Municipal Day

When Governments Cooperate - State Government Municipal Day in Montpelier

This year's event will take place on Friday, September 15, 2017 in Montpelier at ANR's offices in the National Life Building in Montpelier. Scroll down to see the Montpelier agenda and download the printable version to share!  This full-day event offers workshops, technical assistance and the opportunity to engage with State staff and municipal colleagues from across Vermont.  Each year we offer a mix of old and new workshops. If you've attended before, you'll have the option of taking a workshop you missed - or trying a new one. State Government Municipal Day is brought to you by the Agency of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Agency of Transportation and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.  We receive generous support from Community National Bank and thank them for their sponsorship! Register here through EventBrite.

Register for the Montpelier, St. Johnsbury or Rutland Workshop                   

New this Year - Satellite Sessions in Rutland and St. Johnsbury

This year, we're working to expand our geographic reach by organizing satellite sessions in St. Johnsbury and Rutland. These sessions will offer a selection of workshops while giving you the opportunity to engage with State staff and colleagues from around your region.  Register for all locations here!

Rutland

Friday, September 22, 2017 8:30am-3pm

Rutland Draft Agenda (opens as a PDF)

Join us in Rutland for a full day of workshops covering a range of watershed management issues and municipal involvement in Act 250. The day will help participants build a toolkit of knowledge and resources to make municipal-level decisions. We’ll discuss flood resiliency and emergency response, water quality improvements through basin planning and shoreland protection, proactive ways to avoid and manage wetland impacts from local development, and more. We’ll also introduce you to your regional permit specialists and how they are working to support your town!

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration includes refreshments and lunch. 

St. Johnsbury

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8am-1pm

St. Johnsbury Draft Agenda (opens as a PDF)

Join us in the Northeast Kingdom for a half-day packed with workshops and discussion aimed at sharing information relevant and helpful to municipal decision-makers. Participants will discuss municipal roles in supporting local farms, and emergency flood response and resiliency. Additionally, we invite you to bring your lunch for a brown-bag conversation with the Natural Resources Board about town participation in the Act 250 permitting process. We’ll also introduce you to your regional permit specialists and how they are working to support your town!

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration includes coffee and light refreshments.

 

Montpelier - 2017 Municipal Day Workshop Selection

Session 1 (8:15 - 9:30 am)

1a. Vermont’s Ecology and Environment: Caring for Natural Resources in Your Community

In this four‐part workshop, you will learn important context and scientific concepts involved in planning for natural resources at the town level. This course will expose participants to the full suite of issues at play for natural resources planning, from forests and wildlife to floodplains and climate change. Presentations on Context, Scale, and Whole Communities are interspersed with interactive hands‐on activities that make this an intensive and exciting training. Note: This is a 4-session workshop. You must sign up for all four sessions if you wish to take this class.

2. In the Computer Lab: Inform Municipal Decisions with Mapping Data and Tools

This workshop will empower you with information about mapping data available from various agencies/departments through the VT Open Geodata Portal. You will also see demonstrations of mapping tools like the ANR Atlas, Biofinder, E911 Atlas, ArcGIS Online, and free desktop mapping software QGIS. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to navigate the many mapping options available to help you make better decisions. This workshop is hands-on and has limited space! Note: This workshop repeats in Session 3. Please sign up for ONLY ONE session. If you want more time on this topic, sign up for Session 4, Workshop #18: Open Lab.

3. Opportunities to Make Streets Complete

You have heard of Complete Streets, but what can you do to achieve this goal? In this workshop, we will explore ideas that are inexpensive and easy to implement.  We'll talk about how to make progress towards Complete Streets through various municipal projects and programs, and introduce grant programs available to help communities make streets work better for the whole community.

4. Opportunities for Municipal Involvement in Energy Siting

Where should your town site renewable energy projects like solar and wind? This workshop will explore opportunities for Municipalities to engage in the energy siting process that currently exists through Section 248. This session will also provide an update on the implementation of Act 174, the State’s new energy legislation, with a specific focus on the process towns may use to develop enhanced municipal plans that garner substantial deference in the Public Service Board siting process, as well as on changes to the state’s net metering rule and an update on the Public Service Board’s wind sound rule, amongst other topics.

5. Vermont's Clearinghouse for Information on Climate Impacts

Public health risks such as summer heat stress, blue-green algal blooms, or Lyme disease are traced back to climate factors. Is your town at risk and prepared for climate change impacts on people and ecosystems? Towns recognize the need to include climate change in planning but may not have sufficient information to address climate impacts at the local level.  In this workshop, we will demonstrate a new tool to access local maps, data, and other resources that will advance local planning.

