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

WestCOG Wins Grant: WestCOG has been awarded over $250,000 to analyze snowplow route efficiency in seven towns in the region through the Regional Performance Incentives Program. By determining the most efficient routes for plowing, towns have the opportunity to improve safety and see significant savings in materials and man-hours.

Westport Bus Study: The Westport Bus Study is now complete. The final report and its appendices can be viewed online.

Upcoming Events

MPO Meetings
July 21, 11:30am
WestCOG Stamford

Economic Advisory Group Meeting
July 21, 12:15pm
WestCOG Stamford

TAG Meeting
August 2, 10am

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
August 18, 11:30am
Ridgefield Library

For more, visit the WestCOG Calendar

GIS for the Housatonic Valley: New 2015 and 2016 high resolution imagery is now available for the 10 northern towns. Please contact Carl Zimmerman (czimmerman@westcog) if you are interested in acquiring that data for your GIS or tax assessor systems. Additionally, the first set of pilot GIS data for the those towns has been delivered to WestCOG by the contractor, Sanborn Mapping Company. Expect delivery of this product in winter of 2017. 

MS4: WestCOG has added information on its MS4 activites to its website. Please visit the page for information and updates. In addition, The GIS team is involved in pilot MS4 mapping projects to learn more and provide guidance for the towns about the GIS modeling necessary to evaluate successful implementation of the permit requirements.

Federal Flood Mapping: FEMA and USGS will be updating flood insurance maps within Saugatuck Basin (includes 11 towns in our region). WestCOG is assisting in this process by providing high resolution imagery, LiDAR, and GIS data. The completion of the entire mapping process will take around 4 years.

Economic Advisory Group Meeting: The 
Economic Advisory Group will be meeting on July 21 in Stamford to discuss the data analysis in for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and next steps in the CEDS process. 

Drug Task Force: The Drug Task Force met on June 29 at 9:30am at the Redding Community Center. Participants discussed next steps for the group, and were trained to use Narcan. The training presentation can be found on the WestCOG site.

Planners' Lunch: The Summer Planners' Lunch was held on June 23. The planners participated in a charrette as a part of the state initiative to identify and protect historic sites from flooding. The presentation is available online.

TAG MeetingOn July 12, members of the COG-wide Technical Advisory Group heard a presentation on potential services for communities to meet DEEP's MS4 requirements from WestCOG and UConn CLEAR staff.

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

Grant Opportunities

  • NOAA is seeking proposals for habitat restoration projects under the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grant Program. The proposed projects should reduce the risks to coastal communities from extreme weather events, changing environmental conditions and known or potential climate change effects. NOAA will accept proposals requesting between $100,000 and $2 million. The deadline for applications is August 16.
Staff Profile: Soumya Sudhakar

WestCOG welcomes Soumya Sudhakar as its first Summer Intern. This summer, Soumya is working on data analysis for the CEDS and electric vehicle optimization for the region. She is looking forward to learning how policy works at a regional and local level during her internship. Her interests include urban sustainability and how planning can incorporate an “Internet of Things” approach to data.

Soumya is currently a rising junior at Princeton University and will be continuing her studies in mechanical engineering and urban studies this fall.

Regional News & Events


The Northeast Regional Planning Body has developed a Draft Northeast Ocean Plan, which is now available for public review and comment until July 25, 2016.

The Governor's Council on Climate Change will be gathering input from stakeholders will be gathering input from stakeholders across the state, as part of its charge to develop a strategy/plan to meet the state's mandated goal of an 80% reduction in GHG emissions below 2001 levels by the year 2050. Participants in the July stakeholder events will have an opportunity to learn about the initial results of the modeling scenarios, provide feedback to the Governor's Council on the priorities incorporated within those scenarios, and engage in local dialogue about some of the policy implications of the initial results. For more information and to RSVP visit their webpage.

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.

The Army Corps of Engineers will be initiating a feasibility study aimed at curbing flooding throughout Fairfield County. Funding for the study was initially secured by Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4). A kick off meeting is anticipated for mid August.

The 60th Annual NEDA Conference in New Haven, CT is fast approaching. Around two hundred economic development practitioners will convene at the Omni Hotel from September 11-13 for "Transportation at the Crossroads: The Economic Developer's Road Map." Register today! Conference sponsorships are still available.

The Partnership for Strong Communities has a new website to help municipalities create affordable housing. The website provides many resources regarding the benefits of increasing affordable housing options in communities including fact sheets, case studies, land use tools, demographic and market information, and much more. 

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

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