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Outreach Committee Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 10:00 AM Lake Michigan Room

6100 Southport Road, Portage

Agenda

    1. Call to order, Introductions, Opening, Announcements

    2. Review of March meeting minutes

ACTION NEEDED: Approval

2.0 Public Comment on Agenda Items

This is an opportunity for comments from members of the audience. The amount of time available to speak will be limited to 3 minutes. Commenters must sign the blue form.

    1. NIRPC Staff Updates

    2. TPCB Peer Exchange Program

ACTION NEEDED: Informational & Feedback

    1. NIRPC Staff Presentations

    2. Public Participation Plan Draft Review – Dominique Edwards

ACTION NEEDED: Approval for public release

5.0 Next Meeting

7.0 Adjournment


Requests for alternate formats, please contact Mary Thorne at NIRPC at least 48 hours prior at (219) 763-6060 extension 131 or at mthorne@nirpc.org. Individuals with hearing impairments may contact us through the Indiana Relay 711 service by calling 711 or (800) 743-3333.

OUTREACH COMMITTEE MEETING

March 13, 2019 NIRPC Lake Michigan Room

Minutes


Justin Kiel called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and self introductions. Attending were Justin Kiel, NIRPC Commissioner and owner and publisher of the Regional News and Westville Indicator; Kathy Sipple, ValpoNEXT; Kelly Anoe, Legacy Foundation; Heath Carter, Valparaiso Human Resource Council; Kelly Wenger, South Shore Line; Jodi Hawn; Everybody Counts; Katie Vallis, IDNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program and Terry Velligan, Cline Avenue Bridge Partners.


NIRPC staff included Kathy Luther, Chief of Staff and Director of Environmental Programs; Dominique Edwards, Outreach Coordinator, Charles Bradsky, Transportation Projects Manager; Scott Weber, Transportation Planner/Analyst; Peter Kimball, Regional Planner/Policy Analyst; and Mary Thorne, Administrative Assistant.


The INDOT meeting participation survey was available on the table in the lobby.


The minutes of the February 6 meeting were approved on a motion by Heath Carter and a second by Kathy Sipple.


Public Comment -

There were no comments from the public.


NIRPC Updates

Dominique Edwards reported that she attended NTI public involvement training which will help fill in gaps in the public participation process.


Kathy Luther recommended we apply for the Peer Exchange held through the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program, which is jointly sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This exchange would help us with the transportation planning process.


Scott Weber gave a presentation on Environmental Justice in the NWI 2050 Plan which will go out for public comment on April 1. We are doing case studies and best practices and have identified seven stressors: disability, limited English, low income, minority, senior, veteran and no vehicular access. Scott will provide his presentation via email to the committee.


Charles Bradsky presented on the Transportation Improvement Program process. At the direction of INDOT we are doing a five-year TIP, but USDOT is most concerned with the first four years. Each project in the TIP must be fiscally constrained annuall. Any funds unspent in a year will go back to INDOT and back to the feds. Charles described the four types of modifications which can be done in the TIP. He demonstrated the R-TIP tool which can be accessed by anyone at https://rtip.nirpc.org. Contact Charles Bradsky with questions.

Peter Kimball presented on the Regional Broadband Analysis which shows that 20.75% of the region residents have no internet access. These involve communities of East Chicago, Gary, Shelby and Wheeler. Indiana is making a large effort to increase broadband with $100 million available. The deadline to apply is April 5.


Dominique Edwards said the presentations shows some of what the agency does and the importance of public involvement in our planning process. The Public Participation Plan Federal regulation 23 CFR 450.316, located in the back of the Business Plan which was adopted at the last meeting, outlines federally mandated engagement. NIRPC’ 2014 plan had more aspirational goals and objectives. Our mandate includes planning requirements, Title VI, Clean Air, ADA, and the Older Americans Act. Our Plan needs to be updated and this committee was tasked with guiding the development of the Plan.


Feedback from the committee was provided:


Elinks, PDFs, make flyers more inclusive, bold the “requests for alternate format language, and links in flyer to additional resources, get RSVPs, Include TTY information on flyers, use of database and a “how did we do?” feedback page.


