Monthly Archives: June 2017

EPA Agrees to Our Request to Postpone MA MS4 General Permit

The application of the Federal M4S stormwater regulations to Medfield are being postponed a year, per the email below that Mike sent along today.  Medfield joined with Franklin and other towns to seek this redress.

 

Great News! EPA agrees to our request to postpone the
MA MS4 General Permit.
View this email in your browser
About the Coalition

The Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship (MCWRS) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting watershed-based policies and regulations that effectively manage and conserve water resources.

MCWRS is unique in its focus on protecting municipalities’ interests in an ever changing regulatory environment. We promote using scientifically based and fiscally responsible approaches to realize environmental and community goals.

Members include municipalities; public agencies that transport and treat drinking water, wastewater and stormwater; quasi-government agencies; and private organizations whose members are committed to the principles of stewardship and sustainability in protecting the environment and public health. Invite your colleagues to visit the Coalition website for membership information.

CONNECT WITH US:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
MCWRS Blog
Dear Michael,
We have exciting news to share. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to our request to postpone the implementation of the Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) General Permit. The request, jointly filed with the Town of Franklin and City of Lowell, delays the permit implementation that was scheduled for July 1, 2017, by one year to July 1, 2018. It also postpones the September 28, 2017 due date for communities’ Notices of Intent. Feel free to download and share our press release on this important announcement. You may also review EPA’s announcement of the postponement.

When EPA issued the final MS4 General Permit in April 2016, MCWRS and Franklin jointly filed an appeal of the permit in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The City of Lowell, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the Conservation Law Foundation also filed appeals in Boston. These appeals were transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and consolidated with an appeal first filed in the D.C. Circuit by the Center for Regulatory Reasonableness. The consolidated appeals will be heard in the D.C. Court.

The appeals continue to move forward, but the postponement will provide communities with immediate relief from the cost of complying with the permit until the matter is resolved. Philip Guerin, President of MCWRS, stated, “The postponement is very important to our member communities and municipalities across Massachusetts. It will give them a break from excessive spending on stormwater management until the Court rules on some highly contentious permit language. During the postponement, most cities and towns will continue to implement reasonable and effective practices to improve stormwater quality and decrease stormwater quantity, just as they have been doing for many years.”

The MS4 permit regulates municipal stormwater discharges under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. At issue in the appeal is the standard EPA seeks to apply to discharges from municipal storm sewers, which collect rainfall from streets, buildings, and developed areas. MCWRS, Franklin, and numerous municipalities supporting the appeal contend that certain permit conditions exceed EPA’s authority under the CWA. They go far beyond what Congress ever intended EPA might do to regulate municipal stormwater discharges. The MS4 permit applies to over 260 Massachusetts communities. The costs for communities to meet these new water quality standards vary widely, with independent estimates ranging from $260,000 to $750,000 annually for some medium-sized municipalities.

The draft MA MS4 General Permit generated over 1,300 individual comments by more than 150 entities, many of them municipalities impacted by the permit. EPA made some revisions in the final permit, but did not adequately address key issues raised by many municipal interests. The only process to address contentious matters contained in a final NPDES permit is through the courts. The use of the courts to challenge EPA actions is a step frequently employed by environmental advocacy groups in Massachusetts and across the country. This action by MCWRS, the Town of Franklin, and City of Lowell is very much in keeping with that practice.

We thank our contributors and contributing members for their support of the Coalition’s appeal of the MA MS4 General Permit.

Copyright © 2017 Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship, All rights reserved.

MFi camp/swim pond fund needs $

kids

The Medfield Foundation program to send Medfield children to camp or the swim pond this summer has had a good start, but needs donations.  The MFi is looking to raise $10,000 (200 donations of $50) – the MFi has $1,775 in hand – sponsored campers say thank you.

This is an especially difficult time of year for some local families who want to send their kids to camp but simply can’t.

A small donation now can make a big difference in the lives of these kids. Your generosity and support are much appreciated. Can we count on you to help?

