Western CT
Council of Governments

COG Updates

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 or liking our Facebook page.

WestCOG Holds Legislative Breakfast: On January 14th, WestCOG hosted its Legislative Breakfast at the Cobbs Mill Inn in Weston. Attendees discussed finance, the legislative process, transportation & infrastructure, energy, housing, and social services. See pictures from the event here.

Project Updates
  • Regional Municipal Safety Profiles:  WestCOG will be producing safety reports for each of its municipalities which will be made available at the January COG meeting. The profile showcases pedestrian accidents and car accident sites.
  • Hazard Mitigation Plans Submitted: The Hazard Mitigation Plans for the southern 8 towns were submitted to FEMA, and WestCOG is awaiting comment.
  • Applications Submitted for the RPIP: Staff submitted two grant applications to the Regional Performance Incentives Program (RPIP). The first was for aerial photography and GIS work for the northern 10 towns, and the second is to fund a study of snowplow route efficiency in 8 towns in the region.
  • Water Utility Coordinating Process Begins: The Water Utility Coordinating Committee (WUCC) will conviene  soon to begin the year-long process of creating drinking water plans for the State and three sub-regions.The mission of the WUCC is to "maximize efficient and effective development of public water supply systems and promote public health, safety and welfare."
  • Route 1 BRT Feasibility Study Launched: As part of Governor's Let’s Go CT Ramp-Up Plan, CTDOT is beginning the Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Feasibility Study. The study will examine potential BRT enhancements throughout the Route 1 corridor from the NY State line to New Haven. WestCOG staff will participate on the study's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The first TAC meeting will be held on January 27, 2016 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at the Bridgeport Transportation Center, 710 Water Street, in the 2nd floor Community Room.
  • Agenda for the Upcoming Board Meeting: Available here.

Grant Opportunities
  • DEEP's Office of Constituent Affairs/Land Management has announced grants funding through its Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA), and Urban Green/Community Garden programs. Applications for both programs are due on February 2, 2016.
  • OPM has announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development Grant Program.  Municipalities and COGs may apply for grants ranging from $25,000 to $2,000,000, to fund a wide variety of projects. Questions about the RFA may be submitted in writing to the Official State Contact, Matthew Pafford, at either or Office of Policy and Management, 450 Capitol Avenue MS# 54ORG, Hartford, CT 06106-1379. Written questions must be received by Thursday, December 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm as specified in Section G of the RFA. The deadline for receipt of applications is February 4, 2016.
  • CTDOT offers the Community Connectivity Program (formerly called “Urban Connectivity”) is a new program that is intended to improve conditions for walking and bicycling to and within Connecticut’s community centers. The first step in this program will be for Towns and Cities to complete and submit an application for a Road Safety Audit (RSA). An RSA is an innovative tool that documents factors that can help or hinder safe bike/ped travel. The deadline for the RSA application is March 1, 2016.
  • CTDOT opens the application period for the Section 5310 - Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities grant program using Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015 funding is now open. Applications are due by 4:00pm on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Staff Profile: Patricia Payne 
Patty Payne began her employment with the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) in 1996 while the Executive Director of 32 years was still working!  Five Executive Directors and 21 government audits later, she is still here, but now employed with the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.  Patty is the Senior Financial Manager and enjoys number crunching of all kinds.  Generating reconciled financial reports and tracking grants from the financial picture of ‘soup to nuts’ is her delight.  Growing with the regional planning over the past 20 years, she has taken the once paper ledgers into the 21st century with an automated accounting system and on-line business practices. Over the years Patty has served as the IT help desk, website master, HR/payroll administrator, and all-around ‘go to’ person for Q&A.  Patty and her husband have five grown children and enjoys time with her grandchildren as well as cooking, crafting, gardening, and volunteering at her church.
Regional News & Events

The "FAST Act" was signed into law on December 4th.

Metro-North reveals the results of its 2015 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The Governor's Transportation Finance Panel presented its final report on January 15th.

CTDOT holds its initial Technical Advisory Committee for the Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Feasibility Study on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at the Bridgeport Transportation Center, 710 Water Street, in the 2nd floor Community Room. In the event of a significant snowstorm, the meeting will be held on February 4, 2016 at the same time and location.

The FRA has released the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for NEC FUTURE. The Draft EIS assesses the broad impacts of an investment program to improve passenger rail service within the NEC FUTURE Study Area. The public comment period for the Draft EIS is open until January 30, 2016. Comments may be submitted on their website using the comment form, by email to, by mail, or in person at a public hearing.

WestCOG's first Drug Task Force meeting will be held on February 4th at Redding Town Hall from 9:30 - 11:30 am. The meeting will feature presentations from Dr. Lauretta Grau from Yale and Shawn Lang from AIDS CT, and from Susan Wolfe from DHMAS.

Do you have news or events you would like to share with the rest of the region? Send your updates to Liz at
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