Living Communities and Land Use Strategy: provide funding and staffing resources to support the development of local planning, including hazard mitigation plans and comprehensive land use plans. Many local communities do not have the resources to develop locally supported comprehensive plans. Additionally, many local jurisdictions are not comfortable in bringing in outside planners to develop non-local or cookie-cutter land use plans that do not meet the local needs of these communities. To provide the needed support, a region wide training and technical support program is recommended, which can provide on-site assistance to communities within the region. Education on the importance of planning for community growth and the mitigation of hazards such as the safety of critical infrastructure is another important strategy that should be supported by a regional trainer. The New York State Tug Hill Commission has developed a program called Circuit Riders. The Riders assist communities with planning support. A similar model focused on comprehensive planning, could move the region forward with local planning. To ensure that local government and residents fully support the program and embrace the effort it will be important that these staff have local knowledge and are assigned to the local government. A neutral, non-partisan organization would need to provide organizational management.
Create a Municipal Sustainability Manual
Education of local governmental staff will begin the process of instilling the importance of sustainable practices into various levels of government. A practical guide based on local experience, projects and programs will help people understand that these new practices are practical and can bring long-term cost savings to local government.
Provide funding and technical assistance for the development of hazard mitigation plans (HMP)
Develop HMPs for towns in accordance with the established targets. Educate municipal participants about adaptability strategies that should be included in an HMP, or added as an addendum (if a plan is already in place). A region-wide workshop would provide an excellent venue to educate and share ideas among participants. 121
North Country Region Sustainability Plan