Montpelier Workshop

When Governments Cooperate - State Government Municipal Day

A Day of Workshops for Vermont's Local Government Officials

The full-day, multi-track workshop in Montpelier took place on Friday, October 26.  If you didn't get a chance to join us, we hope to see you next year.  If you are looking for the 2018 information, see the workshop descriptions below or download the printable brochure.

8:30 - 9:30 Opening Remarks and Plenary Session

Preparing Your Communicty for the Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer 
Plenary Session Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Resources on the web at VTInvasives and the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program

Workshop Session 1 (9:45 – 11:00 am)

1a. Vermont’s Ecology & Environment: Taking Action in Your Community
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
This four-part workshop will help you choose locally appropriate land use planning strategies for conserving natural resources. It uses case studies and exercises to show how taking action can work in real life, considering both the ecological setting and the values of the community. The overall goal is to build understanding of what you can do, how to work with different people in your community, how to choose methods to protect natural resources, and how to make the whole project happen.   Note: This is a 4-session workshop. You must sign up for all 4 sessions if you wish to take this class.

2. Web Maps and What You Can Do with Them 
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
VCGI website (opens in a new window)
This workshop will invite you to explore how you can use mapping data available from different agencies and departments through the Vermont Open Geodata Portal. We’ll demonstrate themes of data available and how you can use them with different web mapping tools such as the Vermont Interactive Map Viewer, ArcGIS online, and more. We’ll focus on use of statewide parcel data, in which Vermont now has 73 municipalities with parcels matched to the Grand List and 104 more coming this year. Come to this workshop to learn about these tools and data as well as how they could help your municipality.

3. Village Wastewater Solutions
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Workbook on Organizing Village Wastewater Solutions (opens in a new window)
Does your village lack a sewer system and is that a problem for the community? If so, join our interagency panel for a discussion about what it takes to achieve wastewater solutions in villages.  You may be surprised to learn about recent rule changes and funding opportunities that can make a difference for businesses and homeowners in Vermont’s un-sewered villages.

4. Down the Centerline: Complete Streets and Class 1 Town Highways
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
You’ve heard of Complete Streets, but what can you do to achieve this goal? In Vermont’s downtowns and village centers, state highway rights-of-way serve many important, often competing, functions in addition to their role as transportation corridors. This Workshop will present inexpensive and easy-to-implement ideas to help you make progress towards making your streets “Complete Streets.” We’ll also discuss the process for reclassification of a state highway to a Class 1 Town Highways (managed by the municipality) and provide tools for municipalities to gage the costs and benefits of ownership. Grant programs available through VTrans and others to help communities make streets work better for all users will be reviewed.

5. The Intersection of Municipalities and Agriculture: From RAPs to Criterion 9(B)
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Interested in agricultural issues within your municipality? Come learn about how municipalities have a role to play in water quality, the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), and fostering thriving farmland. We’ll discuss how the RAPs intersect with municipal regulation of accessory on-farm businesses under Act 143, and what the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is telling farmers as agricultural operations diversify their businesses. We’ll also explore Act 250 permitting implications for municipalities that are landowners, parties to an application or stakeholders, when Criterion 9(B) [primary agricultural soils] is at play.

Workshop Session 2 (11:15 am – 12:30 pm)

1b. Vermont’s Ecology & Environment: Taking Action in Your Community
See the description under Session 1 and please note tha this is a full-day workshop. You must sign up for all 4 sessions if you wish to take this class.

6. Using BioFinder for Land Use Planning
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
BioFinder website 
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.

7. Automated Wood Heat: Heating Municipal Buildings & Schools with Local Fuel
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Incentives Handout (opens as a pdf)
Learn how to improve your town’s bottom line by switching from fossil fuels to automated wood heat! Automated wood heat is the local, renewable fuel that creates jobs and retains local wealth. Fully automated systems allow buildings to be heated with the same hands-off convenience as propane or oil, but without all the fossil fuel negatives. This presentation will focus on options for municipal buildings and schools, and also touch on residential options. We will cover costs, rebates, financing, and the many benefits to Vermont’s forests and economy.

8. Middlebury Bridge Case Study: Best Practices and Lessons Learned 
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Earlier this year, VTrans launched an ambitious four-year project designed to revitalize state-owned transportation infrastructure in downtown Middlebury. Its goal is to rebuild 3500 feet of rail corridor and replace two deteriorated bridges that cross that rail line with a precast concrete tunnel.  All work will take place in the heart of downtown. Middlebury's Community Liaison, Jim Gish, will share how the community has organized and partnered with VTrans to manage project impacts and the lessons learned to-date in the quest to define best practice for construction projects of this magnitude.

