Montpelier Workshop

When Governments Cooperate - State Government Municipal Day

A Day of Workshops for Vermont's Local Government Officials


A full-day, multi-track workshop.  Registration is just $25 and includes morning coffee and a buffet lunch.


The event took place on Friday, October 25, 2019.


The ANR Office at 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier


This event took place in the past.


Download a printable agenda as a pdf

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

We're delighted to announce that this year's guest speaker will be Vermont's State Climatologist, Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, who will talk about the most recent National Climate Assessment and climate change in Vermont specifically. Dr. Dupigny-Giroux is the lead author of the Northeast chapter of the National Climate Assessment and a professor in the University of Vermont's Geology Department.
PowerPoint presentation (PDF)
Recording by ORCA MEDIA (opens in a new window)
Five-year Average Global Temperature Anomalies 1881 - 2009 (visulization from NASA website)

Workshop Session 1 (9:45 – 11:00 am)

1a. VT’s Ecology & Environment: An Intro to Town Planning for Natural Resources
Presentation (PDF)
In this full-day workshop, participants will learn important context and scientific concepts involved in planning for natural resources. 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 full-day 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
Outline and Resources (pdf)

This workshop invites 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 to use them with different web mapping tools such as the Vermont Interactive Map Viewer, ANR Atlas, ArcGIS online, and more. Come learn about these tools and data as well as how they could help your municipality.

3. Housing Ready By-laws: Legalizing the Homes We Need
Presentation (PDF)

From finding suitable housing for aging parents to attracting new employees, most of us have experienced Vermont’s housing gaps firsthand.  Increasingly, we can’t find the homes we need in the right places, at prices we can afford.  Can municipal officials help?  Yes! This session provides a preview at a new statewide initiative to help municipalities modernize outdated zoning codes that unnecessarily restrict opportunities to meet our housing needs and add to the costs.  Don’t miss this chance to trade insights and share ideas for how your city or town can revitalize and improve people’s lives through broader housing options.

4. Water Quality Funding Opportunities for Municipalities
Presentation (PDF)
Municipalities are important partners to implement clean water projects. Learn about DEC’s clean water funding and financing options available to municipalities, including the Municipal Roads Grants-in-Aid program and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). Presentation includes an overview of the Clean Water Service Delivery Act of 2019 (Act 76) and opportunities it presents for municipal clean water work.

5. A Guide to Active Forest Management on Town Forests
Presentation (PDF)

What does active management of municipal forest resources look like in practice? This workshop will focus on the planning process: how to generate a Town Forest management plan; how to conduct an open, inclusive and transparent public process; and how to increase understanding of forests resources while creating a functional balance between forest uses. Finally, we will discuss how active Town Forest management can demonstrate thoughtful, responsible, modern forest management for our ecosystems and communities.

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

1b. VT’s Ecology & Environment: An Intro to Town Planning for Natural Resources
Note: This is a full-day workshop. You must sign up for ALL 4 SESSIONS if you wish to take this class. See description under Workshop Session 1.

7. Parsing Out Vermont’s Parcel Data
Presentation (PDF)

By the end of 2019, all Vermont municipalities will have had their parcel data digitized, “standardized” and joined with the grand list. Come to this session to learn about plans for maintaining this parcel data, ways to access and use it, and novel applications now available using parcel data.

8. Testing Automated Vehicles in Vermont
Presentation (pdf)

Is your town willing to help bring self-driving cars to Vermont? During its 2019 session, the Vermont General Assembly approved the testing of automated vehicles, often referred to as self-driving cars, on local and state highways. You will learn about automated vehicle technology and hear the latest on its development and testing around the country. You will also learn about the requirements in Vermont’s automated vehicle testing law and the role of municipalities in the test permit approval process.

9. Hazard Mitigation Assistance: Resilience Grants for Your Town
Presentation (PDF)
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) program can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Let us help! This session will provide information on how to plan for and reduce your community’s vulnerability to natural hazards on FEMA’s dime (mostly). We will discuss best practices, share some success stories and answer questions about local hazard mitigation plans, potential projects, grant application development and resilience funding.

