MONTACHUSETT REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION
Serving the Montachusett Region Since 1968
1427R Water Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) executed a Capacity Building Grant with the MRPC. Services that are provided by MRPC under this contract include the delivery of economic development technical assistance to communities such as grant writing, zoning ordinance and bylaw revisions, economic study and analysis, and housing planning assistance provided to the Montachusett Enterprise Center. Also, the Montachusett Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (MRCEDS) is updated annually under this contract. The document is maintained as the regions economy changes and goals and objectives are obtained, projects have been achieved, and new projects are added as the need arises. This has facilitated the application for and award of EDA infrastructure grants for municipalities leading to job creation.
Chapter 43D Expedited Permitting Program
Technical Assistance for Expedited Permitting is also available for MRPC Communities. MRPC has received funding from the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to provide technical assistance to municipalities to enhance economic development through a more efficient permitting process. The Chapter 43D Expedited Permitting Program (Massachusetts General Law Ch 43D) was signed into law in August 2006. This statute gives a town the ability to promote commercial development on pre-approved parcels by offering expedited local permitting on those parcels. Other advantages of designating priority development sites in a community include eligibility for and priority consideration for PWED and CDAG funding, priority consideration for other quasi-public financing, brownfields remediation assistance, enhanced online marketing and technical assistance from MassDevelopment and the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission.
For more information or to receive technical assistance, please contact John Hume at email@example.com.
Brownfield Site Assessments
Since 1998 the MRPC has been awarded $750,000 in Brownfields Site Assessment grant funds from the Environmental Protection Agency assisting with the redevelopment of six sites and the ongoing redevelopment of another eight properties. Forty (40) documents have been prepared by the MRPC’s consultant (TRC Environmental Solutions) documenting the level of environmental contamination on 24 properties in eight of MRPC’s communities. MRPC’s latest grant award from EPA in May 2007 was for $200,000 to complete 14 Phase I and two Phase II Environmental Site Assessments. MRPC continues to seek additional “Brownfield Site Nominations” from its member municipalities. For a Brownfield Site Nomination Form, see the link in the Quick Hits box to the right on download from the Documents page.
For more information regarding planning services including land use, master planning, and grant preparation services please contact the MRPC directly at (978) 345-7376 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)
Comprehensive Planning staff assists our region’s towns to create and submit grant applications. MRPC staff will administer the grant program on behalf of the town if funds are awarded.
In 2007, MRPC staff worked with the Towns of Lancaster and Sterling to submit their respective Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications. Both towns were awarded funding in July of 2007.
The Town of Lancaster received $1,183,429 on behalf of the Towns of Lancaster, Lunenburg, Townsend and Ashburnham. These funds will be used to conduct a four-town regional housing rehabilitation program within those towns. A first time homebuyer counseling program will also be conducted in the four owns.
Sterling received $884,409 to install a new waste water collection and distribution system and to conduct a small housing rehabilitation program within the Waushacum Village Neighborhood located in the southern end of the town.
On February 15, 2008 MRPC prepared and submitted a new application on behalf of the Town of Lancaster. Lancaster is requesting $1,076,000 to conduct another four-town regional housing rehabilitation program with the Towns of Harvard, Shirley and Westminster. Funding awards are anticipated to be announced sometime in July of 2008.
Get The Lead Out Program (GTLO)
MRPC was selected by MassHousing as an agency to distribute “Get The Lead Out” funds. Over the last two years, MRPC has assisted twelve families with funding to assist with lead removal in their home.
Department Of Environmental Protection (DEP)
MRPC contracted with the Town of Townsend to assist them with their Department of Environmental Protection Septic Replacement Program. We have assisted Townsend residents over the last 4 years in replacing their failed septic systems. Twenty-seven systems have been updated through this program.
Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans for Natural Hazards (PDM)
MRPC has researched and prepared PDM Plans for the 22 communities in the region. The purpose of the Plans is to identify specific natural disasters that could affect communities, to locate areas of vulnerability, and establish community strategies to reduce risks from natural hazards. These plans fulfill requirements for state and federal mitigation grants.
For more information, contact the MRPC at (978) 345-7376 or via email at email@example.com.
News & Announcements
Regional Emergency Back-Up Power Sources Mitigation Plan
MRPC has been awarded $125,360 in grant funds from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to develop a Regional Emergency Back-Up Power Sources Mitigation Plan. This project entails inventorying various organizations that are critical for the functioning of the regional economy, surveying these organizations for their power outage preparedness and analyzing the region's power grid system. An Energy Advisory Committee has been formed to oversee the plan and Consulting Engineers Group (CEG) has been hired as a consultant to analyze the region's power grid system. Please contact Jennifer Siciliano at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 345-7376 X318 for more information.
Funds for Brownfield Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments Remain Available
MRPC's latest grant award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was for $200,000 to complete 14 Phase I and two Phase II Environmental Site Assessments. All funds have yet to be expended. MRPC continues to seek additional "Brownfield Site Nominations" from its member municipalities. MRPC is encouraging local officials to complete Site Nomination and U.S. EPA Approval forms while funds for site assessments remain available. Please contact John Hume at email@example.com or (978) 345-7376 X302 for more information.
Chapter 43D Expedited Permitting Program
For information on the Commonwealth's Expedited Permitting Program and the MRPC's involvement, click on the following link to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).
Brownfield Site Approval Request Form
To download a copy of the MRBRI Site Approval Request Form as part of the MRPC's Brownfield Site Assessment Grant Program, click on the link below and save to your computer. Please note that this is a Microsoft Word document.