Hazard Mitigation: Town designated MVP; Hear about Southborough’s plan next week

Next week, the public is invited to “Learn more about Southborough’s hazard mitigation and resiliency planning under the state’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP)”.

The LHMP identifies and prioritizes community hazards from natural, man-made and technological threats, and provides recommended steps to mitigated threats and/or minimize impacts on the community with the goals of less financial loss, less environmental impacts and a return to normal state as soon as possible.

LHMP listening session 2 flyerThe October 15th presentation will be held via zoom at 6:30 pm. To join the session, click here.

The “Public Listening Session” follows up on a session held in June. At that time, the Conservation Commission announced that it was working towards getting Southborough designated an “MVP” on the topic. (In this context, it means a Municipal Vulnerability Prepared community.)

That status was achieved. On September 30th, the Mass Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) declared Southborough an MVP Community:

 for its completion of the Community Resilience Building planning process. This MVP Community designation indicates the Town’s commitment to preparing for climate change.

The new meeting will cover the second half of the project – work done to complete the LHMP update and gain MVP status. 

Clearly the Town’s efforts are important measures in preparing for future risks and threats. In addition, the grant-funded work lays groundwork for future grants.

According to Conservation Agent Melissa Danza, the coordinated work was funded by an MVP Planning Grant and a MEMA grant acquired by Southborough Emergency Management’s Lt Neal Aspesi for the LMHP.

The EEA’s letter states:

As an MVP Community, the Town of Southborough is eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants as administered by EEA and may receive increased standing in future state funding opportunities, allowing you to pursue implementation of priority actions.

Danza specifies that the Action Grants offer:

financial resources to municipalities that are seeking to advance priority climate adaptation actions to address climate change impacts resulting from extreme weather, sea level rise, inland and coastal flooding, severe heat, and other climate impacts.

You can find more details on the MVP program here.

Additionally, Communities with an LHMP approved by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are eligible for mitigation grant funding and other opportunities.

Once the MVP status is achieved, it has to be maintained. Part of that is annual reports on the Town’s progress in tackling identified priorities. Danza writes:

Many individuals have expressed interest in what projects can be utilized as a part of this program, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any potential ideas. As the ‘designated person’ I will be creating the yearly report so I would like to be able to keep tabs on any discussions on this topic so I can report back at the end of each FY!

Danza shared her appreciation for everyone who made the MVP designation possible:

A big thank you to the core team that helped complete this process which included: Lt Neal Aspesi, DPW Director Karen Galligan, and Facilities Director John Parent. . .

Thank you again to all who have participated in some way.

The summary of findings can be found here and a recording of the prior listening session can be found here.

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