The state-sponsored Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program provides communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards to infastructure, public saftey and health, and to other critical resources, as well as to develop resilience strategies. The first phase of the local MVP program was the receipt of a planning grant that was utilized to prepare a set of priortization plans (see this link for plans) that identified hazards and vulnerabilities and established local priorities with which to deal with them. These plans and the process that led up to them were developed by the consulting firm of Harriman & Co. This first phase concluded with the submittal of the reports to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and Harvard's designation as a certified MVP community in September. The initial group to carry the ball across the goal line for the Town was the MVP Working Subcommittee which was established by the Harvard Energy Advisory Committee and their charge intended to dissolve the group upon completing this certification task.
For the second phase of the project, the Town of Harvard will be focusing on further planning and actions that can be taken to directly address local adaptation and resilience as well as any mitigation actions that we can pursue at the local level. To oversee this process, the Planning Board has established a new subcommittee, the Community Resilience Working Group, which will address MVP tasks and deal with other sustainability issues as well. In December, the Town submitted an action grant application to EOEEA for $162,000 to conduct a climate action plan project. We will give notice if this grant has been awarded.