Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sandy recovery in spotlight at NJ municipalities conclave

With so many coastal communities still reeling a year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey, the focus of the big, upcoming, annual meeting of municipal officials in Atlantic City had to have been a no-brainer.

Sure enough, the 98th Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center has been dubbed: Navigating Recovery and Renewal. 

Sandy factors into many of the presentations that will attract the attention of  mayors, town administrators and council members during at the event that will run from Wednesday through Friday, Nov.19-21.    




Energy and Environment topics also are plentiful this year.
  Here's a partial list of presentations you should consider if you plan to attend:

Tuesday, November 19

CLEAN COMMUNITIES FUNDING RELIEVES STRAINED MUNICIPAL BUDGETS
2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 401 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Panelists will discuss authorized use of grant funds that may offset municipal budget deficits; ways to expand environmental education programs in the face of school cut backs; and alternative sources of funding that can leverage Clean Communities funds.

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY AWARD WINNERS
2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 301 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Learn Successful Strategies from Pioneering Municipalities and Elected Officials. The winners of the 2013 Sustainable Jersey Awards will present case studies for building sustainable communities. The session will feature presentations for the Sustainability Champion winners representing the small, medium and large municipalities as well as examples of Sustainable Jersey municipalities that demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity and collaboration.

TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT 2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 409 – AC Convention Center Consistent with the goals and objectives of the State Plan, New Jersey’s Transit Village program mobilizes State agencies to support municipalities as they work to encourage transit-oriented development (TOD) around their transit facilities. This session will share information about the Transit Village program, discuss how it helps to revitalize cities and towns, funding opportunities, and showcase several success stories.

COST SAVINGS FROM NEW ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
2:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. – Room 420 – Atlantic City Convention Center The energy sector is the most explosive growth area in today’s economy. New technologies provide tremendous opportunities to become more sustainable and save a lot on your energy bills. This session will provide an insight into energy storage, micro generators, and using the power of water to power your facilities. The BPU has identified emerging technologies that may provide alternative solutions for municipal energy. Industry Representatives will speak on the technology only.

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PROBLEM SOLVING IN A CRISIS ENVIRONMENT
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. - Room 412 – Atlantic City Convention Center
The session is designed for those who need to develop plans for responding to potential crises; to implement and manage responses to crises; and to plan beyond the immediate crisis for the future. Collaboration will be introduced as a means to those ends. The session is designed, moreover, for those who wish to improve their understanding, skill and effectiveness in the negotiation process and to improve their approach to managing conflict generally.

GOVERNMENT ENERGY AGGREGATION – COMMUNITY-BASED ENERGY SAVINGS
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. - Room 416 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Permits a government entity to solicit bids from third party energy suppliers for the benefit of their community. This program does not cost the local government anything while allowing for residents to save money based upon larger buying power. It is vital to structure this process to allow for the greatest transparency possible. Additionally, this panel will discuss the benefits of entering into a “reverse-auction” to secure the best possible savings.

Wednesday, November 20

SANDY: 1 YEAR LATER
(League Joint Session with The New Jersey Planning Officials)
9:00 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. – Room 401 – Atlantic City Convention Center On Monday, October 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy came ashore in New Jersey, wreaking unprecedented damage across the Garden State and most of the Eastern coast, resulting in the tragic loss of life, severe losses of property and widespread power outages. This program will include key Cabinet level officials providing an overview of the State’s ongoing recovery and restoration efforts.

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY – MOVING TO RESILIENCY: SUSTAINABLE JERSEY ACTIONS AND EXAMPLES FOR ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE
9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Room 322 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Learn about best practices to help communities prepare for the next Sandy, and also become more resilient to other climate change related impacts that are predicted for New Jersey. The session will include new Sustainable Jersey planning and self-assessment actions relating to inland and coastal flooding and climate change; the ongoing work of the Climate Adaptation Task Force, and emerging best practices that will help municipalities prepare for climate change on a number of other issues such as drought and health impacts. Learn from municipalities that have adopted strategies to address the effects of more severe weather and sea level rise.

SANDY REBUILDING – UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION
(League Joint Session with The New Jersey Planning Officials)
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 noon – Room 415 – Atlantic City Convention Center On Monday, October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy came ashore in New Jersey, wreaking unprecedented damage across the Garden State and most of the Eastern coast, resulting in the tragic loss of life, severe losses of property and widespread power outages. This program will provide technical guidance and assistance available for local governments to rebuild and restore following Hurricane Sandy

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY – NEW ACTIONS, INCENTIVES AND UPDATES FOR 2014
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Room 308/309– Atlantic City Convention Center
Learn about what’s new for 2014 in the Sustainable Jersey program. Hear about the great strides leading communities in New Jersey have been making on their path(s) to sustainability. Learn about new directions and actions for 2014, including a new Climate Adaptation action, regional Sustainable Jersey meet-ups, and a Sustainable Jersey for Schools’ certification. We’ll also update attendees on progress toward a Gold level of certification.

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS PERSPECTIVE ON THE “RECOVERY, REBUILD, RESTORE” AGENDA
2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 201/202 – Atlantic City Convention Center As the year began in Trenton, the post-Sandy mantra was “Recover. Rebuild. Restore.” Mayors hoped that they would recover at least some of the Energy Tax Receipts funding that has been used, for years, to plug holes in the State’s budget, rather than for municipal property tax relief. Hopes were high that Federal FEMA dollars would not only restore the properties and communities damaged by the storms, but that they would also reinvigorate the State’s sluggish economic recovery. And the Governor and almost all of the members of both Houses of the Legislature hoped that the voters would restore them to their elected offices. Well, those are some of the issues that could come up at this popular annual session. Once again, Michael Aron, veteran Political Correspondent for NJTV, will serve as the spokesman for New Jersey citizens, as he questions key Legislative Leaders on these and other timely topics. And, ample time will be available for you to put your questions to this prestigious panel.

