Quarterly Newsletter
February 2021
SRPEDD Assists City of New Bedford with $20 million Port Authority Award
In October, the City of New Bedford and the New Bedford Port Authority, under the assistance of SRPEDD, received a $16 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant award funded under the Supplemental Disaster Program matched with $4 million in local funds, for a total project cost of $20 million. This investment will provide assistance to New Bedford’s Phase II North Terminal Expansion and Pier Fendering System Improvements.

Historically, this grant is one of the largest EDA grant awards ever awarded through the Philadelphia Regional Office, as well as the largest grant ever received by a Massachusetts community. 

The project consists of filling in a 33,000 square-foot area to create additional development space for processing, distribution and dockage space, and off-shore wind under North Terminal Phase II and pier fendering improvement for five piers and wharves serving the port including Steamship Pier, Leonard’s Wharf, Pier 3, Homer’s Wharf and South Terminal.

Special thanks to the New Bedford state delegation and area federal representatives for their support. For more information, please contact Don Sullivan at dsullivan@srpedd.org. 
Partnering with Plainville on ADA Self-Evaluation & Transition Plan
At the end of 2020, the Massachusetts Office on Disability awarded the Town of Plainville a Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Planning Grant. The grant program awards cities and towns the funds necessary to complete an ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan as required by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

SRPEDD is partnering with the Town to carry out the work program and produce a Self-Evaluation that reflects on the programmatic and physical barriers to participation for individuals with disabilities. In addition, SRPEDD will create a Transition Plan that details the schedule of improvements necessary to achieve ADA compliance. It is anticipated that the plan will be completed over the next four months, during which the project team encourages members of the public to visit the website and provide comments via the public comment form.

The agency is pleased to assist with such a project that makes meaningful progress on matters of equity and inclusion in SE Mass. To find out more about the grant process and benefits of completing a Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan in your city or town, please contact Lizeth Gonzalez at lgonzalez@srpedd.org.
FFY 2022 TIP and UPWP Program Updates
It is once again time to begin the development of the FFY2022 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and the FFY2022-26 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
The UPWP is the guiding document that identifies the annual Transportation Department's planning tasks and studies to be conducted in the Southeastern Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization (SMMPO) area in support of goals, objectives and actions established in the long-range Regional Transportation Plan.
SRPEDD looks to community representatives from both the SMMPO & the Joint Transportation Planning Group (JTPG), the advisory group to the SMMPO, to initiate studies at identified locations across the region. The goal is to develop recommendations and ultimately, projects, to address the issues. Previous corridor studies have included Route 6 in Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion & Wareham, and Route 1 in Attleboro & North Attleborough.
The TIP is the official document that lists all transportation projects in the region by federal funding category, including roads, bridges, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. For the next 5 years, the budget for SRPEDD’s 27 communities is $112,411,936, averaging $22.5 million per year. Although $22 million seems like an awful lot of money, only 3 projects are funded on average per year, ranging in cost from $2.5 to $18 million. Ideally, programming smaller projects (under $3 million), such as signal upgrades or intersection improvements, can help enable more completed projects.
The development of both programs will be discussed at upcoming JTPG meetings. The meetings are open to the public, posted on SRPEDD’s website, and participation is encouraged. Anyone can attend and feedback and comments can be offered on any of the projects or on any part of the process.  SRPEDD staff are also available to provide guidance and assistance to any community seeking to have a location studied and/or to make improvements through the TIP process. For more information, please contact Paul Mission at pmission@srpedd.org or Lisa Estrela-Pedro at lestrela@srpedd.org.
Environmental Partner Highlights & Opportunities
The Environmental Program at SRPEDD would like to highlight four of our partners, the SNEP Network, DER, EEA, and the Watershed Action Alliance, as well as some timely opportunities addressing some of our most frequently requested information: green stormwater infrastructure, culvert replacement, dam repair/replace-ment, and environmental justice awareness.

  • The Maintaining Green Stormwater Infrastructure training, provided by the SNEP Network in partnership with the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center, will be held virtually on Friday, March 5th, 2021 at 10AM - 12:00PM. You can register online here.   

