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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


Regional IT Working Group: The first IT Working Group will be held on June 2. This group of municipal IT directors and staff with identify opportunities for their communities to collaborate and cut costs through initiatives such as developing regional IT platforms and group procurement. On June 2, the group will hear a presentation on Network Security and see a demonstration of online permitting software.


GIS Data: WestCOG engaged Sanborn Mapping Company to procure comprehensive planimetric data (e.g. buildings, sidewalks, streets, vegetation lines, site features, etc.) for the 10 northern towns. Once complete, all of the 18 towns will now have planimetrics, imagery, and topography of similar quality. Data is anticipated for in the first quarter of 2017. Contact Carl Zimmerman (czimmerman@westcog.org) if you have questions.
Upcoming Events

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
May 19, 11:30am
Ridgefield Library

Memorial Day
May 30
WestCOG Closed

IT Working Group
June 2, 1:30pm
Redding Library

TAG Meeting & Planners' Lunch
June 7, 10am & 12:30pm
TBA

MAP Forum & Coastal Corridor Alliance Meeting
June 9, 10am & 1pm
Sacred Heart Stamford

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



For more, visit the WestCOG Calendar

 

Grant Application Submitted: WestCOG submitted a grant application for the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to potentially develop a stormwater coalition for the region. WestCOG will be working with it's respective communities to shape future efforts to address stormwater issues regionally.

CTDOT's First RSA Held in Brookfield: First Selectman, Steven Dunn, and Brookfield municipal staff participated in the Brookfield Road Safety Audit (RSA) with WestCOG and CTDOT. Brookfield was awarded an RSA for the Route 202/Federal Road corridor between the “4 Corners” intersection and south to the Still River Trail Head. The RSAs are part of CTDOT’s Community Connectivity Program, which seeks to improve accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians, increasing multi-modal connectivity to/from community centers. 

Stamford Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan: WestCOG has entered into an agreement with Toole Design Group to perform the Stamford Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Toole will examine ways to improve the safety and convenience of bicycling and walking in Stamford.

GC3 Meeting: Together with the Governor's Council on Climate Change (GC3), WestCOG hosted a public meeting to gather input on the type of metrics which should be considered for the carbon their carbon emission modeling efforts.

Walk Bridge: CTDOT is undertaking a program to replace the deteriorating Walk Bridge over the Norwalk River in Norwalk, CT, wich is used for and freight service, with approximately 200 trains and 125,000 passengers daily. The project is currently in the preliminary design phase. 

Drug Task Force: WestCOG hosted the Drug Task Force meeting on May 5. The minutes from the meeting can be found on the WestCOG site.

Coastal Corridor Alliance: WestCOG will host COGs from NYC to New Haven in Stamford on June 9 to discuss transportation issues facing the I-95 / northeast corridor.

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

What is MS4?


The new MS4 General Permit is a, is the product of a USEPA mandate to improve stormwater quality by reducing effective impervious cover. The permit has mapping, sampling, and education requirements.

It will become effective July 1, 2017 and applies to many municipalities in our region. In preparation of the coming permit requirements, WestCOG is evaluating the proposed mapping processes, technical demands, and data requirement while exploring methods to support the municipal efforts to meet the demands of this permit. Look for additional updates in coming months. Contact Mike Towle (mtowle@westcog.org) or to discuss further.
 
Grant Application Submitted: WestCOG submitted a grant application for the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to potentially develop a stormwater coalition for the region, which will assist in meeting MS4 requirements.

Grant Opportunities

  • 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. 
Staff Profile: Josephine Harvey

Jo’s responsibilities include payroll, grant funding, employee benefits, and office management. She started working for HVCEO 25 years ago as the Financial Manager. Jo also worked in a financial capacity for the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA) and Housatonic Valley Economic Development Partnership (HVEDP). She worked for CPAs and Comptrollers for 20 years in Texas, Florida, and Connecticut. Jo has an Executive Degree in Business from Berkley College in White Plains, NY. 

Part-time, Jo is a sole proprietor in a payroll and bookkeeping business for over 28 years, a nutraceutical consultant for 16 years, giving people other options for health, and a partner in a family owned Doggie Daycare in Danbury for the last 8 years. She loves to spend her spare time with her grandson.

Regional News & Events

 

  • May 15 - 21 is National Public Works Week. Communities depend on public works, and the men and women of the profession are always there and always ready. Be sure to show your appreciation for all they do.

  • May 16 - 20 is National Bike to Work Week. Support or host your local Bike to Work event on May 20, and get some great giveaways: 
           - Bethel, Train Station, 7:00 am - 9:00 am 
           - Danbury, HART Pulse Point, 7:00 am - 9:00 am & 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm 
           - Stamford, Veterans Park, 7:30 am - 9:00 am.

  • CTrides week is also this week, find the best commuting option for you and win cool prizes, here.

  • DEEP requests input on the updates to the Connecticut Comprehensive Open Space Acquisition Strategy (Green Plan). The comment period will close on June 1, 2016.

  • CCAPA presents the "Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2016" Conference on June 3 at the Mark Twain Museum Center in Hartford.

  • 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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