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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact Jamie Webb, Assistant Planner
(413) 529-1405, jwebb@easthamptonma.gov

EASTHAMPTON MANAGING RISKS AND REDUCING VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE

The project seeks to develop and prioritize strategies to reduce vulnerability and adapt to our changing climate.

Easthampton, MA, April 23, 2019 – Next Tuesday evening, April 30th, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., the City of Easthampton will hold a Public Listening Session to review the findings of a recently completed Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Workshop, and to gather public input for the draft MVP Summary of Findings Report. The 8-hour MVP workshop, held on Thursday, February 7th, 2019, was planned and facilitated by a core team of local officials, residents, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC). The workshop helped City officials and participating stakeholders define top local natural and climate change-related hazards of concern, identify existing and future strengths and vulnerabilities, and identify and prioritize actions and projects that Easthampton can implement to increase resilience to climate change.

Stakeholder participants from the MVP workshop and PVPC staff will seek input and feedback from residents regarding climate change vulnerabilities throughout the City and gather input and ideas about future actions to improve resilience. The listening session will include interactive activities and questions about proposed and new actions.

“The project represents continued effort to utilize state funding to plan, prioritize, and implement projects in Easthampton. The Municipal Preparedness Vulnerability program is a Planning Grant that once completed will make us an “MVP Certified” community. With this certification we will be eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants of up to $2 million dollars that will begin to make Easthampton more resilient to climate change”, said Mayor LaChapelle.

This is an important opportunity for residents and community members to help vision and shape future efforts around making the City more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Public comments will be accepted during the meeting as well as during a public comment period from today until May 8th. View the draft MVP Summary of Findings Report and take the MVP survey online at https://easthamptonma.gov/mvp or in person at the Easthampton Planning Department in the Municipal Building at 50 Payson Ave.

“The workshop revealed several key issues related to our drinking water supply, stormwater runoff, dams, and other infrastructure upgrades that will be needed in the future. This Public Listening Session and the earlier MVP Workshop – both part of the MVP Planning Grant – are the first steps in building community support and consensus around potential new projects to make us better prepared and less vulnerable to the climate impacts we are facing.” said City Planner Jeff Bagg.

The MVP Planning Grant program, funded through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), provides support for Massachusetts cities and towns to begin the process of planning for climate change resilience and implementing priority projects. EOEEA awards communities with funding to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resilience plans. Communities who complete the MVP Planning Grant become certified as MVP Communities and are eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants and other funding opportunities.

What:
A Public Listening Session to share findings from the recent Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness workshop and gather input on future actions to improve resilience.

Who:
Easthampton Planning Department, Fire Department, Police Department & Department of Public Works

When &Where:
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, at 6:00pm in the Top Floor of the Municipal Building (50 Payson Ave).

For more information, please go the Easthampton Planning Department “current projects” page: https://www.easthamptonma.gov/forms-documents/planning/current-projects.html

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Main Phone Number 413-529-1400
Municipal Building 50 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027