6. Natural Resource Inventories: Forest Blocks, Wildlife Corridors, Natural Communities, & Rare Species!

Wondering about the wild things that call your town home? In this workshop, we will learn about town-wide natural resource inventories: the range of features that may be included, benefits and practical considerations, and how to incorporate an inventory into town planning. We'll also point you to information that is already available for some of these features, including forest blocks, natural communities, and rare species data. Specific examples will be provided and discussed.

Session 2 (11:00 am - 12:15 pm)

1b. Vermont’s Ecology and Environment: Caring for Natural Resources in Your Community

Session 2 of 4, description above. Note: This is a four-session workshop. You must sign up for all four sessions if you wish to take this class.

7. In the Computer Lab: “Local is Global” Applies to Parcel Data!

You may have heard about the Statewide Parcel Mapping Project starting this year…but have you thought about why it matters to your town? This project will benefit every town in the state, so come learn how YOU will benefit through improved parcel data (parcel ownership boundaries) that is consistent across the state! Workshop will include examples of how towns can use parcel data. This workshop is hands-on and has limited space! Note: If you want more time on this topic, sign up for Session 4, Open Lab.

8. Supporting and Managing Rural Enterprises in Your Community

Vermont’s farms can foster economic growth in rural areas while respecting the character of the rural landscape, and municipalities have a strong role in supporting some surprising ventures.  In this session, we will look at on-farm business models that make farming sustainable, and how a municipality can enable development of innovative and diverse on-farm businesses while managing potential impacts and preserving the countryside.

9. Planning for Action and Results (Part 1 of 3)

How can municipalities plan for results?  Hear from your neighboring towns about how they developed community-driven action plans to generate community support, develop strategic partnerships, and inform public and private investment to reinvigorate their downtown and village center. Towns will share how they are using downtown master plans to build upon what they have, identify what they want and create a roadmap on how to get there. State agency resource staff will be available to speak with you after the session. Note: This is the first of a three-session series of workshops. You are welcome but not required to attend all three sessions. Corresponding workshops are #14 and #20

10. Using the New BioFinder for Land Use Planning

In this workshop, you will learn how to use the new BioFinder to get prioritized natural resource information about your town to better inform your town’s land use planning process. Participants will walk through a step-by-step example of using this free, online tool for accessing inventory information. Then, we will access Vermont Conservation Design data that further helps prioritize what elements are most important to consider in each town's planning process. We’ll discuss how to interpret inventory data and how to use BioFinder to learn more about each of the elements discussed. Case studies of successful integration of natural resource information into a town’s planning process will be highlighted.  

11. From Backyards to the Back 40: How Communities Can Enhance Wildlife Habitat

Covering properties from small backyards to large forested lands, this presentation will address tools and ideas that community planners and municipal officials can use to connect private landowners with habitat management. The presentation will cover an overview of habitats found in Vermont, concepts of land stewardship ethics, the benefits to communities of supporting healthy forests for wildlife, and programs that are available to assist private landowners with habitat enhancement and management.

Session 3 (1:30 - 2:30 pm)

1c. Vermont’s Ecology and Environment: Caring for Natural Resources in Your Community

Session 3 of 4, description in Session 1. Note: This is a four-session workshop. You must sign up for all four sessions if you wish to take this class.

12. In the Computer Lab: Inform Municipal Decisions with Mapping Data and Tools

This workshop will empower you with information about mapping data available from various agencies/departments through the VT Open Geodata Portal. You will also see demonstrations of mapping tools like the ANR Atlas, Biofinder, E911 Atlas, ArcGIS Online, and free desktop mapping software QGIS. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to navigate the many mapping options available to help you make better decisions. This workshop is hands-on and has limited space! Note: This workshop repeats in Session 1. Please sign up for ONLY ONE session. If you want more time on this topic, sign up for Session 4, Workshop #18: Open Lab.

13. Floods Happen: Rivers Program EPM Reporting and Rivers and Roads Training

Floods happen, and they can take a toll on town infrastructure. In this workshop, learn about training opportunities for emergency flood repair efforts and discuss how towns using Emergency Protective Measures web reporting can expedite Stream Alteration Permitting during emergency flood response.

14. Implementing the Plan - Getting the Job Done (Part 2 of 3)

How can municipalities transform and rebuild with limited resources? Hear from your neighboring towns about how they formed strategic partnerships and obtained funding and assistance from state agencies to make concrete improvements resulting in safer, more attractive, and economically vital communities.  State agency resource staff will be available to speak with you after the session. Note: This is the second of a three-session series of workshops. You are welcome but not required to attend all three sessions. Corresponding workshops are #9 and #20

15. Act 250: Preparing for the Next 50 Years

The State’s precedent-setting land use law – Act 250 – will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2020! Leading up to this notable milestone, The Commission on Act 250: The Next 50 Years will look at desirable and necessary changes to the Act.  Join us to learn about the Commission’s work, and bring your ideas and voices to this workshop in order to change the future!  The NRB is interested in hearing municipal perspectives on where local planning should intersect with Act 250, ideas for criterion responsive to climate change, and other shifts in natural resources protection. Note: This is a two-hour workshop and spans both sessions 3 and 4. If you sign up for this workshop, please also sign up for Workshop #21 in Session 4.

