Juncos’ Landfill Repairs and Expansion After Hurricane Maria

Map Showing Juncos Landfill

By Edwin Vázquez-Asencio, Sustainable Materials Management Specialist

Juncos municipality is in the eastern central region of Puerto Rico. Juncos’ landfill receives approximately 35,105 tons of non-hazardous solid waste each year. In 2017, winds from Hurricane Maria destroyed the facility’s leachate collection system, creating a serious health and safety hazard for neighboring communities and was at risk of contaminating underground water resources and nearby streams. The storm’s effects also reduced the landfill’s capacity by 20% and severely reduced its predicted lifespan.

The main challenge was to define the project and determine how the municipality could finance the necessary repairs that were imperative to address this problem. Our goal was to protect the community’s health, assist them in achieving compliance, and support the transition of the facility into a sanitary landfill system. In addition, the community also needed to account for the capacity overflow due to the extraordinary amount of debris which the landfill received in the aftermath of the disaster.

The RCAP Solutions staff served as a fundamental liaison between the municipality, stakeholders, and USDA Rural Development as we assisted the municipality in achieving compliance. Our technical assistance provider coordinated and conducted a training about disaster assistance grant funding and guided them throughout the process, outlining key elements to completing a successful application for USDA funds.

USDA Rural Development awarded Juncos’ Municipality with $23.7 million in grant funding to repair its landfill facilities. The facilities will be expanded to achieve compliance, and in addition, the community’s health will no longer be at risk due to the damage caused by the hurricane.

Community Foundation Awards RCAP Solutions $5,000 to Implement Loan Management System

RCAP Solutions has been awarded a $5,000 Organizational Development Grant from The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts. This funding will be used to implement a loan management software system and supplement our current financial programs.

Over the next year, we will pursue opportunities to enhance our lending services and aim to establish a revolving loan fund, supporting the Private Well Program to Protect Public Health, an initiative backed by The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.

There are currently no affordable financing options for homeowners needing repairs or maintenance on their private wells, preventing harmful contaminants from entering household water supplies. These funds will establish a baseline as we explore innovative solutions to combat these issues.

Five-Year Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan Released

The Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC), a non-profit organization which helps communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands with environmental issues, recently released their 2021 Watershed Management Plan, a detailed 5-year outline for the future management of their stormwater and drinking water supply.

The plan is the result of over two years of work by Watershed Consulting Associates, CBCC, local residents, government agencies, and various other community development organizations.

In the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the residents of Coral Bay will benefit from this plan, which incorporates professional analysis and stakeholder input to create a shared vision to address threats to water quality in and around the area.

The full plan can be viewed bewlow or at www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org, along with an accompanying shorter, “Community Handbook” version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, check out CBCC’s press release, here.

RCAP Solutions is a long-time collaborator of CBCC. In addition to contributions made to support this plan, our team in the Caribbean has a extensive history of partnering with the council to provide vital education to industry professionals as well as residents surrounding drinking water, wastewater, and solid waste management.

RCAP Solutions Career Expo

Achieve Your Professional Goals With a Career at RCAP Solutions!

When: September 8, 2021 • 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Where: RCAP Solutions, 191 May Street, Worcester, MA 01602 (Upper Parking Lot)

Add To Calendar

This September, RCAP Solutions will be hosting a walk-in Career Expo (no pre-registration required). There will be an opportunity to meet with our Human Resources department and program managers, ask questions, and learn more about the benefits of a career with RCAP Solutions. On-site interviews will be conducted, so bring your resume and dress to impress!

We are looking to recruit talented individuals throughout Central Massachusetts, the greater Northeast, and the Caribbean in several areas, including:

  • Affordable Housing Property Management
  • Community Development & Environmental Services (Water/Wastewater Sector)
  • Small Business Development
  • Subsidized Housing Vouchers Administration
  • Housing Counseling & Programs
  • Information Technology
  • Accounting

For a full list of available positions, click here.

Please note: This is a mask-friendly event.


We are looking to recruit talented individuals who are:

Ambitious • Creative • Data-Driven • Diligent • Passionate • Positive • Problem-Solving • Fun!

And who have experience or an interest in one or more of the following areas:

  • Social Services
  • Housing Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Customer Service
  • Property Management
  • Water/Wastewater Operations
  • Engineering Business Development
  • Community Capacity Building
  • Outreach Initiatives
  • Technology
  • Finance Administration
  • Office Administration

About RCAP Solutions

RCAP Solutions is the go-to resource of sustained success for individuals, families, and the communities in which they live. Established in 1969 (as Rural Housing Improvement), we have supported the power and potential of communities for over half a century as strategists of community-wide well-being. Dedicated to nurturing strength, resilience and confidence in those we serve, we engage communities in the realization of a collective vision, creating and implementing a plan to guide them to self-actualized and sustained success.

Our Culture

Our belief in potential extends from the people we work with, to the team we work alongside, all the way to our ourselves as drivers of a brighter future. Our organizational culture inspires all members to embrace opportunities to develop and flourish in the achievement of value-driven goals. Our team is comprised of big-picture thinkers, positive outlookers, flexible operators, and compassionate advocates. Though our backgrounds, skills and diverse perspectives, we are brought together by our dedication to a better world.


A career at RCAP Solutions opens the door to many opportunities!

  • Personal & Professional Growth
  • Community Involvement
  • Flex Your Creativity & Ambition
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Generous Benefits Package
  • Employee Incentives & Events

For more information, please contact our Human Resources department:

HR@rcapsolutions.org

774-303-9403

RCAP Solutions Hires Deputy Director of Community Resources

RCAP Solutions is pleased to announce the promotion of Mark Johnson to Deputy Director of Community Resources.

“As someone who knows something about the job Mark is about to tackle, I can say that the most important skill required is the ability to be flexible and consider the big picture when making decisions”, said Jenna Day, Director of Community Resources, “I have confidence in his ability to carry the role of Deputy Director with ease. Mark respects others’ opinions and is comfortable in sharing his knowledge and experience. I look forward to having his assistance shaping the future of RCAP Solutions’ work throughout the Northeast and Caribbean.”

Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Johnson’s promotion comes after serving six years at the organization as Vermont State Lead.

Johnson has over 20 years of experience in the drinking water field. Prior to joining RCAP, he worked as a water quality engineer at a large, investor-owned water utility in California and before that as a water operator for a small municipal utility in Maine. In his previous role as Vermont State Lead, Mr. Johnson acted as the primary liaison to state primacy agencies and funding officials and provided direct technical assistance to small water and wastewater systems.

“Being able to work directly with Vermont communities on challenging water and wastewater issues has provided me with some of the most rewarding experiences of my career” said Johnson, “RCAP Solutions continues to broaden its impact yet remain flexible amidst a myriad of challenges being faced by rural America. I’m eager and thankful to have an expanded role in shaping that conversation and supporting the technical assistance providers who dedicate themselves to serving their communities and finding solutions.”

RCAP Solutions’ Community Resources staff works hand in hand with community leaders and homeowners to incorporate the best tools and resources suited to protect public health and the environment while progressing towards financial sustainability and improved quality of life.

About RCAP Solutions:
RCAP Solutions is a thriving integrated community development corporation working with a multi-faceted suite of services and opportunities. Established in 1969, RCAP Solutions’ mission is to foster personal and public self-reliance and improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and the communities in which they live. For more information, please visit www.rcapsolutions.org.

Upcoming Training Opportunities for Homebuyers & Homeowners

Upcoming Training Opportunities

RCAP Solutions’ Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) offers many workshops and trainings which are designed to support and educate tenants, potential homebuyers, and homeowners on purchasing and maintaining a home. We offer both virtual and in-person events.

Over the next several months, we will be offering First-Time Homebuyer education as well as Post-Purchase classes for individuals who recently bought a home. Stay tuned to our calendar of events as more workshops become available.


First-Time Homebuyer Workshops

In this MassHousing approved, HUD and CHAPA certified workshop, attendees will learn about programs available to assist income-eligible first time homebuyers; understand the steps in the homebuying process; meet with professionals who will discuss what to look for in a homebuying team; and receive the necessary certification required by many first time homebuyer programs. Check out the flyer below for more information.

Jan 12, 19, & 26, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Hybrid
Register Here

Mar 8, 15, & 22, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Hybrid
Register Here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HomeSafe Post-Purchase Workshops

Congratulations, you bought a house! Now what? By attending RCAP Solutions’ HomeSafe Post-Purchase workshop you will sharpen your knowledge and become equipped with the necessary skills to maintain your home and finances. Check out the flyer below for more information.

