Infrastructure projects.
     
    Regional Planning Commission Assistance with Municipal CDBG-DR Community Infrastructure Applications

    Read more >>
  • Community Strategies for Vermont's Forests and Wildlife
  • 09/26/2013
  • The newest publication of the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC), Community Strategies for Vermont's Forests and Wildlife: A Guide for Local Action, is now available on its website. Over the years, VNRC has supported Vermont communities by offering proactive solutions to reduce forest fragmentation and parcelization in Vermont to maintain the rural character of our state. There are many different ways that communities can help sustain forests and wildlife at the local and regional levels, and the Guide provides town officials and interested citizens with the tools—both regulatory and non-regulatory—to do just that. You can download a copy from www.vnrc.org/programs/forests-wildlife/guide/.

    Read more >>
  • New Resource Guide to Federal Financing Programs
  • 09/04/2013
  • Federal Finance Facilities Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Clean Energy Deployment is a resource guide to federal financing programs that lists 31 different programs to which local governments and others can apply. A link to the document is here.

    Read more >>
  • Irene Recovery Office Final Report
  • 09/04/2013
  • This Irene Recovery Status Report serves as the final written testimony from the Irene Recovery Office and builds on previous reports submitted by the Irene Recovery Officers.

    Read more >>
  • Building Communities Grants Programs
  • 08/14/2013
  • The Building Communities Grants Programs consist of five grant programs established and funded by the Vermont Legislature to “help communities preserve important historic buildings and enhance community facilities”.   All of these grant programs, with the exception of the Barn Grants, require that the applicant be a non-profit organization or municipality.  The deadlines for all five occur in the fall, and selections are made by individual boards through an established selection process.  All grants require matching funding. Funds raised from local fundraising efforts are encouraged. You may not apply to more than one of the grant programs for the same project in one calendar year. More information and the grant applications are here.

    Read more >>
  • FEMA Disaster Designation
  • 08/06/2013
  • According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, federal disaster aid has been made available to Vermont to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms and flooding from June 25 to July 11, 2013. The action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms and flooding in Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, and Windsor counties.

    Read more >>
  • Top Ten HMA Program Guidance Changes
  • 07/25/2013
  • In July, FEMA issued the 2013 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program guidance for the HMGP, PDM and FMA grant programs. Here is a summary of the top ten changes from earlier FEMA policies:

    Read more >>
  • FY 2014 Town Highway Aid and Available Funds
  • 07/23/2013
  • The Vermont Agency of Transportation has made available this spreadsheet of FY 2014 Town Highway aid/funds by town. You can also look up grant information for individual towns on this VTrans' webpage.

    Read more >>
  • Active Living and Healthy Eating
  • 07/23/2013
  • The Vermont Healthy Community Design Resource, Active Living and Healthy Eating, is now posted on the Vermont Department of Health’s website. In addition to the full document, each subsection is posted as a stand-alone file here: http://healthvermont.gov/family/fit/target.aspx#community.

    Read more >>
  • Substantial Damage Information
  • 07/18/2013
  • If you are a community employee or volunteer, your community participates in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some of the homes that are located in the FEMA mapped floodplain (called the Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA) have flooded in the past two months, please be aware of Substantial Damage determinations. Part of the flood hazard area regulations that your community has adopted includes language about Substantial Improvements in the development standards. Language in Substantial Improvements includes the term Substantial Damage. It is the community's responsibility to determine if a building has been substantially damaged, and there are a few different ways to go about this process.
     
    In the aftermath of the Lake Champlain flooding and Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, VTDEC created a website that provides information about Substantial Damage determinations and flood recovery. The site contains links to documents that may be helpful as you and your community try to figure out what work be needed after the flood waters recede. As always, your regional floodplain manager can help with substantial damage issues, reviewing repairs and applications, etc. You can find out your regional floodplain on this Floodplain Manager Regions map. Others who may be helpful include Certified Floodplain Managers (CFM) in your area, or another Zoning Administrator who may have had to deal with damaged buildings following the 2011 Lake Champlain flooding or Tropical Storm Irene.

