The List of Obligated Projects is an annual statement by the Metropolitan Planning
Organization detailing the expenditure of federal transportation funds in the
region. When the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) obligate funds, the agencies are committing federal
resources to a specific transportation project, grant, or transit system. While
obligations do not line up exactly with active construction of roadway
projects, they do provide insight into what projects are being prepared for
construction (engineering and design), are in construction, or have been
recently completed. The 2020 Annual Listing of Obligated Projects has been published and details how the $89.8 million of federal funding obligated in the region was distributed to projects, programs, and transit agencies.
I think we can sum up 2020 with “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. With the arrival of COVID-19 last March the resilience of our region was challenged. We were forced to rapidly pivot to a new normal: remote learning and working, no gyms, no theaters, closed restaurants and record unemployment.
We shuttered our doors and rapidly adapted remote working technology for our staff, commissioners, and member communities. We advanced our work program and provided our members with resources to support their planning needs in these uncertain times. Through our partnership with the Town of Exeter, the RPC worked to provide our communities with information to access relief funds. We worked with local and state officials to reopen beaches and support outdoor dining. Perhaps most importantly, as region we learned, adapted and became more resilient.
Wishing everyone happy holidays and a happy new year, and don’t forget to un-mute.
The Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is the federally-designated transportation planning agency for 27 communities in southeastern New Hampshire. Serving as a regional partnership among the United States Department of Transportation, New Hampshire Department of Transportation and other state agencies, regional transit agencies, community leadership, local planning and public works officials, the business community, and citizens across the planning area, the MPO leads in the development of the region's Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and short-range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and contributes to ongoing conversations about issues such as land use, economic development, climate change and the environment, safety and security, and public health. The MPO also has a legislatively mandated role in establishing priority projects for the State Ten Year Plan, which weaves between the TIP and LRTP processes. These three documents form the backbone of the transportation planning process in New Hampshire and provide a path for projects to move from concept (LRTP), through project development (State Ten Year Plan), and to implementation (TIP).
The MPO recently selected five candidate projects from the LRTP to be considered for the State Ten Year Plan. At this stage of the process, the projects selected by the MPO have been forwarded to NHDOT for engineering and cost analysis over the next few months. The projects submitted to NHDOT for review were the final section of the East Coast Greenway project across the Hampton Marsh and the rehabilitation or replacement of the Bartlett Bridge in Portsmouth. In addition, safety and capacity improvements are proposed at three intersections; the NH 125/NH 155 intersection in Epping, the NH 27/NH156 intersection in Raymond, and the US 1/NH 111 intersection in North Hampton. The total (inflated) estimated for these five projects is approximately $8.5 million, and it is expected that the NHDOT review will result in cost increases for several of the proposals. The MPO must submit final priorities for this cycle of the State Ten Year Plan by the end of March 2021 and will utilize the feedback from NHDOT to select a set of projects that can best advance transportation planning goals and is constrained to the regional budget target of $6.7 million.
Vote for your favorite 2020 King Tide entries until December 2, 2020 @ 12pm EST.
The New Hampshire King Tide Contest returns on November 14-17, 2020. The New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup invites members of the public to submit photos and videos documenting the higher-than-average tides expected along New Hampshire’s coast. The King Tide Contest aims to enhance public understanding of the possible effects of sea-level rise and help communities visualize and plan for future coastal flooding impacts. For complete contest rules, terms, and conditions, please visit: https://www.nhcaw.org/kingtidenh2020/.
Regional Resilience, Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
The 2020 Rockingham Planning Commission Legislative Forum scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m is POSTPONED. We apologize for the late notice; however, it was necessary due to the illness of one of our key presenters. We will notify you of the rescheduled date for the webinar on Regional Resilience, Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic as soon as possible.
Thank you for your interest in our event. We appreciate your time and look forward to holding the event soon.
You are cordially invited to the 2020 Rockingham Planning Commission Legislative Forum being held Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. We are not meeting in person at Unitil Headquarters as in years past. Instead, we will be presenting a Webinar on Regional Resilience, Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
RPC has assembled a panel of experts to discuss resilience and pandemic planning and lessons learned from our region’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Julie LaBranche, RPC Senior Land Use Planner will lead off with a regional overview of community resilience. She will highlight ongoing regional resiliency efforts across a variety of municipal sectors. Theresa Walker, REDC Disaster Response Coordinator will provide examples of local resiliency efforts by municipalities and organizations. Darren Winham, the Town of Exeter’s Economic Development Director, will summarize a multi-faceted response to support “Main Street” business through the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent recovery. The panel presentations will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions and share additional ideas.
Julie has 21 years of planning experience with particular interest in climate change planning which she began while employed by the State of Maryland and as chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program Climate Workgroup (1999-2005). Her work in the region includes assisting communities with: development of Master Plans and policies; zoning ordinances and regulations relating to land use, natural resource protection, climate change, energy, and stormwater management; and integrating land use and transportation planning concepts.
