WestCOG's Monthly Newsletter
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 or liking our Facebook page.

Project Updates

Three WestCOG Towns Win TOD Grants: Danbury, New Canaan, and Westport received a grant award totaling of over $800,000 from the state’s Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development Grant Program.

DEMHS Region 5 Workshop: Senior Officials in the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) Region 5 met in Litchfield on May 17 for an All-Hazard Preparedness Workshop. Participants discussed strategic and executive level issues related to disaster preparedness, and shared proven strategies and best practices to enhance coordination among officials responsible for emergency response to a disaster.

Upcoming Events

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
June 16, 11:30am
Ridgefield Library

Planners' Lunch
June 23, 12:00pm
Wilton Town Hall Annex, Room A

Drug Task Force Meeting
June 29, 9:30am
Redding Community Center, Multipurpose Room

Independence Day
July 4
WestCOG Closed

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
July 21, 11:30am
Ridgefield Library

For more, visit the WestCOG Calendar

DEEP's Green Plan: The Green Plan identifies open space acquisition strategies for the state. WestCOG has provided recommendations as it relates to the region.

Drug Task Force: The next Drug Task Force meeting will be June 29 at 9:30am at the Redding Community Center. The agenda can be found on the WestCOG site.

Heroin & Opioid Roundtable: On May 31st, WestCOG staff participated in a discussion on national Heroin and Opioid policy called by US Senator, Chris Murphy and Representative, Jim Himes.

Planners' Lunch: The Summer Planners' Lunch will be June 23 at noon at the Wilton Town Hall Annex. The Planners will participate in a charrette as a part of the state initiative to identify and protect historic sites from flooding.

MAP Forum and CCA: WestCOG hosted the Metropolitan Area Planning (MAP) Forum on June 9 at the Sacred Heart University Stamford Graduate Center. The MAP Forum is composed of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in the tri-state area (CT, NJ, NY). WestCOG also hosted the first Coastal Corridor Alliance (CCA) Meeting, consisting of MPOs from New York to New Haven. In each meeting, participants heard presentations about and discussed transportation topics affecting their shared regions.

Stamford Bike & Ped. Plan: WestCOG held kickoff meetings for the Stamford Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan on June 8. The plan, prepared by Toole Design Group, will study ways to improve the safety and convenience of bicycling and walking in Stamford.

TAG MeetingOn June 7, members of the Technical Advisory Group heard presentations on CTDOT's Structure Management System and Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit Study, and WestCOG's Regional GIS Service and Local Road Safety Analysis.

IT Working Group: On June 2, the Regional IT Working Group heard a presentation on Network Security and saw a demonstration of online permitting software.

Agenda for the Upcoming COG Meeting: Available here.
Agenda for the Upcoming MPO Meetings: SWRMPO Available here. HVMPO Available here.

Grant Opportunities

  • WestCOG is soliciting project proposals for CTDOT's Local Road Accident Reduction Program. Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to projects which take highly effective safety measures to reduce accidents on local roads. The COG will select 2 projects to be submitted to CTDOT for review. Submissions are due to WestCOG on June 20.
  • EDA has begun accepting applications for the 2016 round of Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program funding. In this 2016 round, a total of $15 million in Federal funding is available to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs and early-stage seed capital funds through the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition, respectively. $13 million is available for i6 Challenge grants and $2 million is available for SFS grants. The application period will close at 11:59pm Eastern Time on June 24, 2016.
  • HUD is soliciting applications for the FY2016 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants program. The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants support the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans.The maximum grant award is $30 million. Applications are due on June 28, 2016.
  • USDA is excited to share a new Rural Development funding opportunity authorized by Section 6025 of the 2014 Farm Bill called Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD). SECD supports rural communities engaged in regional planning efforts. Many federal agencies have regional planning programs and SECD can provide funds for implementation. In FY 2016, SECD set-asides total over $300 million. SECD set-asides must be obligated by June 30th of each fiscal year. 
  • The USDOL announced the availability of $80 million in grant funding to support and expand YouthBuild programs. Grants awarded through this opportunity will range from $700,000 - $1.1 million each to provide education and employment services to disadvantaged youth. YouthBuild is a non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training in construction and other in-demand occupations to at-risk youth and young adults from ages 16 to 24. Applications are due at 4pm, Eastern Time on July 6, 2016.
Staff Profile: Galen Wells

WestCOG welcomes Galen Wells as its first Regional Election Monitor. This is a new position created by state statute to assist the Registrars of Voters in the region. Galen will arrange training sessions for polling place moderators to help assure that there are trained and certified moderators available for each election and primary. She will also provide other assistance as needed to assure the continuation of smooth, well run elections in the region.

Galen is an attorney with a practice in Norwalk. She is also a trained moderator who has worked in the polls during many elections.

Regional News & Events


FEMA and USGS are updating the FEMA Flood Insurance maps for the HUC8 Saugatuck Watershed and are seeking data and information on the flood zones. Any interested party can provide flood information using their survey.

CCAPA & CTASLA are hosting a conference that will explore how Portland, CT is working to sustainably redevelop its economy and improve it quality of life by preserving and leveraging its historic and natural resources. There will be useful lessons learned for planners, economic development professionals, landscape architects, architects, historic preservationists and many more. The event will be on June 24 from 8am to 3pm at the Waverly Center in Portland.

CERC & 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. Contact Courtney Hendricson with questions and to schedule a training.

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. Please contact Liz at for more information.

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

Copyright © 2016 Western Connecticut Council of Governments, All rights reserved.

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