Brookfield Selectmen Meeting | December 8, 2013

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Meeting Notes

Welcome to the Brookfield NH Town Coffee. The meeting was organized by the Strafford Regional Planning Commission. The SRPC is one of 9 planning Commissions in the state. By statute the commission must compile a Regional Master Plan, Housing needs assessment and assist communities with planning projects that may have a regional impact. This meeting was organized to present the Town of Brookfield with a survey. The results will be added to the Regional Master Plan Document. The document will be combined with the state mandated State development plan. This meeting took place at Town Offices, 267 Wentworth Rd and it began at 12:00 noon.

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Cynthia Copeland, Executive Director, and Matt Sullivan, Planner, from the Strafford Regional Planning Commission give a historical background and purpose of the Regional Planning Commission; RSA: 36; statutory beginnings; member communities;


Community members; geographic boundaries of the Strafford Region; relationship with the coastal waterways; social and demographic commonalities; provided services; data collection; mapping services; planning focusing on water quality; natural resources; transportation; hazard mitigation plan; economic development; content of the Regional Master Plan; RSA 9-a; 672:2; local requirements; key areas of interest within the region; housing chapter of RMP; housing needs assessment; demographic data regarding housing; transportation local needs; State and Federal funds;


Trail Mapping; water infrastructure; nitrogen levels; watershed assessment; economic development district application; eligibility for federal funds for sewer and water infrastructure; outreach to member towns; climate change adaptation; local hazard mitigation plans; culvert assessment evaluations; municipal role; master plan vision statement evaluation; regional vision matrix; member community master plan vision comparisons;


Regional Master Plan process; public hearings; adoption of plan; preparing E- documents; local use of information gathered in the Regional Master Plan document;


Q- Rob Collins, Brookfield resident- State statute RSA: 36 states that the Regional Master Plan is to be completed every five years, why has it not been completed?; A- State grant funding; targeted block grants; economic development strategy; development plan; broadband; transportation; areas of the RMP that have not been completed; Q- who decided that items other then what is statutorily required was to be done; cutbacks due to the recession; refocusing efforts on economic development; Q- who decided to refocus efforts away from the RMP to economic development? Copeland takes responsibility; Q- who do you answer to?; A- the commission’s executive committee; makeup of committee; Q- have any other communities questioned why the RMP is not compete; limitations of funding; accessing additional funding; goals and work plan; State wide recession; dwindling revenues; unfunded mandates?; State funding- $11,000; OEP funding; annual budget- $750,000; other required tasks; economic development designation application to receive federal funds; regional impact study and evaluation and review; regional impact committee function; mapping tasks; general technical assistance; regional housing needs assessment consultant; costs of the housing needs assessment; cost of RMP; sustainable housing grant funding; Granite State Future; culvert assessments; bridge inventories; fish passage; storm event flows;


Q- Dick Peckham, Brookfield resident- trail mapping; outreach; why residents enjoy the region; community trail mapping; ArcGis data mapper; Q- what do trails have to do with transportation; where is the funding source?; Q- why the focus on recreation trails instead of transportation; Federal government department of transportation; gas excise tax; highway trust fund; 10 year plan- GACIT; Governors Advisor Committee on Intermodel Transportation;


Ed Comeau, Brookfield’s representative on the Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC) Q- What are the community membership dues used for? matching funds; toll credits; federal grants; in-kind; local grants; cash match; federal matching funds; process of receiving federal funds; sub-grantee of the Sustainable Communities Initiative; Granite State Future; federal funding of the RMP;


Funding of the RMP; HUD involvement; discussion- HUD grant “strings”; how do the HUD requirements effect the RMP; smart growth principles; fair housing equity assessment; community discretion; smart growth as it applies to Brookfield; RMP assisting communities and region;


Q- Ed Comeau, as a sub-grantee to the SCI or GSF, did the executive director read the HUD grant details?; Comeau reads portion of grant narrative; strategies to address barriers; “anticipated barriers include NH’s strong tradition of individual property rights and resultant resistance to planning and zoning”; “removing or overcoming those anticipated barriers”; regional advisory committee members; sustainable policy committee; member; reducing or illuminating barriers; Copeland responds to questions and statement; Victoria Parmela- Chair of regional policy committee; addressing barriers; discussion- the role of government in providing transportation; North Bus; private efforts in providing local transportation; differing views; Q- Catherine Collins, Brookfield resident- role of government and concern that core values of private property is considered a barrier; Copeland gives her interpretation of the “private property” statement;

Past Brookfield Selectmen Meetings