9. Sharing the Edge: A Guide to Lake and Shoreland Development
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Living by the water will invite you to slow down and take notice of the many spectacular natural occurrences that define Vermont’s lakes and ponds. Development on lakeshore property has a direct impact on lake water quality, shoreline erosion, and wildlife habitat. This workshop will describe “what to expect” when owning lakeshore property in VT and include an overview of development regulations, including Lake Encroachment and the Shoreland Protection Act.

Break for Lunch (12:30 - 1:30 pm)

Workshop Session 3 (1:30 – 2:30 pm)

1c. Vermont’s Ecology & Environment: Taking Action in Your Community
See the description under Session 1 and please note tha this is a full-day workshop. You must sign up for all 4 sessions if you wish to take this class.

10. The Carrot and the Stick: What Drives Environmental Compliance in Vermont
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
The Environmental Compliance Division ensures Vermont’s environmental rules and regulations are followed – through both our Assistance and Enforcement sections. From hosting Brewery Day and administering the Green Business program to investigating environmental violations and issuing penalties, grouping the carrot and stick together allows us to help municipalities, businesses, and the regulated community comply with environmental laws. This workshop will provide an overview of the division and the many services and resources we provide.

11. Catastrophic Debris Management and Vermont's Contingency Debris Planning
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Tropical Storm Irene was a wake-up call for the need to plan for managing disaster debris in an organized, rapid, safe, environmentally-conscious, and cost-effective manner.  Since then, Vermont has developed a Debris Management Annex to the State Emergency Management Plan and has standby contracts with national debris management and monitoring firms to provide prompt services to the State and towns, if needed.    Learn about the Debris Annex, best practices for land and river debris management, and the FEMA reimbursement process. 

12. Town Highway Emergency Grants
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
VTrans has two emergency town highway grant programs available to municipalities:  State Aid for Non-federal Disasters (aka, Town Highway Emergency fund) and State Aid for Federal Disasters (aka, the FHWA Emergency Relief Program).  This workshop will provide a brief overview of how these grants work (to include the initial preliminary damage assessments), how they differ from each other and from FEMA Public Assistance grants, how to prepare for the possibility of receiving a grant, and how to avoid certain pitfalls associated with these grants.

13. Communities in Action: River Corridor Protection for No Adverse Impact
Flood Training website (opens in a new window)
Where is development okay in the River Corridor?  Why is “no adverse impact” important in our town?  What are other communities doing to protect River Corridors and Floodplain functions?  Sample new videos and resources for Zoning Administrators and community leaders.

Workshop Session 4 (2:45 – 3:45 pm)

1d. Vermont’s Ecology & Environment: Taking Action in Your Community
See the description under Session 1 and please note tha this is a full-day workshop. You must sign up for all 4 sessions if you wish to take this class.

14. The Next Frontier for Universal Recycling
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Over the last five years, Vermonters successfully implemented many aspects of the Universal Recycling (UR) law, including the many municipalities and businesses that worked hard to make recycling and food scrap collection more convenient for their residents and customers. This workshop will provide a brief overview of how the UR law impacts municipalities and what work still needs to be done. There will also be plenty of time for a Q&A, where participants can ask their questions about the UR requirements, recycling right in VT, operating and permitting a transfer station, and any other solid waste topics.

15. Recycled Materials in Public Works
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
Although incremental progress has been made, Vermonters still throw away nearly 2/3 of the waste that we generate. The ANR and VTrans have been collaborating on finding uses in transportation projects for wastes that should not, or cannot by law, be disposed of, by assessing their performance, cost, and environmental benefit.  Can Towns also utilize these “misplaced resources” both functionally and economically?

16. Clean Water Initiative Grant Opportunities
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) administers grants to fund priority projects that restore and protect rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands from nonpoint source runoff and associated nutrient and sediment pollution. Vermont municipalities, regional organizations, nonprofit associations, citizen groups, and state agencies are eligible to receive grants. Come learn about these funding sources including the Ecosystem Restoration Grants, the River Corridor Conservation Easements, the (new!) Woody Buffer Block Grant, the Partnership Grants, the Municipal Roads Grants-In-Aid, and the (updated!) Design & Implementation Block Grant.

17. Municipal Requirements: Archaeology and Historic Preservation
Workshop Presentation (opens as a pdf)
This workshop will provide an overview of municipal requirements for state and federally-funded transportation projects, focusing on Municipal Assistance Bureau projects, Better Roads grants, and Town Highway Structures grants.  You’ll learn about:

  • Archaeology and historic preservation review requirements that apply to state and federally-funded municipal transportation projects;
  • What municipalities need to do to satisfy these requirements for Municipal Assistance Bureau, Better Roads, and Town Highway Structures projects; and
  • The role of VTrans Cultural Resource staff in assisting municipalities satisfy requirements for Municipal Assistance Bureau, Better Roads, and Town Highway Structures projects.