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SRPEDD Newsletter

August 2019TOPForReal




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New and Returning Officers and Commissioners Sworn in for 2019-2020  
2019 Annual Meeting  
A host of new and returning officers and commissioners were warmly welcomed and sworn in this past May 22--since the last quarterly newsletter--at the SRPEDD Annual Meeting.  The meeting was held at the Fireside Grille in the Town of Middleborough this year, and featured Chief Michael Winn of
COMM Fire District in Barnstable as honored Keynote Speaker.    
Wareham Select Board Member Alan Slavin was elected Chair; 
Joe Callahan, Berkley, Vice Chair; Janice Robbins, Mattapoisett, Secretary; D. Austin Horowitz, Mansfield, Treasurer; Marie Clarner, North Attleborough, Assistant Treasurer; and Deborah Melino-Wender, Dartmouth, Immediate Past Chair.  
Two Special Recognition Awards (one for an Individual, and one for an Organization) were presented at the meeting:  the first, to Conservation Agent Jennifer Carlino of Norton, and the second, to the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) of New Bedford directed by Corinn Williams. Recently retired SRPEDD Deputy Director/Comprehensive Planning Manager Sandy Conaty was presented with a Staff Recognition Award for invaluable contributions over the years. 
The 2019 SRPEDD Commissioner of the Year Award was presented to Jim Whitin of Westport, and Distinguished Service Award to retiring Lakeville Town Administrator and longtime SRPEDD Commissioner Rita Garbitt.    
2020 Regional Transportation Plan Completed and Endorsed  Article2
Following an extensive year-long effort together with comprehensive public outreach, the draft 2020 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) was released for a 21-day public comment period on June 18, 2019 and endorsed by the Southeastern Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization (SMMPO) on July 16, 2019.

The RTP, updated every four years, is a detailed inventory and needs assessment of all modes and infrastructure making up the 27-municipality SRPEDD/SMMPO regional transportation system, including roads and bridges, public transportation, as well as freight and airports, and the connections between all these options. It also includes the projected costs to maintain the system into the future, until the year 2040.
The recently endorsed Regional Transportation Plan can be viewed on the SRPEDD website by clicking: here.

  SRPEDD Municipal Assistance (MA) Available to Help Jump-Start Key Planning Projects ThirdA
The Norton Master Plan is one of many examples, in which Municipal Assistance hours have been combined with other funding sources, to fund a significant planning project.

As the agency has provided in previous fiscal years, SRPEDD is pleased to continue this year its program of awarding 20 hours of free technical assistance to each commissioner beginning on July 1, and available through June 30 of the following year. Known as the Municipal Assistance, or "MA" Program, it has proven invaluable over the years in enabling SRPEDD staff to assist member communities in responding to any number of needs, and moving their key planning projects forward.

For example, some communities simply use their MA time to complete one or two bite-sized projects, such as GIS mapping or a drone flight.  Others use their 40 hours (20 each to your community's two Commissioners) to request that SRPEDD assist with zoning questions on an ongoing basis.  Still others use all 40 hours to jump-start a larger project.
This last option is becoming more and more frequent - and more and more powerful.  In FY19 and FY20, the town of Wareham used a total of 80 hours of MA as an in-kind match to help secure a $60,000 redevelopment study funded by District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Several other communities also used their 40 MA hours to get the ball rolling on larger projects, ranging from Master Plan development to Complete Streets to Culvert Assessments.

For more information, please visit , or simply fill out the FY20 form available at this link .

Regional Marine Sciences & Technology
Corridor Initiative Status Update
UMass Dartmouth- SM AST

