April 2017
Western Connecticut
Council of Governments
Welcome to the WestCOG monthly newsletter. It's a great place to find updates and opportunities in the region. You can also get information in real time by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn, or by liking our Facebook page.

Project Updates

WestCOG releases its Annual Report on Regional Services: The Report gives an overview of the regional services provided by the COG using grants provided by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) over the last year. Reports on non-OPM funded programs are available separately.

Stamford Receives Authorization to Award: The City recently opened bids and CT DOT authorized the award of the contract for the construction of Stamford’s Fiber Optic Trunk Cable project. The City will receive a grant of $5,411,892 under the LOTCIP program. The project completes an upgrade of the City’s traffic signal interconnect system by replacing old copper wiring with a fiber optic cable network. Construction is expected to begin this spring.

New Fairfield Receives Authorization to Award: The Town recently opened bids and CT DOT authorized the award of the contract for the construction of New Fairfield’s Candlewood Corners Drainage Improvement project. The Town will receive a grant of $525,220.80 under the LOTCIP program.  The project replaces an existing culvert pipe with larger twin culverts to reduce the severity and frequency of flooding that damages Route 39 and Sawmill Road as well as adjacent private properties. Construction is expected to begin this spring.

Norwalk to Receive Funding for Bridge Strike Reduction Plan: CT DOT has conditionally-approved $445,500 through the Local Road Accident Reduction Program to fund a safety project in Norwalk. This project seeks to reduce crashes involving bridge strikes at the intersection of Washington Street, North Main Street, and South Main Street. Funds will be used to install retro-reflective material on the bridge, infra-red laser detectors and active LED variable message signage.
Upcoming Events

IT Working Group
April 18, 1:30pm
WestCOG Office & Teleconference

CEDS Strategy Committee Meeting
April 19, 2pm
Comstock Community Center, Wilton

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
April 20, 11:30am
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

Community Visioning Session: Noroton Height Area Study
April 20, 7pm
Darien Town Hall

TAG Meeting
May 2, 11am
Comstock Community Center, Wilton

MAP Forum
May 10, 9:30am
Purdue Pharma, Stamford

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
May 18, 11:30am
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

For more, visit the WestCOG Calendar
Stamford to Receive Funding for Summer Street improvements: Through the Local Road Accident Reduction Program, CT DOT has conditionally-approved over $700,000 for safety improvements along Summer Street. This project seeks to enhance the pedestrian environment and thereby reduce crashes along Summer Street. Funds will be used to implement leading pedestrian intervals, sidewalk extensions, retro-reflective crosswalks, illuminated yield signs, upgraded pedestrian signage, and radar speed displays.

Request for Proposals for Professional Auditing Services: WestCOG is requesting proposals from qualified firms of certified public accountants, in accordance with the provisions of the CT General Statutes, to conduct an examination and to render an opinion on the comprehensive annual financial statements of WestCOG. Proposals will be received at the office of the Sr. Financial Manager until 3:00 p.m. on May 12, 2017 at which time no further proposals will be considered. More information can be found here.

IT Working Group: The IT Working Group is coming together for an update on the progress of the Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) study and to discuss regional purchasing on April 18.

CEDS Strategy Committee Meeting: On April 19, the CEDS Strategy Committee will convene to develop the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which will guide economic development planning in the region for the next 5 years.

Noroton Heights Station Area Study: A Community Visioning Session will be held on April 20 at the Darien Town Hall. During this meeting, the project team will provide an overview of the study and present key findings from the analysis of existing conditions in Noroton Heights. Through a group discussion, the public will have an opportunity to provide their feedback on existing challenges and potential improvements to the area. Additional details for this event may be found here.

AAG Annual Meeting: Planning Aide, Kristin Floberg, presented her graduate research, Change in Urban Fabric Through Space and Time at Differing Levels of Automobility, at the American Association of Geographers’ (AAG) Annual Meeting in Boston on April 5. Her work ties together the implications of urban renewal projects and their subsequent effects on how land is used in urban downtowns. Bridgeport, CT was used as a case study to quantify just how much the downtown changed in the 100 years since the advent of the automobile.

Drug Task Force: The Drug Task Force met on March 22 to hear a presentation from Dr. Collins, Physician-In-Chief at Silver Hill Hospital. He will be presenting on Understanding the Neurobiology of Addiction.  The presentation can be found on the WestCOG site.

Agenda for the Upcoming COG and MPO Meetings: Available here.

Grant Opportunities

The DECD is now accepting applications for its 11th round of competitive grant funding for CT’s Brownfield Remediation Program, under which the state partners with local municipalities and economic development agencies to put blighted properties back into productive use. Under this round, a total of $4 million will be earmarked for remediation projects and $1 million will be reserved for assessment projects. Applications must be submitted via email to no later than Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 3pm.

The OPM has announced a Request for Applications for the 2017 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program.  Municipalities and COGs are invited to apply for grants ranging between $10,000 and $2,000,000, for a wide range of planning and construction projects to advance goals for responsible growth and TOD. Joint applications and  partnerships are encouraged, and may also include non-profit and private entities, where appropriate. Priority may be given to applicants which have received implementation grants under CTNext's Innovation Places program. Applications for the 2017 program are due Friday June 23, 2017.

The EDA has published the FY 2017 Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity. EDA solicits applications from applicants in order to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and EAA programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. Proposals will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Staff Profile: Jamie Bastian

Jamie assists the planning staff on transportation projects, including the regional freight plan. Jamie has worked in natural resource management for the Town of Old Lyme, CT, the US National Park Service, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. He received two B.A.s in the Environment and in Music from the University of Michigan.

Regional News & Events
  • April 18 - Emergency Support Function, (ESF1) Revival Meeting. WestCOG and MetroCOG co-chair this meeting and we will be working to identify the most pressing emergency/transportation issues within the region in DEMHS Region 1. The meeting will be at 10am at the Norwalk Fire Department.
  • April 28 - Hudson to Housatonic (H2H). H2H is a multi-state regional conservation group WestCOG supports. It is meeting to iron out its mission statement. WestCOG will be facilitating discussions on building partnerships between conservation groups and communities. Meeting will be at 10am in the WestCOG Office.
  • CERC and CEDAS are booking future dates for their free Municipal Economic Development Training, which is custom tailored to specific town(s) and designed to help those who impact economic development to work more collaboratively together.
  • UConn CLEAR has decided to take the NEMO workshops and Land Use Academy Training on the road to make it easier for land use commissioners to attend. WestCOG will be helping towns organize these free joint classes. 

Do you have news or events you would like to share with the rest of the region? Send your updates to Liz at
Our mailing address is:
Western Connecticut Council of Governments
1 Riverside Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482

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