Dennis Officials Seek Participation in MVP Workshop

DENNIS – A community workshop will be held by the Town of Dennis Friday to identify how the community will be impacted by natural hazards and climate change, and to develop priority actions to improve resilience.

The stakeholder workshop is part of the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program which provides support for planning and implementing projects to counter the impacts from the changing climate.

During the workshop, attendees will identify the top hazards facing Dennis, the community’s strengths and vulnerabilities and specific actions to improve the town’s resilience to these hazards.

“We are hopeful that this will provide a collaborative process to identify how climate change will impact the Dennis community and how we can prepare to improve resiliency to mitigate the impact,” said Town Administrator Elizabeth Sullivan.

Sullivan said the town has conducted outreach for the event and has invited all boards, committees, staff, residents, business owners, private organization and partner organizations, such as the Dennis Chamber of Commerce and the Dennis Conservation Land Trust.

“The hope is that we can come to an agreement about what our risks are and a common commitment to work towards solutions in the future,” said Town Planner Dan Fortier.

Fortier said the town has a number of critical infrastructure located in areas that will be impacted by sea level rise, drought or wildfire.

“This particular process will help us to prioritize those and create a strategy to pursue funding to mitigate and protect those properties and interests from the risks of climate change,” Fortier said.

The workshop will begin with a presentation of risks by the Cape Cod Commission. The town has contracted with the commission to help navigate the MVP process.

The event will also include breakout sessions which will include maps and facilities of the town to help identify the greatest risk areas.

“It will wrap up with a prioritization of the risks based upon the people who participate in the workshop,” Fortier said.

The workshop is a one-time, all-day event. The commission will complete a summary of the workshop and the town will hold a listening session in the late winter or early spring.

“We are hopeful the Town of Dennis, through this process, will be designated as an MVP community,” Sullivan said.

After receiving the designation from the state, the town would be eligible for action grants and funding opportunities to implement the actions identified through the workshop process.

“We are highly encouraging public participation in our workshop,” Sullivan said.

Individuals interested in participating in the workshop should contact Laurie Barr, the Administrative Assistant, at lbarr@town.dennis.ma.us or by calling 508-760-6104.

The town is also seeking input for the workshop through a survey about natural hazards and climate change. To take the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/dennismvpsurvey.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.



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