Please donate Now!

https://www.networkforgood.org/donati…/ExpressDonation.aspx…

State budget status – expect less aid

This from the Massachusetts Municipal Association on the status of the state budget –

MMA-2

June 26, 2017
MMA

LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE still working on

FISCAL 2018 STATE BUDGET – LOCAL AID IS AT STAKE

DECLINING STATE TAX COLLECTIONS CLOUD BUDGET PICTURE, LEGISLATURE MAY REVISIT REVENUE ESTIMATE AND REDUCE FY 2018 SPENDING ACROSS THE BOARD
Please Call Today and Ask Your Legislators to:
• PROTECT UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID AS A TOP PRIORITY
• FUND CHAPTER 70 SCHOOL AID AT HIGHEST LEVEL
• FULLY FUND SPED CIRCUIT BREAKER
• INCREASE FUNDING FOR CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS
• BRING FAIRNESS TO THE LODGING EXCISE AND SHORT-TERM RENTALS
The House and Senate passed their own versions of next year’s fiscal 2018 state budget earlier this month, and the budget conference committee has been meeting to iron out the differences and present a balanced budget for adoption by the full legislature.

However, declining state tax collections have opened a gaping hole in the current fiscal 2017 budget, and state leaders are revisiting and lowering their revenue assumptions for next year – this could lead lawmakers to make across-the-board budget cuts in next year’s budget, including to unrestricted municipal aid (UGGA), education funding, and many other vital programs. This process is taking longer than expected, which is why lawmakers have passed a temporary one-month budget to keep state government operating through the end of July.

It is imperative that you contact your Representatives and Senators as soon as possible and ask them to protect local aid as a top priority – cities and towns have balanced their budgets based on receiving the full $39.9 million expected increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, $30 per student in minimum aid for Chapter 70, and full funding of vital accounts, including special education reimbursements. Cuts to these local aid programs would create budget shortfalls for all 351 cities and towns, and force communities to re-open their budgets to impose mid-year program cuts.

Please call your legislators today and ask them to fully protect local aid

Please click here to download a copy of MMA’s letter to House and Senate leaders detailing local aid priorities in the fiscal 2018 state budget

UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID (UGGA)
Please ask your legislators to make it a top priority to protect the full $39.9 million increase in the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) account that was included in both the House and Senate budgets. It is important to note that the UGGA program is funded almost entirely by Lottery and gaming revenues, including $64 million from the Plainridge Park Casino. Most of the remaining amount would come from Lottery proceeds that the State Treasurer has forecast at $965 million next year. Almost all of the UGGA account is funded by gaming revenues that are supposed to go directly to cities and towns, and should not be diverted for other purposes.

CHAPTER 70 SCHOOL AID
Please ask your legislators to support an increase for Chapter 70 school aid that provides at least $30 per student in minimum aid, starts the implementation of the Foundation Budget Review Commission recommendations to increase the state’s funding commitment, and protects communities with low-income students.

SPECIAL EDUCATION “CIRCUIT BREAKER”
Please ask your legislators to support full funding of the Special Education “Circuit Breaker” Program, which would require $294.4 million, as proposed by the Senate.

CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS
Both the House and Senate budgets significantly underfund the charter school reimbursements. Fixing this program in an absolute priority, because a record level of Chapter 70 aid is being diverted away from cities and towns to fund charter schools, which only serve about 4% of the students. The Senate budget would increase funding by $3 million, while the House budget level-funds the program at $80.5 million. This $3 million increase is critically important to those communities that are struggling under the deeply flawed system. Please ask your legislators to keep this $3 million increase.

BRINGING FAIRNESS TO SHORT-TERM RENTALS AND TAX POLICY
The MMA is strongly supporting the Senate language that would modernize and close loopholes in the room occupancy excise, and provide cities and towns with authority to set local rules for the industry. New technologies and business practices have changed how people book and pay for vacations, business trips and other short-term stays away from home. The Senate provision would apply the same rules across all types of occupancy, and is a complete package in that it also closes the internet reseller loophole. Industry leader Airbnb has also endorsed the Senate provision, which demonstrates that this solution offers a strong foundation to fix this issue from both the municipal and business perspective. This is an urgent issue and we ask you to call your legislators to support this proposal to allow the local hotel-motel excise to cover these short-term and seasonal rentals.

PLEASE ASK YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY TO PROTECT THE $39.9 MILLION INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID – THIS INCREASE IS VITAL TO LOCAL BUDGETS IN EVERY CORNER OF MASSACHUSETTS

AND PLEASE ASK YOUR LEGISLATORS TO FULLY FUND ALL KEY MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL PROGRAMS, AND CLOSE LOOPHOLES FOR SHORT-TERM RENTALS UNDER THE HOTEL-MOTEL LODGING EXCISE

THANK YOU!!