11. Solid Waste News: Trash, Recycling and Food Scraps 
Presenation (pdf)

Trash, recycling, litter, and the materials we use have become hot topics, but the national news doesn’t always reflect what’s happening in Vermont. In this session, ANR’s materials management team will talk about the state of recycling in Vermont, how Vermonters are getting ready for the 2020 ban on trashing food scraps, and exciting local waste reduction projects. You’ll also learn about statewide resources that will help your residents and staff navigate the world of waste, such as transfer station operator trainings, free special recycling programs, and new handouts. Bring your questions and ideas as we explore ways to move Vermont closer to its goal of keeping 50% of unwanted materials out of the landfill.

Break for Lunch in the National Life Cafeteria (12:30 - 1:30 pm)

Workshop Session 3 (1:30 – 2:30 pm)

1c. VT’s Ecology & Environment: An Intro to Town Planning for Natural Resources
Note: This is a full-day workshop. You must sign up for ALL 4 SESSIONS if you wish to take this class. See description under Workshop Session 1.

12. Using BioFinder for Land Use Planning
Presentation (PDF)

BioFinder is a free, online database and mapping tool identifying lands and waters that support ecosystems, natural communities, habitats and species. Learn how to use BioFinder to get prioritized natural resource information to inform your town’s land use planning process, walking through examples step-by-step.  We’ll also access Vermont Conservation Design data to further helps prioritize important elements - with particular focus the Forest Integrity Bill (Act 171) relating to forest blocks and wildlife connectors - and we’ll discuss how to interpret inventory data. Case studies of successful integration of natural resource information into a town’s planning process will be highlighted.

14. How Do River Corridors Protect You?
How do River Corridors serve public safety, reduce public expenses, clean water and inform land conservation? What is “No Adverse Impact” and what does it mean here? In this spot? How do we act as watershed neighbors to meet our needs for reliable roads, safe families and watershed wellbeing? This workshop will look at the big and the small picture. Find out how to use the new model of No Adverse Impact Regulations to review specific projects.

15. Getting Better All the Time: Process Improvement at the DEC
Presentation (PDF)
5S Handout (PDF)
Since 2014 the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been utilizing Lean Methodology to continuously improve our processes and public-partner experiences around the state. This workshop will outline a few changes you may recognize, some you’ve not yet encountered, as well as providing some useful tools to bring improvements to your own workplace! Participants may contribute to improving future experiences with DEC by working collaboratively and learn strategies for overcoming challenges of all shapes and sizes.

Workshop Session 4 (2:45 – 3:45 pm)

1d. VT’s Ecology & Environment: An Intro to Town Planning for Natural Resources
Note: This is a full-day workshop. You must sign up for ALL 4 SESSIONS if you wish to take this class. See description under Workshop Session 1.

17. The Intersection of Municipalities and Agriculture in Vermont
Presentation (PDF)
Do you have questions about agriculture in your community? What are farms required to do to protect water quality? How do you know if an operation is truly a farm, or if a structure is truly a farm structure? Do you have questions about the 2018 Accessory on-Farm Business Process? Are you unsure what the implications for agricultural land might be when Act 250 is activated? If you are interested in developing and further understanding the relationships between farms, communities, and towns, come and ask Agency of Ag Staff your questions

18. Over & Under: Rivers in the Design & Construction of Municipal Road Infrastructure
Presentation (PDF)
Flood erosion and inundation are the most common natural disasters occurring in Vermont.  Each year we experience at least 1 flood in a town or county – this year, April flooding impacted six counties.  In this workshop, we’ll discuss the hydrology, river morphology, and aquatic life considerations in designing and constructing municipal road infrastructure. Attendees will be provided with technical insight on the engineering and environmental protection rationale underlying contemporary regulatory requirements for the replacement of stream crossings and culverts.  We’ll discuss lessons learned from past events and ways to work with water to create a win-win-win for our budgets, public safety, and environment.

19. The Decline of Ash Trees & How Your Town Can Still Plan for Resilient Canopy Cover
Presesntation (PDF)

Ash trees in public spaces are quickly gaining attention as an invasive insect, the emerald ash borer, moves through Vermont. Foresters are applying best practices to plan for the impact of emerald ash borer on ash in the forest while also working with municipalities to share approaches, costs, and lessons learned about ash tree management in town rights-of-way, town forests, and other public spaces. Understand how your town can inventory or survey its public ash trees, plan for their future uses, keep your wood local, and educate private landowners as to how and why the town will manage ash trees in light of emerald ash borer.