  • The Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), part of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, is seeking proposals from municipalities interested in replacing a culvert located in an area of high ecological value. Interested communities should view the full announcement, including funding, eligibility and evaluation criteria. Please visit the Division of Ecological Restoration’s website for the recorded grant briefing. The RFR is anticipated to be released on February 18, 2021, with the deadline for this grant March 18, 2021.

  • The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Dam & Seawall Repair or Removal Program Construction Grant Request For Response (RFR) is open and posted to the state RFR site at www.commbuys.com. Proposals are due on March 12, 2021. RFR ENV 21 DS 02 is a grant program to repair or remove dams, seawalls and other coastal infrastructure, and levees. For this round, proposals must be submitted through an online form. This link to the form is in the RFR document.

  • Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern Massachusetts (WAA) has registration open for their 2021 virtual conference on Environmental Justice. The March 17, 2021 session is "What is Environmental Justice?" Register here. The March 24, 2021 session is "Supporting Public Access to Recreational Waters." Register here. The March 31, 2021 session is "Promoting Environmental Justice: The First Steps." Register here.

For additional information about SRPEDD's Environmental Program and partnership activities, contact Helen Zincavage at hzincavage@srpedd.org or Bill Napolitano at bnap@srpedd.org
Southeastern Massachusetts Freight Action Plan Update
Over the last few months, SRPEDD has signaled its intention and begun preparations to enact a Freight Action Plan for the region. This plan will be a follow up to the agency’s 2009 Truck Study and will build upon the findings and recommendations from MassDOT's 2018 Freight Study.

Staff has chosen to use NCHRP's Guidebook for Freight Policy, Planning, and Programming in Small- and Medium-Sized Metropolitan Areas as its roadmap to develop the freight plan and to establish a freight program for the agency. This resource has already proven to be a valuable asset the team.
To date, a preliminary assessment of freight movement and related stakeholders in the region has been completed, and work begun toward establishing a Freight Planning Directive and drawing up a Regional Freight Profile. Stay tuned for further updates as the planning process moves forward. For further information please contact Gregory Guertin at gguertin@srpedd.org.
Community One-Stop for Growth - Joint Grant Application Process
In January 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration launched the Community One Stop for Growth, a joint grant application process that enables applicants to apply to ten different grant programs through a single portal. Included in the Community One Stop for Growth are programs under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and MassDevelopment. 

The application process incorporates direct referrals to alternative programs, guidance, as well as a collaborative review process. Municipalities interested in applying through the portal are encouraged to reference the Development Continuum which will assist in defining the grant type as well as potential grant awards. Overall, grant awards range from $25,000-$2M. Applicants are highly encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest by April 2, 2021 in which a community may submit up to five projects for feedback and guidance from the review committee prior to submitting a formal application.
For more information and assistance related to the Community One Stop for Growth application, please contact Lizeth Gonzalez at lgonzalez@srpedd.org or Eric Arbeene at earbeene@srpedd.org.
SRAC Grant Improves Regional Communications 
The Southeastern Homeland Security Advisory Council (SRAC) has been working closely with Ross & Baruzzini, a consulting, design and engineering firm, to oversee the erecting of a new radio communications tower at Copicut Hill in Fall River, MA. Additionally, the SRAC has partnered with Industrial Communications, a tower construction, network infrastructure, and wireless communications company, to build the tower. 

Since this past October, the land around the construction site has been cleared and all site preparation work has been completed. Overall progress has been smooth with minor delays despite periods of inclement weather. Thus far, 90 feet of the 180-foot tower is installed. Construction crews are awaiting the delivery of a tower communications shelter, which will eventually house ground mounted telecommunications and data equipment. The shelter is lightweight, insulated and weather-tight, and will send radio transmission signals to several microwave dishes and transmitters that will eventually be installed on the tower. 

The Homeland Security grant funding associated to the planning and construction of this tower will enhance radio interoperability coverage throughout Bristol and Plymouth counties. This tower project will be instrumental to public safety operators, as it will strengthen their ability to communicate effectively with one another. This tower will also allow local, state and federal public safety agencies to not only talk to one another by radio, but will allow operators to better share information with one another in a clearer manner. 

The SRAC remains steadfast in its multi-year commitment to help sustain interoperable radio expansion and infrastructure across the region. 
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