February 2023 Newsletter
WestCOG wins $200,000 Georgetown-Branchville Sewer Grant
Georgetown-Branchville Sewer Feasibility Study: following previous discussions held between the Towns of Redding and Ridgefield, WestCOG prepared a Fiscal Year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending Application in Spring 2022 to seek funding for the conduct of a sewer feasibility study. The study’s purpose is to address current wastewater needs as well as to meet the needs of previously developed sites that are slated for revitalization. The study budget is $250,000; funding was requested for undertaking an engineering feasibility study which could lead to the development of plans, specifications, and construction cost estimates. WestCOG and the towns were recently notified that Congress has awarded $200,000 toward this Study; the Towns will work together to provide matching funds. Utilizing those funding commitments, WestCOG and the host communities will prepare and issue a Request for Proposals to secure a qualified engineering consultant to prepare the Study.
On February 3 Congressman Jim Himes, area legislators and local officials will hold an event at the former Gilbert and Bennett Wire Mill in Georgetown to kick off development of the Study. For more information, contact Todd Fontanella at WestCOG. Email: email@example.com or (475) 323-2076.
WestCOG Foundation Meeting
WestCOG Foundation will convene during the COG’s February Meeting. WestCOG foundation is the non-profit branch of WestCOG and pursues regional opportunities within the region. Membership is now open for the council. Contact Mike Towle Deputy Director at WestCOG with any questions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 475-323-2064.
Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) Public Information Meetings and Comment Period
As host to the Housatonic Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (HVMPO) and South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (SWRMPO), the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCOG) will accept comments from February 8, 2023 to March 9, 2023 on the draft 2023-2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and Air Quality Conformity Determinations for Ozone and Particulates. The draft MTP is a 25-year vision for the development of the transportation system and identifies investments in the region.
The draft MTP and Air Quality Conformity will be available for inspection at westcog.org starting February 8, 2023. Persons with limited internet access may contact WestCOG by telephone at 475-323-2060, via email: email@example.com, or mail the WestCOG office: 1 Riverside Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482. Comments on the draft MTP or air quality conformity may be made by mail to the WestCOG office, email, or at one of the three public information meetings: 1) February 22, 2023, 6:30PM to 8:00PM at the Danbury Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 170 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810; 2) February 23, 2023, 1:00PM to 2:30PM virtually by registering at Webinar Registration - Zoom or 3) February 23, 2023, 6:30PM to 8:00PM at the Ferguson Main Library, Auditorium, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford CT 06904
Flood Mitigation and Project Management Services: WestCOG and its consultant team of Dewberry Engineers/Resilient Land and Water/Fuss and O’Neill continues to offer technical services to its municipalities and to property owners in its region. These services are at no cost, and are intended to help qualify eligible projects for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding programs. The consultant team held an informational session in Stamford in October 2022 and is planning to host another session in the region in late February or early March. . If you are interested in attending an upcoming information session, please visit the WestCOG website by clicking on the button below for scheduling information or contact Todd Fontanella at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (475) 323-2076.
Expanding Broadband Eligibility with Anchor Institutions
The State of Connecticut is seeking to identify nontraditional Community Anchor Institutions (CAI) to add to its database. This is relevant for communities because CAIs will be more competitive for receiving Broadband funding. A survey was created to capture this information.
This survey is intended for nontraditional potential CAIs and other institutions that facilitate greater use of broadband and are not registered with the state as a school, library, health clinic, health center, hospital or other medical provider, public safety entity, institution of higher education. There may be exceptions to this list, so institutions are encouraged to submit information if they believe they may not be represented in the current database. If you are aware of such organizations, please pass this survey along to those organizations so that OPM is aware of their work and how the State may be able to support them.
EDA Approves WestCOG’s Economic Plan
The EDA has officially recognized WestCOG's Economic Plan as the Region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Whether you are a municipality, non profit, business, or active member of the public, the Economic Plan can be leveraged to secure EDA Grant funds to make your project a reality. If you would like to discuss opportunities further, reach out to Betsy Paynter at: email@example.com
The latest list of grants on WestCOG’s radar. This list is not exhaustive or authoritative. Please visit grantor’s sites and announcements for official grant details.
CTDEEP: Recreational Trail Grant Program
This program includes $9 million available statewide through CT DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) to develop/build/upgrade recreational trails. Grants under the program are competitive and are quite flexible in terms of eligible activities and various administrative requirements. Eligible activities include planning and design, corridor land acquisition, construction, amenities (benches, restrooms, etc.) and maintenance. Selected projects will be funded at 80 percent of total cost, with a 20 percent match provided by the successful applicant. The local match can be provided in a variety of ways, including other grants (Federal, state or local), private funding sources, and in-kind services, both professional and volunteer. Matching fund grants and activities can occur up to 18 months prior to awarding of grants. There are no defined maximum or minimum awards, but most grants are expected to fall in the $20,000 - $500,000 range.
Deadline: March 1st 2023
Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Announces the release of Microtransit
CTDOT Microtransit Pilot Program: The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced the release of a new Microtransit Pilot Program on January 26th. This Program, which will be eligible to Councils of Governments, Transit Authorities and municipalities, will make funding available for up to two years for pilot projects. Microtransit service refers to transportation by an accessible multi-passenger vehicle that uses a digital network or software application to offer on-demand service in response to individual or aggregate consumer demand. It has the potential to impact the public positively and directly by filling in gaps in the State’s public transportation system, bringing service to underserved communities or allowing for first mile, last mile connections to existing service. This funding opportunity is for operating costs only, eligible applicants will need to procure / provide the necessary vehicles, software, and labor to operate the service proposed in the applicant’s service plan. WestCOG will circulate the Program notice to its municipalities and transit authorities, and may participate in discussions to determine whether there is potential for one or more projects in the region. For more information click on the button below.
Overview: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1.5 billion in 2023 discretionary grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Projects for RAISE funding will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the Department will prioritize projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs.
Deadline: February 28th 2023
USDOT: FTA Areas of Persistent Poverty (AoPP)
Overview: FTA announced a new NOFO to help improve transit in areas experiencing long-term economic distress. $20 million in competitive grant funding is available to provide more resources to underserved and disadvantaged communities seeking to expand or improve transit systems. The AoPP program supports planning and technical studies to improve public transportation in areas experiencing long-term economic hardship -- in rural and urban communities alike. The AoPP program also funds planning for transit agencies to transition to low- and no-emission vehicles and associated charging equipment.
Deadline: March 10th
USDOT Schedule of Upcoming Grant Solicitations
For a list of anticipated dates for upcoming Notice of Funding opportunities, please click the button below.
Seeking Seasonal Storm Water Mapping Technicians
WestCOG seeks three seasonal mapping technicians, in coordination with participating municipalities, to map storm drain and underground storm water infrastructure using a mapping process developed and tested by WestCOG staff.
Field technicians would inspect catch basins utilizing a mobile device (with functioning camera and GPS), measuring tape, flashlight, safety equipment, and a WestCOG developed app to log what pipes are present which includes the size, material, and relative direction of the pipes.
TAG Meeting: 02/14/2023 at 11:00 AM |
Meeting ID: 895 3109 3509
COG Meeting: 02/16 at 12:00 PM | Ridgefield Town Hall Annex, 66 Prospect St.
WestCOG Foundation: 02/16 Immediately following the COG meeting.