    Read more >>
  • Pet Merchant License
  • 07/09/2013
  • During the 2013 legislative session, state lawmakers implemented changes to the pet merchant licensing program that had historically been managed by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. For details, please read this letter from the agency. You may use the agency's pet dealer permit form to issue permits to qualified individuals. Town clerks are required to keep a copy of the completed form in their office; the permittee is required to post a copy of the same. If you use this form, you should print out and complete two copies.

    Read more >>
  • New Mitigation Planning Publications
  • 05/14/2013
  • FEMA announces three new mitigation planning publications:

    Read more >>
  • Free Roads and Rivers Training Program
  • 05/08/2013
  • Tropical Storm Irene’s damage to the state’s infrastructure and river stability created the need for increased awareness of how Vermont's highway infrastructure and river systems interact, and why our river system is so important when repairing or constructing highways.

    Read more >>
  • Sustaining Our Progress
  • 04/10/2013
  • On Monday, April 8, Governor Shumlin issued the third Irene recovery report. Titled “Sustaining our Progress,” the report charts the accomplishments since the June 2012 Recovering Stronger Report, sets goals for the second anniversary of the storm, and outlines recovery efforts that will continue into the recovery’s third year and beyond. The complete report is at http://vtstrong.vermont.gov.

    Read more >>
  • Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program
  • 03/14/2013
  • The Clean Energy Development Fund’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program (SSREIP) is now accepting new incentive reservations for photovoltaic, solar hot water, and small wind systems. New revised forms as well as the SSREIP Terms, Conditions and Requirements are at http://www.rerc-vt.org/incentives/forms.htm. For more information, call the SSREIP program administrator at 877-888-7372.

    Read more >>
  • Irene Recovery Network
  • 02/28/2013
  • If you or someone you know is still recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene, a network of people and organizations stands ready to help. The first stop for finding out what assistance is available is your regional long-term recovery group or recovery office, and the Irene Recovery Office has compiled this list of them.

    Read more >>
  • Extreme Events Workshop Planning Tool
  • 02/27/2013
  • EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative Announces Extreme Events Workshop Planning Tool. 2012 was the second most expensive year on record for extreme events in the United States, and events like these are expected to occur more frequently and with greater intensity in the years ahead. Extreme events, such as the current prolonged period of drought, can have devastating impacts on drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. It is important that water utilities identify actions that can be taken today to better prepare for these events.

    Read more >>
  • Northeast Regional Energy Efficiency Database
  • 02/27/2013
  • Northeast Regional Energy Efficiency Database Goes Live. The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) has launched its Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED), a public resource that currently includes 2011 electric and gas energy efficiency program data for Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Energy efficiency data for the year 2012 from these eight states, along with data for Delaware and the District of Columbia, will be added to REED this autumn.

    Read more >>
  • SolarOPs
  • 02/27/2013
  • New Website Helps Local Governments Advance Solar Energy Initiatives. The SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, has created a new website to help local governments adopt solar energy. The site includes a resource database, a calendar of events and trainings, a blog, and access to “Ask the Expert” services and technical assistance offerings. State and local officials interested in additional information about developing and implementing cost-effective climate and energy strategies that help further environmental goals and achieve public health and economic benefits may visit EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program site.

    Read more >>
  • Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund
  • 02/26/2013
  • The Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF) provides Public Assistance grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Vermont cities and towns to repair damaged infrastructure after a presidentially declared disaster. The state typically contributes half of the required 25 percent non-federal match for approved projects. Under the new ERAF rule, which went into effect on October 23, 2012, municipalities have 24 months to adopt additional flood hazard mitigation measures to maintain the state cost share for FEMA Public Assistance grants. Municipalities that adopt higher standards can achieve a higher percentage of state funding for post-disaster repair projects – from 12.5 percent to 17.5 percent. Municipalities that adopt the standard set of hazard mitigation measures will continue to receive state funds to cover half of the required non-federal match, or 12.5 percent. Municipalities that have not adopted the basic set of measures will see a decrease in the state match, from 12.5 percent to 7.5 percent. Thus, the state contribution toward the local match requirement will vary from 7.5 percent to 17.5 percent of the total project costs, depending upon the level of adoption of recommended mitigation measures.

