Regional conference will address climate change preparedness
The conference is the kickoff event for the new Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience at Antioch University New England in Keene.
Attendees will include road agents, public works directors, planning board members and city council members.
"It can be as simple as setting up a capital reserve fund," he said. "It could be as simple as changing the building code, or changing what is in the master plan."
The issue of planning for climate change is not new to Keene. The city was mentioned in the 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA) report as a model for adaptation planning.
Keene Planning Director W. Rhett Lamb served on a 2008 task force that developed the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan. He plans to attend.
"Much of what we have to do here is pretty costly," he said. "How do you figure out the right choices to make? And how do you pay for some of these things?"
Over the past 10 years, Keene has experienced three rain and flooding events that either met or surpassed what is considered a 100-year storm for the city, Lamb said.
Getting support difficult
This time, FEMA did fund a larger culvert, Lamb said. But if the federal agency had just spent a little bit more on the first reconstruction, Keene could have avoided the second washout, and FEMA would have saved money, he said.
"There are a group of towns and cities that are working together to use our collective voice to try to get federal agencies to try to think this way," Lamb said.
And it cites an initiative in Maine to map, maintain and enlarge culverts as a model for other states in the region.
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