Community Assistance News

Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

Seedlings

October 1st, 2014; 10:00 – 12:00 pm
Haverstraw Town Hall, One Rosman Road, Garnerville, New York 10923

Presented by Bill Nechamen, NYS DEC Floodplain Management Section. Learn about how recent changes to the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program may affect your residents of your municipality. This presentation will provide information on the Community Rating System, which helps to reduce flood insurance premiums in participating communities.
For more information, click here.

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Water Resources Infrastructure – A Critical Piece of Community Development

Seedlings

September 17 & 18, 2014; 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Honor’s Haven Resort, 1195 Arrowhead Road, Ellenville, NY

This Conference is presented by the Community and Regional Development Institute, which is co-sponsored by the Cornell University’s Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) and NYS Water Resources Institute.
The Conference will focus on water resource infrastructure.  Over the two-day period, participants will engage in dynamic discussions and workshops to promote informed decision-making in support of sustainable community and economic development.  The institute is designed for a diverse audience of local government officials (elected, appointed, & staff), CCE Educators, practitioners, economic developers, community leaders, and university and college faculty in the region. For more information, visit:  www.cardi.cornell.edu

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Planning for Streamside Habitats and Flood Resilience

Seedlings

August 26th, 2014; 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Catskill Town Hall, 439 Main Street, Catskill, NY

Presented by: Ron Frisbee, CCE Columbia Greene & Gretchen Stevens, Hudsonia. This seminar includes an overview of stream dynamics and flooding, and a presentation on Catskill Creek habitats and their role in flood prevention.  This seminar will increase your understanding of how streams work and steps communities can take to decrease vulnerability to flooding. For more information or to register:  (518) 622-9820 x 33.

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CLC’S GIS Map Reading Participants Make Impact

When applicants approach the Ancram Planning Board with a project, Clerk Colleen Lutz prepares the Board with maps that show the site’s topography, soils, wetlands and other natural features. The maps help identify important natural resources such as wetlands and prime agricultural soils, and show the parcel in relation to the land around it. This information helps the municipality ask the right questions and make informed conservation and land use decisions early in the review process, which is also more efficient and cost-effective for the applicant. CONTINUE READING

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Farm Protection Plan

Old Sheep Herding Company

CLC has been working with the County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board and the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation to craft a plan to support and promote local agriculture. Three public meetings are now underway to present and discuss the Draft Plan prior to it being considered for adoption by the County Board of Supervisors. A public hearing will also be scheduled at that time. CONTINUE READING

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Roundtables Support Local Leaders

planningCLC has organized two ongoing “roundtables” to support local leaders in conservation and community land use efforts. The roundtables bring together leaders at the town level from across Columbia County to learn from each other and share resources.

One roundtable is for members of Conservation Advisory Councils (CAC), which can be appointed by town boards to advise local agencies, especially “time-strapped” planning boards, on issues related to conservation and natural resources. The most recent CAC Roundtable featured guest speakers from Hyde Park. CLC has developed a brochure about Conservation Advisory Councils that towns can use to inform their boards and local citizens about the advantages of having a CAC.

The Trails Roundtable builds off the success of the first Columbia County Trails Conference, organized by CLC in 2011. Advocates gather to discuss how to take advantage of the area’s abundance of abandoned railroad corridors, utility rights-of-way, and other linkages that could add up to a world-class countywide trail network. The next Trails Roundtable will be held in 2013 and will feature a guest speaker. Check back for additional information.

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CLC Expands Support for County-Wide Computer-Aided Map Uses

GIS WorkshopCLC is training municipal volunteers to utilize computer-generated maps in their planning and land use decisions. Last spring, more than three dozen volunteers selected by their town boards took part in trainings using simplified versions of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. They also received a data disk with extensive mapping of Columbia County’s infrastructure and natural resources which can now be used by those towns.

This training program, funded by the Hudson River Greenway, will be expanded in its second year with help from a Hudson River Estuary Program “mini-grant.” The additional funding allows CLC to partner again with Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension’s GIS Resource Educator to offer the training. It also allows CLC to add a new workshop component: Nan Stolzenburg and Don Meltz of Community Planning and Environmental Associates will offer two workshops on the new Environmental Assessment Forms issued by NYSDEC that become mandatory for SEQR reviews on April 1, 2013. These workshops will also include information on GIS-based information resources to help in completing the forms. CONTINUE READING

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