16. Where Land & Water Meet: Shorelands

Does your town border Lake Champlain? Or maybe you have a favorite local pond? Come learn about how the Shoreline Protection Act affects new and existing development in your town. The Shoreline Protection Act establishes a Protected Shoreland Area on lakes and ponds, 10 acres or greater in size, that includes the first 250 feet of shore from mean water level. In this workshop we will discuss this Act, how the regulations affect development along lakes and ponds, exempt activities, and methods to encourage the protection of Vermont's lakeshores.  Note: This is the first of a two-session series. You are welcome but not required to attend both sessions. Corresponding workshops is #22.

17. Planning and Preparing for the Emerald Ash Borer

The economic impact of the emerald ash borer has been greater than that of any other invasive forest pest in North America, costing 30 states over $10.7 billion dollars in removal, treatment, and replacement. There are infestations surrounding Vermont on all sides--we expect the insect to arrive soon if it isn’t here already. Come learn how you and your community can plan for the arrival of the emerald ash borer.

Session 4 (2:45 - 3:45 pm)

1d. Vermont’s Ecology and Environment: Caring for Natural Resources in Your Community

Session 4 of 4, description in Session 1. Note: This is a four-session workshop. You must sign up for all four sessions if you wish to take this class.

18. In the Computer Lab: Open Lab

This hour will be an extended, hands-on mapping opportunity where you can spend more time trying out online mapping applications discussed in earlier computer lab sessions.  Come ask questions and receive further technical assistance.

19. Municipal Highway Stormwater Grant Programs

While enjoying nature may be free, protecting the environment can cost real money. VTrans has a variety of grant opportunities – both state and federally funded – that are available to assist municipalities with addressing environmental issues in their communities, including both planning and construction activities.  VTrans also provides many opportunities for technical assistance. Come learn about funding opportunities from the Municipal Assistance Bureau and start planning your town's next project!

20. Implementing the Plan – Zoning Updates for Everyone (Part 3 of 3)

We all want healthy, beautiful, and prosperous communities, and even have plans to make it happen, but outdated regulations create barriers that can prohibit the types of development needed to achieve what we say we want in our town plans. This session examines simple, practical, low-controversy steps every Vermont municipality can take to align regulations so they help create great places for people to live, work and play.  Join the conversation and get ready to update your zoning regulations! Note: This is the third of a three-session series of workshops. You are welcome but not required to attend all three sessions. Corresponding workshops are #9 and #14.

21. Act 250 Continued

Description in workshop #15 above. Note: This is the second hour of the two-hour workshop #15, Act 250: Preparing for the Next 50 Years.

22. Where Land & Water Meet: Wetlands

Wetlands are everywhere! Over 10% of Vermont is either wetland or adjacent land. The state regulates activities within wetlands and a fifty foot “buffer” zone around the wetland. When wetlands and buffers cannot be avoided, a state wetland permit may be needed. During the workshop we will cover the history of wetland degradation and the importance of regulation; wetland mapping, classification, and jurisdiction; wetland functions and values; avoidance and minimization; permitting; and tools and resources.  Note: This is the second of a two-session series. You are welcome but not required to attend both sessions. Corresponding workshops is #16.

23. ENB2 & You: VTDEC Permit Notice and Comment under Act 150

The Department of Environmental Conservation manages a lot of different permits, most of which include a period for public notice and comment. In this workshop, we will discuss expected changes to standardizing procedures for permits under Act 150, introduce the revised Environmental Notice Bulletin - Version 2 (ENB2), and discuss what ENB2 will do for streamlining communications around DEC permits We will build a foundational understanding of permit process changes per Act 150 and how to utilize ENB2 for retrieving application information, registering to receive notices, and submitting comments.

Registration is through EventBrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/when-governments-cooperate-2017-state-government-municipal-days-registration-35179128721

If you have questions about this event, contact penny.percival@vermont.gov or call (802) 828-1294.

Interested in reading about past events?  See the workshops that were previously offered by downloading: 
2014 (March) State Government Municipal Day Brochure
2014 (November) State Government Municipal Day Brochure

2015 State Government Municipal Day Brochure
2016 State Government Municipal Day Brochure 

2017 State Government Municipal Day Brochure