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February 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 or liking our Facebook page.

Project Updates


Regional CAMA Assessment: WestCOG is initiating a voluntary baseline assessment of municipal Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA), tax billing, and collections systems, as well as evaluating related business practices and IT resources. One of the primary business functions each municipality is the valuation of property for the billing and collection of property taxes. The final goal is a study of the viability of a voluntary regional CAMA system. WestCOG will be using the services of a contractor, Axiomatic, LLC. A phone-based Question and Answer session with Axiomatic is at 2:30pm on February 22. Contact Carl Zimmerman (czimmerman@westcog.org) for more details.

Economic Focus Groups: WestCOG is holding Focus Groups to hear from business owners and stakeholders in the region about the strengths and weaknesses they see in the region’s economy. Feedback from the Focus Groups will be used in the creation of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The full schedule of Focus Groups can be found here.


WestCOG Co-Chairs ESF 1: In partnership with MetroCOG, WestCOG will coordinate quarterly meetings of the  Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) Region 1 Transportation Emergency Support Function (ESF 1) to identify transportation emergency planning needs within the DEMHS Region 1.

Stamford Receives LOTCIP Grant Approval: CT DOT approved the application for Stamford’s Greenwich Avenue and Pulaski Street Intersection Improvements project, and issued a commitment to fund the $2.1 million estimated construction cost.  The project replaces a complicated 5-leg intersection with a roundabout.

WestCOG Submits Application to CT DOT: WestCOG recently submitted a LOTCIP grant application for Westport’s Main Street Sidewalk Improvements project to CT DOT.  The $575,000 project replaces deteriorated sidewalks and constructs new sidewalks to eliminate gaps to improve pedestrian safety.

Regional GIS User Meeting: The Regional GIS user meeting is February 21 at 1pm. The meeting will be a chance to meet other GIS users and professionals and learn more about newly available data, the Regional GIS Mapping service, and MS4 mapping updates.


Planners' Lunch: The Spring Planners' Lunch will be March 7 at 12pm. The lunch will feature a presentation by Don Poland of Goman and York. He will be speaking about using planning and land use tools for economic development.
Upcoming Events

Regional GIS User Meeting
February 21, 1pm
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

Small Business Focus Group
February 22, 7:30am
Sacred Heart University, Stamford

Regional CAMA Assessment and Evaluation Project Q&A
February 22, 2:30pm
Teleconference

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
February 23, 11:30am
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

Infrastructure Roundtable with Senator Murphy
February 23, 2:45m
Greenwich Town Hall

Advanced Manufacturing Focus Group
February 27, 11:30am
Comstock Community Center, Wilton

Small Business Focus Group
March 7, 8:30am
Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce

TAG Meeting
March 7, 11am
Wilton Comstock Community Center

Planners' Lunch
March 7, 12pm
Wilton Comstock Community Center

FinTech Focus Group
March 14, 12pm
Sacred Heart University, Stamford

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
March 16, 11:30am
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

For more, visit the WestCOG Calendar
Drug Task Force: The Drug task Force will meet 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.  More on this group can be found on the WestCOG site.

Stamford Bus and Shuttle Study: On February 8, the project team held an Open House at the Stamford Transportation Center to speak with transit riders about the study. During the event, questionnaires were distributed to gather feedback on the public’s experience with CTtransit service and to learn more about their transportation needs. This information will aid in the development of recommendations to improve transit service in Stamford.

H2H Meeting: On February 1, WestCOG supported Hudson to Housatonic (H2H), a multi-regional conservation organization in its development of a mission statement and objectives along with multiple land trusts and conservation organizations from New York and Western Connecticut.

Army Corps Flood Study: This past January, WestCOG coordinated 5 meetings between our coastal member communities and the Army Corps where municipalities provided a list of priority flood zones and potential projects. This information will help inform the Army Corps flood study of Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

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

Grant Opportunities

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: Nicole Sullivan

Nicole supports the Planning staff on administrative, legislative, and transportation projects. She also assists with communications. Prior to joining WestCOG, Nicole worked at Joseph Merritt & Company, where she archived confidential cases on behalf of the State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. Nicole graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in Storrs and studied abroad in Ireland at University College, Dublin. She is a New Milford native.

Regional News & Events
  • Roundtable Meeting on Infrastructure with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy: Senator Murphy will hold a roundtable discussion in Greenwich to hear from local elected officials, advocates, and organizations on specific transportation priorities.
    As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Senator Murphy joined his Senate colleagues in unveiling a major $1 trillion transportation infrastructure investment plan to rebuild America’s roads, rails, bridges, and other critical infrastructure projects over the next ten years and create 15 million jobs. America’s deteriorating infrastructure already costs the economy close to $200 billion a year. Senator Murphy is a vocal advocate for robust investment in transportation infrastructure. Through his “Fed Up” Campaign, Murphy hears directly from Connecticut’s commuters about why they’re “fed up” with Connecticut’s traffic and aging transportation infrastructure.
    Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 2:45pm at Greenwich Town Hall
 
  • 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. 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 eesposito@westcog.org 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 eesposito@westcog.org.
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Western Connecticut Council of Governments
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Sandy Hook, CT 06482

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