Your legal rights are at risk

logo-take-justice-back

TOMORROW, the House of Representatives will vote on yet another bill to limit your right to demand quality health care for yourself and your loved ones.   Take Action

The so-called “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017” [H.R. 1215] will make lawsuits brought by injured patients, nursing home residents, and their families nearly impossible to pursue. It will rig the system against individuals like you and tip the scales in favor of health care corporations and the insurance industry.   Take Action

If you want to stop Congress from eliminating your rights to hold the parties that harmed you or your loved ones accountable, tell your elected officials in Washington to VOTE NO on this offensive bill.

Take Action  today! Your elected officials need to hear from you that you want to preserve your rights to access the civil justice system.

AAJ-2

777 6th Street NW, Suite 200 | Washington, DC 20001 | 202-965-3500

Summary of the study measuring the economic impact of the arts and cultural organizations in Medfield

~.--Arts&Economic Prosperity®S A Project of Americans for the Arts The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences in the Town of Medfield, MA (Fiscal Year 2015) Arts and Cultural Direct Economic Activity ~ Total Industry Expenditures $2,748,727 + Arts and Cultural Audiences $382,700 Economic Impact of Spending by Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences Total Economic Impact of Expenditures Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Jobs Supported Household Income Paid to Residents Revenue Generated to Local Government Revenue Generated to State Government Economic Impact of ~ 118 $1,944,000 $98,000 $86,000 + Economic Impact of Audiences 7 $143,000 $15,000 $25,000 = = Total Industry Expenditures $3,131,427 Total Economic Impact 125 $2,087,000 $113,000 $111,000 Event-Related Spending by Arts and Cultural Audiences Totaled $382,700 (gcluding the cost of admission) Attendance to Arts and Culture Events Total Attendance to Arts and Culture Events Percentage of Total Attendance Average Event-Related Spending Per Person Total Event-Related Expenditures Resident' Attendees 28,703 92.6% $12.02 $345,010 + Nonresident' Attendees 2,294 7.4% $16.43 $37,690 = All Cultural Audiences 30,997 100.0% $12.35 $382,700 Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Event Attendees Spend an Average of $12.35 Per Person (£!eluding the cost of admission) Category of Event-Related Expenditure Meals and Refreshments Souvenirs and Gifts Ground Transportation Overnight Lodging (one night only) Other/Miscellaneous Average Event-Related Spending Per Person Resident' Attendees $8.07 $2.06 $0.27 $0.01 $1.61 $12.02 Nonresident' Attendees $8.73 $3.41 $0.24 $2.56 $1.49 $16.43 All Cultural Audiences I $8.12 $2.16 $0.27 $0.20 $1.60 $12.35 Source: Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences in the Town of Medfield. For more information about this study or about other cultural initiatives in the Town of Medfield, visit the Cultural Alliance of Medfield's web site at www.medfieldculture.org/medfield-cultural-council. Copyright 2017 by Americans for the Arts (www.AmericansForTheArts.org). About This Study This Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts to document the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in 341 communities and regions (113 cities, 115 counties, 81 multicity or multicounty regions, 10 states, and 12 individual arts districts)-representing all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The diverse communities range in population (1,500 to more than 4 million) and type (small rural to large urban). Project economists from the Georgia Institute of Technology customized an input-output analysis model for each participating region to provide specific and localized data on four measures of economic impact: full-time equivalent jobs, household income, and local and state government revenue. These localized models allow for the uniqueness of each local economy to be reflected in the findings. Americans for the Arts partnered with 250 local, regional, and statewide organizations that represent the 341 study regions (30 partners included multiple study regions as part of their participation). To complete this customized analysis for the Town of Medfield, the Cultural Alliance of Medfield joined the study as one of the 250 partners. Surveys of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural ORGANIZATIONS Each of the 250 partner organizations identified the universe of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that are located in its region(s) using the Urban Institute's National Taxonomy of Exempt Entity (NTEE) coding system, a definitive classification system for nonprofit organizations recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, the study partners were encouraged to include other types of eligible organizations if they play a substantial role in the cultural life of the community or iftheir primary purpose is to promote participation in, appreciation for, and understanding of the visual, performing, folk, and literary and media arts. These include government-owned or government-operated cultural facilities and institutions; municipal arts agencies and councils; private community arts organizations; unincorporated arts groups; living collections (such as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens); university presenters, programs, and facilities; and arts programs that are embedded under the umbrella of a nonarts organization or facility (such as a hospital or church). In short, if it displays the characteristics of a nonprofit arts and cultural organization, it is included. For-profit businesses (e.g., Broadway, motion picture theaters) and individual artists were excluded from this study. Nationally, data was collected from a total of 14,439 organizations for this study. Response rates among all eligible organizations located in the 341 study regions was 54.0 percent, and ranged from 9.5 percent to 100 percent. Responding organizations had budgets ranging from $0 to $785 million (Smithsonian Institution). It is important to note that each study region's results are based solely on the actual survey data collected. There are no estimates made to account for nonresponding organizations. Therefore, the less-than-100 percent response rates suggest an understatement of the economic impact findings in most of the individual study regions. In the Town of Medfield, 17 of the 17 eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations participated in this study-an overall participation rate of 100.0 percent. A list of the participating organizations can be obtained from the Cultural Alliance of Medfield. Surveys of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural AUDIENCES Audience-intercept surveying, a common and accepted research method, was completed in all 341 study regions to capture information about spending by audiences at nonprofit arts and culture events. Patrons were selected randomly and asked to complete a short survey while attending an event. A total of212,691 attendees completed the survey. The respondents provided itemized travel party expenditure data on attendance-related activities such as meals, souvenirs, transportation, and lodging. Data was collected throughout the year to guard against seasonal spikes or drop-offs in attendance, and at a broad range of events (because a night at the opera will typically yield more spending than a Saturday children's theater production). Using total attendance data for 2015 (collected from the participating organizations), standard statistical methods were then used to derive a reliable estimate of total arts event-related expenditures by attendees in each study region. In the Town of Medfield, a total of 527 valid audience-intercept surveys were collected from attendees to nonprofit arts and cultural performances, events, and exhibitions during 2016. Studying Economic Impact Using Input-Output Analysis To derive the most reliable economic impact data, input-output analysis was used to measure the impact of expenditures by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences. This highly-regarded type of economic analysis has been the basis for two Nobel Prizes in economics. The models are systems of mathematical equations that combine statistical methods and economic theory in an area of study called econometrics. The analysis traces how many times a dollar is respent within the local economy before it leaves the community, and it quantifies the economic impact of each of those rounds of spending. Project economists customized an input-output model for each of the 341 participating study regions based on the local dollar flow among 533 finely detailed industries within its economy. This was accomplished by using detailed data on employment, incomes, and government revenues provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce (County Business Patterns, the Regional Economic Information System, and the Survey of State and Local Finance), state and local tax data (e.g., sales taxes, lodging tax, property taxes, income tax, and miscellaneous local option taxes), and the survey data collected from the responding arts and cultural organizations and their audiences. 1 For the purpose of this study, residents are attendees who live within Norfolk County; nonresidents live elsewhere. A comprehensive description of the methodology used to complete the national study is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/Economiclmpact.20170620-Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts_Page_2

Culture and the arts are economic drivers

Jean Mineo both arranged for the town to participate in a study of the economics of arts in our community, attended a conference on the topic, and presented the results to the Select Board at our last meeting.  The economic data was generated by seventeen Town of Medfield arts organizations separately inputting their data into the study.

In sum, the arts and cultural industry (defined as the organizations and their audiences combined) spend $3.1m per year in town, and support 125 jobs in town.

ARTS study-2017

Per the study –

The Town of Medfield’s Participating Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations

This study could not have been completed without the cooperation of the 17 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the Town of Medfield, listed below, that provided detailed financial and event attendance information about their organization.

Cultural Alliance Of Medfield; First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church; Friends of the Dwight-Derby House; Gazebo Players of Medfield; Lowell Mason House Inc; Medfield Community Cable Access Corp; Medfield Cultural Council; Medfield Employers and Merchants Organization; Medfield Garden Club; Medfield High School Theater Society; Medfield Historical Society; Medfield Music Association; Medfield Public Library; Norfolk Hunt Club; United Church Of Christ; Vine Lake Preservation Trust; and Zullo Gallery Center for the Arts.

Paul Curran Square

This morning the Paul Curran Square was dedicated at the intersection of Emerson and Flintlock, by the Committee to Study Memorials.

Mr. Curran lived there from 1962 to his death in 1994. He was a WWII vet who participated in D’Day, and was the town veteran service officer for decades. He was also on the Memorial Day committee, the Committee to Study Memorials, and was active in the Legion.

Speakers included current VSO, Ron Griffin, shown addressing the crowd in the rain.