On August 25, the Legislature reconvened via Zoom, all sessions of which are “open to the public” by viewing livestream or recordings on YouTube. With that, Committee meetings have also resumed. In House General, our work is focused on S.237, a bill that is described as an “affordable housing” bill, which is actually a zoning bill, having several problematic provisions that are better suited to the discussion around Act 250 Reform legislation. Several municipalities and planning organizations have testified to these issues being detrimental to the local zoning process, so we are working diligently to remove or change the most egregious section, against the tide of majority support for this bill.
On the topic of permitting and natural resources, the State Department of Environmental Conservation on Sept 1 announced the opening of the 3-acre Stormwater General Permit process, with which any property that has over three acres of impervious surface will have to comply. Letters were sent to over 700 property owners last Fall to notify them of this upcoming requirement. Additional letters were sent out this week to explain the permitting process and to set a timeline for compliance. If you are the owner of a property that has three or more acres of impervious surface (driveways, roofs, parking lots) and have not received a notice, please reach out to the Agency of Natural Resources DEC for an evaluation of your property for compliance. Although this program is mandated by the Clean Water Act of 2015 (Act 64), many property owners are unaware of the requirements and deadlines.
Preliminary information can be found at:
Appropriations Committee Budget hearings continue to be held to determine how to best allocate limited resources to the many agencies, organizations, and programs that depend on taxpayer funding to carry out their work. While there are so many worthwhile recipients, the ability to serve everyone cannot be met and difficult decisions are ahead in the next few weeks.
Locally, my evenings have been filled with MVSD and NMVUUSD School Board, various Selectboard, and Richford Town Community Policing meetings. Local boards and Committees are doing important work in our towns – please take a moment to thank your community leaders when you see them for all they do to make Franklin County a better place to live!
Rep Lisa Hango