Dominique Edwards said open houses will be held next month and asked that the committee take some of the flyers back with them. The NWI 2050 Plan drives development and federal transportation dollars. Kathy Luther added that the public needs to understand why their attendance is worth their time and why their voice matters.


Kathy Sipple said Valpo Next Asset Based Community Development Training is coming up and she will send information when it becomes available.


The next meeting will be on May 8 at 10 a.m. at NIRPC. Hearing no further business, Justin Kiel adjourned the meeting at 11:50 a.m.

Engage NWI


Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review


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Engage NWI is the “Public Participation Plan” that enables Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) staff to ensure that it is meeting all federal requirements for public participation, but equally important, a guide that enables the public to engage with regional planning. Engage NWI promotes a meaningful exchange of ideas, identification of regional issues and solutions, as well as advancing initiatives to achieve the vision for Northwestern Indiana (NWI).


Engage NWI is a core planning document required of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to fulfill the regulations governing public participation (23 CFR 450.316). The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Council of Governments (COG) for NWI, has the responsibility to conduct economic development, environmental, and transportation planning for Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties.


Engage NWI is laid out in a question and answer format to assist NWI’s regional planners (NIRPC staff and Commission & Committee members), the general public, and stakeholders alike to understand:


1) Who is and should be involved in public participation?

2) What is regional planning?

3) When is the public engaged in regional planning?

4) Why is public participation important to regional planning?

5) How is public participation conducted?


How to follow regional planning activities and find participation opportunities

Website: nirpc.org – sign-up for emails and mailings here

Facebook: facebook.com/nirpcmpo

Twitter: twitter.com/NIRPC

YouTube: youtube.com/user/NIRPCPlanning – for livestreamed Commission and

Committee meetings

Instagram: instagram.com/regionMPO

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/northwestern-Indiana-regional-planning- commission-nirpc

RTIP: https://rtip.nirpc.org/ – Regional Transportation Improvement Program

Direct mail: To be added to our direct mail list, please send a request to: 3

Public Participation Planer 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368

Who is and should be involved in public participation?

Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review

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Engage NWI focuses upon “regional planners,” “the general public,” and “stakeholders” as three critical groups involved in public engagement. Each plays a unique and important role in the planning process. Regional planners at NIRPC seek to undertake various planning initiatives that need to be shaped by public input. The general public includes individuals and businesses that represent themselves in the planning process, while stakeholders represent “grouped” interests, needs, or desires in the outcome of a planning process. The perspectives, experience, and expertise from the general public, or stakeholders, is not only welcomed, but necessary in the planning process.



Regional planners

Regional planners include NIRPC staff, Commissioners,


General public


The general public is individuals who choose to participate in the planning process. Their perspectives and experiences help shape the priorities of planning initiatives.

and NIRPC Committee members. Regional planners are in the “middle” since they must listen and hear the general public and stakeholders, but are also entrusted to find a balance between the priorities heard from all who participated, while also meeting any required planning objectives.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders represent many individuals as a group for one or many shared interests.

Stakeholders play a vital role since they often speak for many individuals at once. Stakeholders may include advocacy organizations, community- based organizations, partners, and federal, state, and municipal governments.


Shaped by their personal experiences, regional planners do not know and cannot see every detail of every issue. Therefore, Engage NWI stresses the need for regional planners to listen to the general public and stakeholders as a duty, but also for the general public and stakeholders to robustly share their perspectives, experiences, and expertise as regional citizens.


For Engage NWI to be effective: NIRPC, as the regional planners, will inform the general public and stakeholders of every opportunity to participate; however, the general public and stakeholders must play their part and actively engage in shaping their region.