Farms and Local Food Supply – Theresa Walker, REDC Disaster Recovery Coordinator and RPC Consulting Planner
Theresa has worked with the RPC and communities in the region since 1986 on a wide variety of land use and natural resource protection projects. She currently assists the RPC with hazard mitigation planning, water quality and quantity protection planning, and municipal Master Plans. In addition, Theresa works with the Regional Economic Development Center as the Disaster Response Coordinator, assisting municipalities with resiliency and pandemic response planning.
Economics: Main Street Resiliency – Darren Winham, Town of Exeter Economic Development Director
Darren has two decades of economic development experience at the local, state, county and federal levels. Darren is the Economic Development Director for Exeter, NH and owner of DarWin Dynamic Solutions, small economic development consultancy.
A Round 1 Request for Proposals (RFP) administered by NHDES through the State Clean Diesel Grant Program opened on October 1st. NHDES will have approximately $750,000 of funding available through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. This Program provides partial funding for local/state governments and businesses operating in NH to reduce emissions through idle reduction technologies, exhaust controls, and/or replacement of older on- or off-road diesel engines/vehicles/equipment. Round 1 RFP applications will be accepted through November 16 at 4PM. If funding remains, proposals submitted after November 16, but by Tuesday, January 19, 2021 will also be considered.
The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) is seeking a full time Regional Planner to join its tightly knit, award-winning team. The RPC region is a vibrant landscape of rural, suburban and urban communities located in southeast New Hampshire just an hour north of Boston, minutes to the New Hampshire beaches and a short trip to the White Mountains. The RPC enjoys a close relationship with its member communities and federal, state and regional partner organizations in the fields of transportation, land use, environmental planning, public health, housing, and economic development.
The ideal candidate will have a background in urban planning at the municipal or regional level, experience with municipal land use boards, elected officials and municipal staff, and a familiarity with transportation and environmental planning. The Regional Planner will provide services directly to municipalities and land use boards and commissions including application and plan review, ordinance and regulation development, master plan preparation and work with other RPC staff on a variety of land use, transportation, economic development and environmental projects. Applicants must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be comfortable preparing and delivering public presentations. Availability to attend evening meetings is required. The RPC fosters a work environment that encourages continued professional development in an atmosphere that promotes a healthy work/life balance.
Qualifications: A bachelors or master’s degree in Urban or Environmental Planning or a related discipline and at least three to five years of relevant professional work experience, a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation. Attendance at evening meetings is required. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.
To apply, submit a succinct cover letter describing why you should be considered for this position. Include a resume with relevant experience. Submit both documents via email to Annette Pettengill at apettengill@theRPC.org. This position will remain open until filled or the recruitment is cancelled. The RPC is an equal opportunity employer.
The next meeting to the Rockingham Planning Commission/ Metropolitan Planning Organization is Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 7:00PM. This meeting will feature a public hearing on the MPO Public Participation Plan. To accommodate the public hearing we will be using the Webinar feature of Zoom.
The Exeter Household Hazardous Waste Collection event has been scheduled for October 17 from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm. This event is for residents living in Exeter, Stratham, Newfields, East Kingston, Epping, Seabrook and South Hampton ONLY.
Due to COVID-19, there are several changes in place for this year's event:
A user fee of $10 to offset the costs will be collected during online registration (plus Eventbrite fee of $2.24)
Please wear a mask and do not exit your vehicle
When you register, you will first fill out a survey letting us know what items you will be dropping off (this is the same survey that was previous collected on paper at the event), then you will follow a link to the Eventbrite event registration where you will select a drop off window of 1 hour and pay the user fee.
The Rockingham Planning Commission announces the release for public comment of a draft update to the agency’s Public Participation Plan (PPP). This plan sets out the policies, goals and approaches for public participation as part of transportation planning activities conducted by the Rockingham Planning Commission.
A 45-day public comment period for the Draft Public Participation Plan begins Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 and concludes on Friday, October 16th, 2020. A public hearing to consider the updated plan and any received comments is scheduled for Wednesday October 14th, 2020, beginning at 7:00 PMand held virtually given public meeting restrictions due to COVID19. The Planning Commission will meet after the public hearing to vote on adoption of the Public Participation Plan.
The Rockingham Planning Commission is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) serving twenty-seven (27) communities in southeastern New Hampshire. The core role of the MPO is to ensure local input in the planning and programming of federally funded transportation projects. As part of this role, the MPO is required to implement a proactive public participation process that provides complete information, timely public notice, full public access to key decisions, and early and continuing participation of the public in developing plans.
Hard copies of the document are available at the RPC offices and will be sent to interested parties by request. Written comments will also be accepted through close of business on October 16th, 2020 and may be provided through the publicInput.com link above or in email or hard copy addressed to: