This report was presented by Essex Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki at this week’s Board of Selectmen meeting on September 13, and it covers topics of interest for town business from August 21to September 10.
Award of Community Compact Grant for Zoning Bylaw Study
The Governor’s office has funded the Town’s application for a Community Compact grant for a study of the Essex zoning bylaws, in the Town’s full requested amount of $45,150. The Commonwealth has presented the grant award paperwork to the Town for signature and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) has presented its own contract to the Town for engagement in this important work. Work on this project is expected to begin in October.
Statement of Interest, BRIC and HMGP Grants
As the Board may recall, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) did not encourage the Town to apply for the subject grant program last year. MEMA is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine if FEMA will allow the use of predictive data as a basis for completing the necessary Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) – a prerequisite for both the BRIC and the HMGP programs. Last year at this time, FEMA did not allow the use of such data and, while the flooding on the Southern Avenue end of Apple Street does not happen often now, State data predicts that the frequency will rise sharply in future years. The TA has filed the required Statement of Interest (SOI) with MEMA and we will learn soon whether we can include future predictions in the cost analysis this year. If not, we will likely have to wait again, until FEMA does incorporate such inclusion.
Update of FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Associated Products
Since changes and exceptions to FEMA flood maps and associated products are always ongoing, FEMA periodically releases updates to documents that have experienced changes over time. FEMA has reached out to the Town and will hold a remote Consultation Coordination Officer (CCO) meeting with appropriate Town personnel on October 5, 2021. The meeting will go over any changes with respect to Essex products and personnel will have a chance to ask questions or provide any other input.
Town Administrator Leave
Mr Zubricki was out of the office, on leave, on August 30, 2021 and September 3, 2021 and
for portions of the day on August 24-26, 2021.
Labor Day Holiday
The office was closed on September 6, 2021, in observance of the subject holiday. This report is available at www.essexma.org on the morning after any regularly scheduled Essex Board of Selectmen’s Meeting.