About the regional planners - NIRPC

Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review

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Commission

  • Full Commission

  • Executive Board Meets approximately six times per year

Meets four times per year or


Advisory / Business Committees

  • Technical Planning

  • Local Government Assistance

  • Legislative

  • Finance and Personnel


Topical Committees

• Environmental Management and Policy

• Ped, Pedal, and Paddle

• Land Use

• Surface Transportation

• Transportation Resources Oversight

Any future changes to committee structure made by the Commission will be

reflected in Engage NWI as a technical amendment


Commission

  • Full Commission

  • Executive Board Meets approximately six times per year

Meets four times per year or


Advisory / Business Committees

  • Technical Planning

  • Local Government Assistance

  • Legislative

  • Finance and Personnel


Topical Committees

• Environmental Management and Policy

• Ped, Pedal, and Paddle

• Land Use

• Surface Transportation

• Transportation Resources Oversight

Any future changes to committee structure made by the Commission will be

reflected in Engage NWI as a technical amendment

Regional planning and coordination came to Northwestern Indiana in 1965 when enabling legislation was passed by the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor. The first state law called for a transportation planning commission, which was inspired by the 1962 Federal Highway Act. The state law has since been amended to create what is known today as the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, a three-county council of governments. In 2007, NIRPC’s Executive Board membership expanded, and weighted voting added.


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Last revised February 2018


NIRPC’s governing body is the Commission composed of 53 county and municipal elected officials and a Gubernatorial appointment. The Commission membership is established in state statute and is required to meet in full at least four times per year. A smaller Executive Board is annually elected by and from the full Commission membership and takes on the routine business of NIRPC, except for the adoption of bylaws, the election of officers, and annual budget appropriations. The Commission has established several committees to make advice and assist in conducting its business along with lower topical committees focused on specific interests. Please check NIRPC.org for updates on the committee structure and membership.


All Commission and committee business related to transportation planning and investment decision-making must adhere to Engage NWI. Planning for economic development and the environment may adhere to Engage NWI or the specific requirements of grants funding those activities in question. Noticing for Commission and Committee meetings will follow Indiana Open Door Law.

What is regional planning?

Regional planners at NIRPC are responsible for the following:


Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review


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Economic development, environmental, and transportation planning


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image Technical assistance on planning best practices, and governance image Providing a forum for regional issues identification and problem solving

Recommending transportation investments to Commissioners


For transportation planning, NIRPC must follow the federally required “3C" transportation planning process. The “3C” transportation planning process requires cooperation among all levels of government, comprehensive consideration of many planning factors, and be a continuously evaluated planning process. Planning is carried out following contemporary federal transportation planning requirements of the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and their predecessor acts.

Engage NWI reflects all such requirements, especially those of CFR 450.316. However, it is important to note that while regional planners may provide guidance, they do not make or enforce local ordinances or policies, as NIRPC is not charged with this mandate in state or federal law. In order to affect change locally, participation efforts must be geared by the general public and stakeholders towards local government.

Long-range plan Transportation Improvement

Planning tasks

Planning tasks

Each state fiscal year the UPWP proposes individual planning tasks to be completed for NWI. Those planning tasks serve a number of other federal requirements or help advance the identified strategies in the long- range plan in effect at the time the UPWP is proposed. Engaging in these planning tasks are important as they often reveal new regional priorities or gain insight from research that will shape the next long-range plan or TIP.


NWI 2050

Plan

NWI 2050

Plan


Infrequently amended

Infrequently amended


Vision for NWI

Every four years

Vision for NWI

Every four years

Unified Planning Work Program

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UPWP

UPWP

Updated in 2019

Updated in 2019

Every year

Every year

(UPWP)


Infrequently amended

Infrequently amended

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Program

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2020-2024

TIP

2020-2024

TIP

Updated in 2019

Updated in 2019

(TIP)


Frequently amended

Updated in 2019

Frequently amended

Updated in 2019


Transport investments

Every two years

Transport investments

Every two years

Public Participation Plan

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Engage NWI

Engage NWI

Public engagement

Public engagement

Upda6ted as needed

Upda6ted as needed

(PPP)


Infrequently amended

Updated in 2019

Infrequently amended

Updated in 2019

When/where is the public engaged in regional planning?

Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review

Engage NWI provides a framework and procedure for regional planners at NIRPC to follow to

invite the public to engage with regional planning activities. There are four core planning documents that all other activities are derived. Indicated below are their last update, update frequency, their main topic, and frequency of amendment.

Engage NWI emphasizes that for effective regional planning, engagement must occur where people are, and early in the process. Input will be solicited from the general public and stakeholders close to where they are gathering and while plans are in development so that input can shape the outcome. Every attempt will be made to hold engagement activities throughout the region, balanced where transit is available and for the rest of the region, through a variety of creative means while plans are in development. The Commission will determine where and when to hold its meetings and those of its advisory and business committees.

Why is public participation critical to regional planning?

Engage NWI stresses the need for the general public and stakeholders to engage in regional planning to identify regional challenges, problems, and opportunities. Regional planners need to listen to voices of the general public and stakeholders to gain a diversity of input – especially from those traditionally underrepresented in planning processes – and hear potential solutions or to shape planning processes and achieve desired outcomes. Regional planners need input early in the process so that final plans can reflect a balance of priorities and interests heard from all over the NWI. Below are higher than regionally average areas of minorities, low- income individuals, limited-English proficiency, zero-car households, veterans, individuals over sixty-five years of age, and individuals with disabilities.

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Engage NWI stresses the importance that additional effort be made to invite individuals that reside in such areas to participate in regional planning efforts to give voice to communities who have traditionally been under- represented.

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How is public participation conducted?

Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review

Engage NWI lays out how engagement will occur in two parts: the requirements and the techniques that will be employed to invite the general public and stakeholders to participate. Input from the general public and stakeholders early in the process is critical to shaping the final plan. With a diversity of perspectives in a region as large as NWI, it will be up to regional planners to find a balance between competing priorities and interests for the region. Before plan adoption by the Commission, the plan will be put out for a formal comment period, if required.

Techniques to invite participation

Engage NWI outlines methods to ensure regional planning is conducting with participation always at mind from the beginning of planning processes. Each planning task undertaken will identify a participation goal appropriate for that task and then planners will employ the methods that goal requires. It is expected that most tasks will be on the more participatory end of the spectrum. However, no matter which type of participation required, participation will be possible in formats that are inclusive. All meeting locations will be compliant with the ADA and reasonable accommodations met including alternate formats – including language translation – upon request with 72 hours minimum notice.

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Less participatory methods Highly participatory methods


Inform

Consult

Involve

Collaborate

Inform

Consult

Involve

Collaborate

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Engage NWI

goal

Engage NWI

goal

Provide public with balanced and objective information and to assist their understanding

of regional challenges, options, opportunities, or solutions.

Engage NWI

promise

Engage NWI

promise

Keep public informed.


Possible involvement methods

Possible involvement methods

Website, social media, newsletters, press releases, legal ads, mailings, or fact sheets


When methods will be employed

When methods will be employed

The “Inform” level of participation will be used seldomly, but the methods will be used frequently to communicate regularly with the public

Obtain feedback on regional planning tasks, analyses, or prior to policy making.


Keep public informed, listen and acknowledge concerns and ideas, and provide public with report on how input shaped outcomes.


Activities listed in “Inform” plus surveys, comment forms, or “Out and Abouts,” “Pop-up Events,” or more formal public meetings

The “Consult” level of participation will be used infrequently, but the methods will be used when needed

Work directly with public throughout planning process to ensure concerns and ideas are consistently understood and considered.


Work with public to ensure goals and ideas are directly reflected in planning work as much as possible and report on how input shaped outcomes.


Activities listed in “Inform” plus open houses, focus groups, or webinars


The “Involve” method will be used frequently and the methods as well

Partner with the public in every aspect of the planning process from project scoping through adoption of plans or policies.


Work with public to inform planning work from start at project scoping to understand issues, generate solutions, and incorporate feedback to shape outcomes.


Activities listed in “Involve” plus task forces, working groups, targeted outreach to meet people where they are


The “Collaborate” method will be used frequently with major planning processes

Adapted from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Public Participa8tion Spectrum

Types of active engagement


Working DRAFT for

“Out and Abouts” – regional planners meeting one-on-one to invite interest in planning

activities, events or to solicit direct feedback

Outreach Committee Review

“Pop-up Events” – regional planners sharing information / asking for feedback at other organization’s events

Public meetings – advertised open houses or formal public hearings

Task force / working groups – invited and targeted participation of subject matter experts at the discretion of the NIRPC Executive Director

Effectiveness of methods and evaluation

From time to time the strategies and methods contained within Engage NWI will be reviewed for their effectiveness. The principal measure for effectiveness of Engage NWI will be:

The frequency in which planning activities are conducted with the “Involve” or “Collaborate” goal of highly participatory methods described on the prior page; and

How hard regional planners have tried to invite robust participation from the general public and stakeholders throughout the planning process.


