Upcoming Events
August 22 The SWRPC's Brownfields Advisory Committee will meet at 11:45 a.m. at SWRPC's offices at 37 Ashuelot Street in Keene, NH. For more information contact J.B. Mack of SWRPC staff.
September 11 The Transportation Advisory Committee will meet at 2:00 p.m. at SWRPC's offices at 37 Ashuelot Street in Keene, NH. For more information contact J.B.Mack of SWRPC staff.
September 12 The SWRPC Board of Directors will meet at 3:00 p.m. at SWRPC's offices at 37 Ashuelot Street in Keene, NH. For more information contact Becky Baldwin of SWRPC staff.
October 11 The Economic Development Advisory Committee will meet at 12:00 p.m. at SWRPC's offices at 37 Ashuelot Street in Keene, NH. For more information contact Rebeckah Bullock of SWRPC staff.

 

Other Items of Interest
Letters of intent for Congestion Mitigation and  Air Quality grant funding due July 7th. Learn more by clicking here.
The Regional Public Involvement Plan for Southwest New Hampshire has been adopted and released. To view the plan, please click here.

The NH Broadband Mapping and Planning Program needs your help! Take the Broadband Access Survey and Speed Test to help identify homes and businesses that are un-served and underserved for high speed internet. Info

For additional NH planning events, see the NH Office of Energy and Planning Events Calendar.
Discover more about Granite State Future.
To learn about Monadnock Region Future: A Plan for Southwest New Hampshire visit.
To learn about the Greater Keene Air Quality Education and Outreach Campaign visit
To learn about the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant decommissioning process visit

 

Highlights - January 2012

 SWRPC  January 2012

 Commission Highlights

 Vol. 18 - No. 1

 

SWRPC Conducting Inventory of Cable Franchise Agreements

As part of its involvement with the NH Broadband Mapping and Planning program, SWRPC is working with the other regional planning commissions in the State and the University of New Hampshire to develop a statewide inventory of local cable franchise agreements. Many communities in the Southwest Region have administered franchise agreements with cable service providers.  These agreements outline certain requirements that must be met in order for a provider to use public rights-of-way and typically describe the rates, terms and conditions of service. By collecting and inventorying these documents, we hope to have better knowledge of the range of information and services included in these agreements. SWRPC is in the process of gathering these documents from municipalities and plans to share the final inventory with the public at the completion of the project. For more information, please contact Tara Germond of Commission staff.

 

Air Quality Concerns in Cheshire County

On January 20th, a meeting was convened by Senator Molly Kelly (NH District 10) to discuss air quality concerns in Cheshire County. Robert Scott, Director of the Air Resources Division and other staff from NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) were on hand to discuss elevated levels of particulate matter in the air in lower lying valley areas such as the City of Keene. These levels have been measured at times to exceed standards for human and environmental health established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and monitored by DES. The source of particulate matter has been linked to the use of wood burning stoves associated primarily with residential uses. Incidents of unhealthy levels of particulates are often triggered by cold winter weather combined with stagnant air on days with little to no wind. The condition can be made worse with the presence of what is known as a temperature inversion which traps the air below not allowing it to circulate and mix with the upper atmosphere. The concern is not limited to human and environmental health; if EPA considers the problem too severe, it can impose requirements throughout all of Cheshire County which could place limitations on economic development activity and transportation improvement projects. For these reasons, it is important to continue to understand the issue, inform our communities and educate the public. Additional meetings for these purposes are anticipated. For more information, please contact Tim Murphy of Commission staff.

 

Town of Greenfield to Begin Master Plan Update

The Town of Greenfield has contracted with SWRPC to provide technical assistance in updating their Master Plan. Master Plans should be updated every 5-10 years or following significant changes in development activity. SWRPC staff will be working with the Greenfield Planning Board to create a vision section and update the existing land use chapter. As part of the vision section, we will be conducting a photo exercise which involves members of the community taking pictures of places or things that they like, dislike or feel are at risk in their community. The photos will be shared at a public forum and be used as the basis for the vision section. The Town of Marlborough did a similar exercise in 2011 to assist in the creation of their vision section. For more information about this service, please contact Lisa Murphy of Commission staff.

 

Community Development Block Grant Activities

During January, SWRPC staff was active in providing communities with support in administering several Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects. The City of Keene Brookbend West Housing project saw significant activity in the construction phase of the demolition and rebuilding of 35 units of affordable housing off Meadow Road in Keene. Other projects that began to get underway with the signing of contract documents and the environmental review process include the New Ipswich Warwick Mills/High Bridge Foundation job creation project and the Town of Greenville High Street Repairs project. SWRPC staff also completed the close-out documentation for the Town of Marlborough Mountain Corporation business expansion, which created 25 new jobs. For additional information about any of these projects or to determine how the CDBG program might benefit your community, please contact Rebeckah Bullock of Commission staff.

 

SWRPC to Co-sponsor Quabbin-to-Cardigan Trail Study Meeting

SWRPC and the Monadnock Conservancy will co-sponsor a meeting of organizations and citizens interested in a possible long-distance “Quabbin-to-Cardigan” hiking trail in western New Hampshire from the MA/NH border to Mt. Cardigan and beyond to the White Mountains.  The meeting is a key part of a trail study being managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Appalachian Mountain Club with assistance from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program.  At the meeting, attendees will have an opportunity to view maps of the area; speak with representatives from a wide range of organizations as well as citizens from the communities in southwest New Hampshire about potential trail routes, connections to other area trail systems, and get answers to questions regarding the trail study.  The meeting will be held at Antioch University in Keene on February 29th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be similar meetings held in other parts of the Quabbin-to-Cardigan region during March and April to describe the initiative and gather information.  Information obtained at these public meetings will help determine the next steps in the trails study.  For more information, please contact Lisa Murphy of Commission staff.

 

Healthy Eating Active Living Community Grant Program

Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) is seeking applications for their 2012 Community Grant Program from New Hampshire municipalities that are committed to developing local solutions for improving access to affordable, healthy foods and opportunities for active living. HEAL, which began in 2008, is led by the Foundation for Healthy Communities, a non-profit New Hampshire organization focused on improving health and health care through innovative partnerships. If you are interested in applying for a grant, the deadline for required letters of intent is February 10, 2012 and applications are due March 14, 2012. To learn more about the HEAL program or to download an application, please visit www.healnh.org.