Dec 11, 2021
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
In-Person
Register Here

Feb 9 & 16, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Virtual
Register Here

Apr 30, 2022
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
In-Person
Register Here

 

 

 

 

 


If you have any questions, please email us at: HCECedu@rcapsolutions.org or call us at: 978-630-6772

SNO Mass Program Offers Incentives to Landlords

Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (SNO Mass) aims to assist families with housing vouchers in moving to communities with high-quality schools, parks and open spaces, and other amenities that help children grow and thrive. SNO Mass provides important benefits to landlords by helping connect our eligible, pre-screened tenants with available rental properties in these desirable neighborhoods. By participating in SNO Mass, we can help landlords meet their financial goals as a property owner and provide families with a place they are proud to call home.

Program benefits for landlords include:

  • Assurance of prompt payment of rent subsidy each month
  • Protection from tenant financial hardships as the voucher can absorb income loss
  • $500 signing bonus + additional $500 after the first year if you renew the lease with the original SNO Mass tenant, have another SNO Mass participant move in, or need to make repairs to the unit that exceed the security deposit
  • Potentially higher rent subsidy than you have been offered by other housing authorities in your area
  • Ready pool of pre-screened applicants who have access to financial assistance to help them settle into their new community
  • Decreased vacancy rates and reduced tenant turnover and related expenses
  • Single point of contact at our agency for any questions/issues that may arise

We have dedicated staff to help make the lease-up process as smooth as possible, and to reduce delays between application and move-in. We will work with tenants in advance to ensure they understand the responsibilities of maintaining their homes and lease obligations. Our staff continue to check in with families during the first two years in their new neighborhood, and property owners are also welcome to reach out at any time.

If you are a landlord who has available units, we would like to schedule a time to talk about this program with you and your property management team. Click here to see if your unit is located in a designated SNO Mass Opportunity Area and check out our SNO Mass FAQs.

We hope you will consider participating in SNO Mass, and becoming part of this important work, while at the same strengthening your bottom line.

Contact Us:
SNOMass@rcapsolutions.org
978-630-6648
www.rcapsolutions.org/sno-mass

Testimonial – Town of Grafton, Vermont

Check out this testimonial from the chair of Grafton, Vermont’s Water/Wastewater Study Commission!

RCAP Solutions assisted the town in completing two surveys of their drinking water quality and wastewater management. Because the town has no central community system, residents rely entirely on individual water sources and wastewater disposal systems.

Through the Vermont Department of Health, our staff was able to acquire drinking water test kits, at no charge, for residents who rely on private wells. Fortunately, the water tests did not identify any contamination issues.

Nonetheless, RCAP Solutions encouraged the town to take a closer look at high-priority properties throughout the area. The town continues to improve their water and wastewater infrastructure, with RCAP providing strategic guidance and recommendations for state and federal funding opportunities.

This work is made possible because of the generous support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival is now live!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 23, 2021
CONTACT: Lara Hooper, (603) 271-4071
des.nh.gov
twitter.com/NHDES

Join us for the 2021 Virtual Drinking Water Festival!

Concord, NH – Over the past three decades, thousands of students have learned about protecting water at the New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival. This year the Festival is virtual and kicks off today! The 2021 Virtual Festival also includes the third annual Poetry Contest for third, fourth and fifth graders, making this a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math) educational opportunity.

The 2021 Virtual Festival is packed with over 40 videos and activities that connect with student’s daily lives and explore how to keep water clean. Major themes include the water cycle, watersheds, groundwater, wildlife, the human water cycle, Water Heroes (career fields) and the Poetry Contest. Engaging lessons range from calculating a personal water footprint to finding costly silent toilet leaks and learning how caddisflies stabilize streambeds against erosion. The online lessons and activities are designed for students in third through fifth grades, but with the timeless importance of clean water, students in other grades (and adults) can benefit from them as well. All materials are free and openly available. Students participating in the Poetry Contest should submit entries by April 30, 2021.

The Virtual Water Festival and Poetry Contest is now available at our new website www.nhwaterfestival.org. There, you will find the virtual lessons and also information about how your school can participate in the free in-person annual festival in May 2022.

As a member of the New Hampshire Drinking Water Coalition, RCAP Solutions is a proud partner of this event.

Photos courtesy of NHDES

Meet the RCAP Solutions Housing Experts

RCAP Solutions “Housing Help” Webinar Series

In the spring of 2021, RCAP Solutions hosted a 3-part Zoom webinar series for tenants, homeowners, landlords, and all other interested parties. Attendees heard from the experts about our robust housing programs including; emergency rental/mortgage assistance, subsidized housing options, and much more. Participants had the ability to ask questions and the presentations were made available afterwards on our YouTube channel.


Watch the recordings below!

Part 1: Webinar for Landlords & Property Owners

Part 2: Webinar for Tenants & Homeowners

Part 3: Webinar for the General Public