In September 2018, UMass Dartmouth, with the assistance of SRPEDD and the Cape Cod Commission, received a $600,000 EDA grant award to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the marine technology cluster, establish a Marine
Science and Technology
Alliance and develop a strategic plan, and develop and implement a marketing plan. 
Currently, the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth has completed an initial draft of the Ocean Economy industry analysis for the study region including regional overview, blue tech sector and workforce assessment, and SWOT analysis by industry. Some emerging initial themes and insights have included: opportunities exist between marine industries and emerging technologies; threats to the area blue economy also present opportunities; and there are unmet workforce needs in trade occupations and advanced manufacturing.
Also revealed, have been some factors that inhibit innovation and new business formation, including a heavy dependence on the defense industry, not much cross-pollination between firms, and difficultly collaborating with research institutions, to mention a few.  
The final report is scheduled for completion in late fall, followed by the second-year work program calling for the formalization of an alliance, and development of a long-range strategic plan.  
For more information, please contact Don Sullivan at
SRPEDD and town officials kicked off the Dartmouth Master Plan process with gusto this spring and summer. Dartmouth's most recent Master Plan dates to 2007. The 2020 update will reflect changes in local demographics, land use, and recent planning efforts, as well as the town's response to larger contextual shifts such as climate change.
As with all SRPEDD Master Planning efforts, the content of the plan derives from the goals, concerns, objectives and vision of the town's local residents. It is the essential ingredient that enables the building of a roadmap toward the community's desired future. To help solicit that input, SRPEDD has created a Dartmouth Master Plan website and Facebook page, and began the series of five public meetings that create plan content from community input.
The Master Plan kick-off meeting was held on June 13, 2019, and garnered the participation of 42 dedicated Dartmouth citizens who came out in the rain for a discussion of overall issues and objectives across all Master Plan elements. Main themes that emerged included residents' deep appreciation for their waterfront, natural environment, and quality schools. Main consensus issues to address included stemming sprawl development, protecting the harbor, and creating a plan for business development. Next, the project team staffed a table at the Padanaram Summer Festival at the end of July, with engaging activities for citizens to provide input.  
The next meeting will be held in October and will focus on Land Use, Economic Development, and Housing. Final plan publication is expected by December 2020.
SRPEDD is assisting member communities in becoming more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a 1990 civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. ADA Title II requires that state and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from their programs, services, and activities, for example public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings.
Part of the ADA requirements for local governments include conducting an ADA self-evaluation and devising a transition plan to work toward compliance. At present, unfortunately, more than half of our communities are lacking in one of both of these, however, the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) offers a Municipal ADA Improvement Grant Program with two type of grants to assist in these efforts. Planning Grants (up to $40,000) are available to those municipalities needing to complete the self-evaluation and transition plan process, and Project Grants (up to $250,000) are available for those municipalities who have completed plans and need to make physical improvements.
The Title II Action Guide, produced by the New England ADA Center in Boston, goes into great detail about what is expected when producing a Self-Evaluation and a Transition Plan. The ADA Checklist is also a great tool available when looking to evaluate, on an ADA basis, the structural barriers that may be present in a building or facility. The UMass Transportation Center has two ADA trainings ("Achieving Accessibility in Your Community") scheduled for September 19, 2019 in Northeast MA and on October 3, 2019 in Southeastern MA. Locations are pending.
In the meantime, the FY20 application program opened on August 1, 2019 and will end on October 8, 2019. Only on-line submissions will be reviewed and considered. Staff is available to assist interested SRPEDD municipalities with grant writing and implementation. Please contact Lilia Cabral-Bernard at or 508 824-1367 ext. 235.
REPA / Green Communities Grants Seventh
This past Spring, SRPEDD applied for $149,000 in Regional Energy Planning Assistance (REPA) grant funds from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) on behalf of sixteen (16) communities. The funding makes possible the delivery of energy planning assistance to communities that currently participate in or wish to participate in the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program.
In specific, the REPA Grants will enable SRPEDD staff to support communities in applying for Green Community designation by developing or reviewing renewable energy bylaws and permitting processes (Criteria #1 & #2), creating an Energy Reduction Plan (Criterion #3), drafting a fuel-efficient vehicle policy and assembling a vehicle inventory (Criterion #4), and submitting a Green Community application on behalf of the community. And to support existing Green Communities by preparing grant applications, annual reports, procurement activities, and clean energy planning.  
The funding is currently pending and is anticipated to be awarded in late Summer and to last for a two-year period.
Please contact Eric Arbeene at or (508) 824-1367 x317 for additional information. 
Maximum Attendance at the May 2019 Lunch & Learn
Tue, 9/24 Lunch & Learn to be Held on Subject of Age-Friendly Communities Eighth
SRPEDD is excited to announce that it will be hosting its next Lunch & Learn on Tuesday, September 24 from 12:00
to 1:30 PM (registration required) at the SRPEDD office in Taunton.
The topic of this next installment will be "Creating Inclusive Age- and Dementia-Friendly Communities" and will feature Mr. James Fuccione, Senior Director of the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative. Mr. Fuccione will discuss how Massachusetts has become a national leader in the Age- and Dementia-Friendly Community movement. The presentation and discussion will provide the framework to this movement, how communities and organizations can join this initiative, and examples from across the state of how planners are playing a critical role in helping Massachusetts' cities and towns become great places to grow up and grow old.
SRPEDD is pleased to host this event and provide lunch at cost to attendees. To RSVP for this session, please contact Eric Arbeene at or (508) 824-1367 x317, by Friday, September 13. Due to limited seating, the session will be limited to 25 attendees.