    Read more >>
  • Town Road and Bridge Standards
  • 02/15/2013
  • Recently, the Vermont agencies of Transportation and Natural Resources updated their Town Road and Bridge Standards for the House Transportation Committee and provided this explanatory letter to municipal officials.

    Read more >>
  • DEC Issues Updated MS4 Permit
  • 12/06/2012
  • On December 5, 2012, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued an updated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) general permit. Designed to address pollution from stormwater runoff, the MS4 permit applies to 13 municipalities and three institutional entities in the Lake Champlain watershed. Communities already subject to the MS4 permit include Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, and Winooski, as well as the non-municipal entities of Burlington International Airport, the University of Vermont, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation within the geographical boundaries of these municipalities. In addition to these communities, which will have to meet the new requirements of the updated permit, DEC designated Rutland town and city and St. Albans town and city as new MS4s subject to the requirements of the permit.

    Read more >>
  • Community Facilities Loans and Grants
  • 11/29/2012
  • Applications are encouraged for USDA Rural Development Community Facilities loans and grants. Now you can finance your planned capital projects. Low interest rate loans (rates are currently 3.5%). Some loan terms can be as long as 30 years. No pre-payment penalties. Community Facilities serves non-profits and public bodies. Detailed program and contact information as well as an application are here.

    Read more >>
  • New Resources for Community Broadband
  • 11/19/2012
  • The Vermont Council on Rural Development is sharing toolkits and lessons learned from the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. These resources will help rural communities in Vermont and throughout the United States make better use of online tools for community and economic development.

    Read more >>
  • Complete Streets: A Guide for Vermont Communities
  • 11/07/2012
  • Vermont's goal is for its streets to safely accommodate all transportation system users, regardless of age, ability, or their preferred mode of transportation, including walking, biking, driving, or the use of transit. The Complete Streets law, which became effective July 1, 2011, supports the Fit and Healthy Vermonters' goal of increasing the number of Vermonters who engage in regular physical activity by creating communities where all modes of transportation, including walking and bicycling, are made safe and accessible. Municipalities are partners in this goal.

    Read more >>
  • VLCT Policing Options Brochure
  • 11/07/2012
  • How does a municipality ensure the safety of its residents and businesses? What options are available to it? What combination of state, county, or local law enforcement services will meet a town’s needs? These and other questions have led to VLCT’s updated Policing Options brochure for local officials, which summarizes the alternatives that municipal officials can consider if ensuring the public’s safety is a topic of discussion in their community.

    Read more >>
  • Regulation of Professional Engineers
  • 11/07/2012
  • VLCT staff recently commented on a proposal from the Vermont Board of Professional Engineers to amend statutes regulating the practice of engineering in the state. One element of the proposal would eliminate the exemption from engineering licensing for an officer or full-time employee of a municipality or the state. You can find a link to the proposed changes at http://vtprofessionals.org/opr1/engineers/, where you may also submit comments.

    Read more >>
  • Vermont Outdoor Recreation Plan Public Comment
  • 11/07/2012
  • The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation seeks public comment on updates to the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Plan, 2005-2009, which has expired. The new document provides a vision in support of outdoor recreation throughout the state from 2013-2017. Towns are encouraged to refer to the plan when coordinating their activities with statewide priorities. You can review the draft Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recration Plan (SCORP) at http://www.vtfpr.org/recreation/scorp/info.cfm.

    Read more >>
  • Strong Communities
  • 11/07/2012
  • Strong Communities is a free quarterly newsletter published by the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development that highlights news, trends and best practices to strengthen your community. Each issue will spotlight planning and revitalization successes throughout Vermont, outline upcoming grant and training opportunities, and provide tools you can use in your community. Here's the current newsletter. You can subscribe to it here.