Required public comment periods and meetings


Core planning documents

Minimum comment period by law

Engage NWI comment policy

Engage NWI meetings policy

Long-range plan (new adoption)

Not specified in federal law

30 days

Yes

Long-range plan

Policy/Project amendment

21 days

Yes

Long-range plan

Technical amendment

None

No

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) (new adoption)

30 days

Yes

TIP amendment

21 days

No

TIP modification / technical amendment

None

No

Air Quality Conformity

30 days

Yes

Unified Planning Work Program (new or amendment)

None

No

Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plan

(new or amendment)

30 days

Yes

Public Participation Plan

(new or amendment)

45 days

45 days

Yes

Other planning and policy documents

Regional modal, corridor, development, or environment plans/policies

Not specified in federal law

21 days

Yes

Sub-regional modal, corridor, development, or environment plans/policies

21 days

Yes

Timely notice per Engage NWI for all public meetings listed in the table above will be9two weeks prior to the meeting.

Amendment and modification procedures Working DRAFT for

Outreach Committee Review

Amendment:

1) any phase of any project is added or construction phase or transit project deleted;

2) any addition of funds over $100,000;

3) change to an air quality non-exempt project;

4) project scope change that alters original intent of project;

5) change to policy or programming rules.

Interagency Consultation Group review on all TIP amendments and a redetermination of fiscal constraint is required.

Must be approved by Commission.

Modification:

1) project moving year to year (but not out of the TIP, which is an amendment);

2) project fund source change;

3) project is split into multiple construction segments;

4) addition of funds under $100,000 (TIP and UPWP); or

5) typographical changes.

Modifications are made by NIRPC staff at the request of project sponsor subject to regulation and funding availability.

A redetermination of fiscal constraint is required.

Technical Amendment:

Changes to technical information that does impact policy or programmed projects, ie: performance targets, data updates, asset information.

Must be approved by Commission.

Emergency Amendment:

NIRPC Executive Director authorizes a TIP amendment without public process or Commission if:

1) public well-being or safety is at risk; or

2) lapse or loss of federal funds is at risk.

A redetermination of fiscal constraint is required.

Path to address public comments

Working DRAFT for Outreach Committee Review

Comments received during a comment period will be reviewed by staff and reported to Advisory Committee(s), and the Commission via a “Public Comment Report” before either may act to adopt a draft plan. The Public Comment Report will be made available on the NIRPC website and included with the packet of materials for Committee or Commission meetings. The Public Comment Report will constitute the formal response to comments and will contain the following:

1) the original comment, as received; 2) a recommendation by staff on how the final plan may address the substance of the comment; 3) a notation on whether or not the recommendation is a major or minor revision. Any such recommendation to revise a draft plan that proposes 1) policy revisions, 2) adds a project not previously subjected to public review, or 3) deletes a project subjected to public review, will be considered a major revision and will trigger an additional public comment period. All other recommendations will be regarded as minor revisions representing comments that are more general and do not suggest policy or project changes to the document. The Advisory Committee(s) and Commission will consider recommendations at their discretion. Below is the pathway for how comments, recommended revisions, and when a second comment period is required.



Draft Plan Under Consideration


Public Comment Period (21 days or 45 days for PPP)

Public Comment Period (21 days or 45 days for PPP)



Recommended major revisions?

Recommended minor revisions?


Recommended major revisions?

Recommended minor revisions?

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The commission may accept or modify recommended major revisions and start new full comment period

The Commission may reject recommended major revisions and adopt the plan


The Commission may accept, reject, or modify recommended minor revisions and adopt the plan

The Commission may accept, reject, or modify recommended minor revisions and adopt the plan


Second Public Comment Period

(21 days or 45 days for PPP)


Second Public Comment Period

(21 days or 45 days for PPP)

Public meetings will only be held during the first round of public comment.


The Commission may accept, reject, or modify recommended major revisions and adopt the plan

The Commission may accept, reject, or modify recommended major revisions and adopt the plan

Engage NWI provides a clear path for how public comments are considered before plan adoption. It also requires time in the planning process to ensure the second round of required comment may occur.