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DEP EMERGENCY RULE AND FLOOD HAZARD RULE UPDATES
2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 304 – Atlantic City Convention Center
This session will consider the recent advances/changes in Coastal Zone Management and Flood Hazard Regulations in New Jersey. This will include discussions of CAFRA, Waterfront Development and Flood Hazard rules adoptions, with a particular emphasis on post-Sandy considerations and the effects of FEMA mapping on construction in these regulated areas

STORM WATER MANAGEMENT FOR MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. – Room 414 – Atlantic City Convention Center The New Jersey Storm Water Management rules address water quality and water quantity issues related to development. These rules require development to prevent increases to flooding as a result of changes to development, and therefore maintain the existing resiliency of the existing storm water management systems. The Department has found that many municipal decision makers are unfamiliar with specific aspects of these regulations and therefore, decisions are made that may not have recognized certain critical issues. This session will provide information that focuses the decision makers on key aspects of this program. This session will be useful for planners, planning and zoning board members, municipal attorneys, and others involved in the development approval
process.

CHRONIC MAJOR FLOODING IN NEW JERSEY
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. – Room 312 – Atlantic City Convention Center
As we mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s collision with the New Jersey coast, we must not forget the chronic flooding that plagues municipalities statewide. This session will discuss how the state is prioritizing mitigation in Sandy impacted areas, and the proactive steps communities that suffered from past flooding have taken to lessen future losses. The session will explore structure elevations, voluntary buyouts, a small structural project and higher local standards that make communities more resilient to future floods.
 
Thursday, November 21

REGIONAL COLLABORATIONS ON SUSTAINABILITY: ADVANCING YOUR SUSTAINABLE JERSEY EFFORTS BY SHARING INFORMATION
9:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Room 419 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Find out how municipalities have advanced their sustainability initiatives through collaborations with neighboring communities, counties and non-profits. In addition to covering the new Sustainable Jersey regional collaborative initiatives, this session will showcase collaborative efforts including how Transportation Management Agencies are coordinating services for municipalities to help them achieve certification for transportation actions, and ANJEC’s efforts to support local and regional environmental commission initiatives.

ENERGY TAX RECEIPTS ARE NOT STATE AID!
9:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Room 417Atlantic City Convention Center.
New Jersey Mayors continue their united effort to end the State’s chronic dependence on municipal property tax relief. Energy receipt tax restoration bills have been introduced and are making their way through the legislative process. Without this legislation these dollars will continue to be used to support State spending. Having come this far, New Jersey Mayors cannot stop now! This session will give local elected officials the information they need to help make
restoration a reality.

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE ASSET MANAGEMENT
9:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Room 401 – Atlantic City Convention Center.
In the wake of Sandy, the vulnerabilities of the State’s infrastructure was surely tested. Therefore, the State is moving away from “cookie cutter” approaches and toward a regional comprehensive model for water resource management. This session will discuss the necessity of a comprehensive asset management plan and the compliance assistance the State can offer as well as how water quality planning will be addressed in the future. Panelists will review the elements of a comprehensive plan, how an effective plan can be implemented over time, best management practices and funding opportunities. Municipal engineers and decision makers are encouraged to attend.

CHALLENGES OF DISRUPTIONS OF UTILITY SERVICES
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Room 411 – Atlantic City Convention Center.
When events outside of the control of the utility company that cause service interruptions occur, customers’ patience is tested and nerves can become frayed. No matter the cause of a service interruption, customers’ have clear expectations of how and when they will be informed of the circumstances and when they can expect them to be resolved. How can utilities and local officials cooperate to enhance the process? Utility company representatives will describe the best practices being employed and the constraints that can overtake even the best of plans

PREVENTING AND MITIGATING THE IMPACT OF FORECLOSURES
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Room 305/306 – Atlantic City Convention Center
According to a recent report, New Jersey has the second highest percentage of homes in foreclosure in the nation. Experts in the field believe that the situation may only worsen. This program is intended to highlight programs and resources that you can use to assist your residents before their homes are lost, and what you can do in the unfortunate circumstances when a home becomes vacant.

TAKING LEADERSHIP ON ENERGY ISSUES IN YOUR MUNICIPALITY: PROMOTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN YOUR COMMUNITY
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Room 421 – Atlantic City Convention Center
This session will cover the latest and greatest strategies for implementing no-cost and low-cost strategies for saving energy and money, and it will also cover strategies that municipalities can implement to help residents and businesses become more energy efficient. It will demonstrate how to achieve energy savings through the use of Energy Savings Improvement Programs, and provide case studies of towns that have done ESIPs. It will also provide an update on programs offered on a county-wide basis. There will also be case studies detailing how your community can implement low and no-cost programs to save residents and businesses money on their energy bills by leveraging state programs, such as Direct Install and Home Performance with Energy Star.

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BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES - ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES
2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 321 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Having a problem anticipating fuel costs? If so, this session explores the options that are available today and are likely to be viable tomorrow. Options will revolve around the future of petroleum based vehicles, compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, electric vehicles, fuel cells and more. Additionally, we will discuss the facilities that are required to repair each fuel source. Any entity that uses vehicle fleets should be interested, including vehicles used in waste management, public works, school districts and fire apparatus.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY UPDATE
2:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Room 419 – Atlantic City Convention Center
Local governments working toward sustainability must operate within a State and federal context. At this session, we will hear from the leading policy makers about the legislation, agency programs and regulations that will help or hinder municipalities as they work toward a sustainable future.

Click here for complete convention information  

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