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  • FEMA Public Assistance Update
  • 11/01/2012
  • Helpful information from Vermont's Public Assistance Officer and Irene Recovery Officer concerning FEMA's Public Assistance process consists of

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  • Available CDBG Grant Applications
  • 09/07/2012
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved Vermont’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan. CDBG-DR applications are now available through the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development (DEHCD). A total of $21.6 million in HUD CDBG-DR funding is available to help communities, businesses, organizations and individuals with long-term disaster recovery.  The funding will be distributed through both a competitive grant application process and state direct allocations, as outlined in the Action Plan.

    Read more >>
  • Audits and Single Audits: Requirements and Related Information
  • 09/07/2012
  • Does your town need a single audit? The following VLCT News article can help you decide. If you do need an audit, look to the other two documents for more help.

    Read more >>
  • Vermont Home Weatherization Challenge
  • 08/31/2012
  • This fall, Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with VECAN, will roll out an ambitious plan to significantly increase the number of Vermonters who make weatherization improvements to their homes. The 2013 Vermont Home Weatherization Challenge is a town-by-town challenge designed to harness people’s proclivity for competition — and fun! — to help Vermont meet its necessarily ambitious weatherization goals and save homeowners on their energy bills. The challenge will run from January 1 to December 31, 2013. Be sure your town is lined up to participate. This announcement provides details, or you can visit www.vecan.net/ or efficiencyvermont.com.

    Read more >>
  • Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies
  • 08/29/2012
  • A new Federal Highway Administration transportation resource called Federal-aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies puts key information about federal aid requirements online at www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials. The website is a centralized hub for guidance, policies, procedures, and best practices for administering federal aid projects. Its main feature is a library of videos covering key aspects of the project development and delivery process.

    Read more >>
  • Motor Vehicle Lemon Law
  • 08/29/2012
  • A motor vehicle covered under the Lemon Law is defined as new if it is under the manufacturer’s express (written) warranty, which begins when the vehicle is delivered to the first owner or lessee. This means in addition to a motor vehicle purchased new by a first owner or initially leased, some vehicles designated as used on the purchase contract are new under the Lemon Law.

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  • Municipal Streetlight Guide
  • 08/23/2012
  • Efficiency Vermont has updated its step-by-step guide, “Improving Efficiency in Municipal Street and Public Space Lighting.” Street lighting is an important part of a municipality’s nighttime landscape. Lighting can enhance public safety and security and improve the aesthetic appeal of the surrounding properties. However, street lighting represents a large electrical load and can be one of the highest costs for a municipality. By eliminating unnecessary street lighting and converting older lighting technologies to LEDs, municipalities can reduce the cost of outdoor lighting while enhancing the nighttime environment. The guide is part of a larger effort by Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with the state’s utilities, to help municipalities improve the efficiency of their street lighting and upgrade to LED technology.

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  • VLCT Municipal Internal Controls Checklist
  • 01/20/2012
  • VLCT and the VLCT Board of Directors’ Financial Responsibility Committee are pleased to announce the availability of the new Municipal Internal Controls Checklist and accompanying guidelines. The checklist, which complies with current professional standards, can help municipalities improve their financial controls, and the guidelines describes the checklist in detail.

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  • Financing Program Decision Tool and Financial Program Decision Guide
  • 01/17/2012
  • Communities are increasingly investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy to achieve their air quality, economic, and energy goals. In doing so, they have found that the up-front costs of improving energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy generation can be a barrier for many homeowners, building owners, and businesses. One way to address these barriers is by adopting clean energy financing programs that can make efficiency and renewable energy more affordable for these sectors. EPA's State and Local Climate and Clean Energy Program is supporting these efforts with an online Financing Program Decision Tool and Financing Program Decision Guide.

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  • Model Abatement Forms
  • 01/05/2012
  • As a result of Tropical Storm Irene, many towns received an unprecedented number of requests for abatement, the quasi-judicial process for relieving taxpayers from the burden of property taxes, penalty, and interest. To assist VLCT members, the Municipal Assistance Center has produced a set of model abatement request forms, hearing schedules, rules of procedure, and decision forms. The forms are in Word format and you can download them here.

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