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May 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 the latest information by following us on TwitterLinkedIn, or Facebook.

Project Updates


WestCOG Has New Phone Numbers: WestCOG has a new phone system. Please update the numbers in your contact list by visiting our staff directory.

New Milford Authorized to Award: The Town recently opened bids and CT DOT authorized the award of the contract for the replacement of the Wellsville Avenue Bridge over the East Aspetuck River. New Milford will receive a grant of $1,136,436 under the LOTCIP program. Construction is expected to begin this Spring.

Brookfield Authorized to Advertise: CT DOT approved the final design submission for Brookfield’s Route 202 and Route 25 (Four Corners) Intersection and Streetscape Improvements project, and authorized the Town to advertise the project for bids. The Town will receive a grant of $798,351 under the LOTCIP program. Construction is expected to begin this Spring.

Stamford to Receive Funding for Summer Street Improvements: Through the Local Road Accident Reduction Program, CT DOT has approved over $700,000 for safety improvements along Summer Street. This project seeks to enhance the pedestrian environment and thereby reduce crashes along Summer Street. Funds will be used to implement leading pedestrian intervals, sidewalk extensions, retro-reflective crosswalks, illuminated yield signs, upgraded pedestrian signage, and radar speed displays.
Upcoming Events

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
May 18, 11:30am
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

CEDS Strategy Committee Meeting
May 22, 2pm
Comstock Community Center, Wilton

Memorial Day
May 29
WestCOG Closed

TAG Meeting
June 6, 11am
Comstock Community Center, Wilton

Planners' Lunch
June 6, 12pm
Comstock Community Center, Wilton

WestCOG Board & MPO Meetings
June 15, 11:30am
Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association

For more, visit the WestCOG Calendar
MS4 Website Update: The stormwater webpage has been overhauled. Now it more clearly provides information for the public and for municipalities. Feel free to explore. 

Economic Data for the Region: Working with students at Clark University, WestCOG has acquired a new dataset which identifies all registered business within the WestCOG region. The data classifies business by sector and provides other descriptive information.


CEDS Strategy Committee Meeting: On April 19 and May 3, the CEDS Strategy Committee met develop the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which will guide economic development planning in the region for the next 5 years. The next meeting is on May 22. The agenda can be found here.

Planners' Lunch: On June 6, the municipal planner's will gather for their summer meeting. The featured speaker is Christianne Kovel, Senior Policy Analyst on Aging from the CT Commission on Women, Children and Seniors. She will be discussing how to best plan for an aging population.

IT Working Group: The IT Working Group met for an update on the progress of the Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) study and discussed regional purchasing on April 18. The next meeting will be June 28.

Yale Student Projects on Noroton River Resilience: On May 9, Alexander J. Felson, Associate Professor at Yale, and his students presented their work on Coastal Hazard Resilience, which includes a long term ecological design along the Noroton River. Municipal and WestCOG staff provided feedback on the students' design projects.

WestCOG Participates in CIRCA Poster Session: WestCOG presented its work thus far in creating a Regional Flood Mitigation Rating System at the the CT Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) Poster Session at UConn, Avery Point on May 4. The project is anticipated to unfold in June with towns participating on October 1. WestCOG received a grant from CIRCA to develop a Regional Community Rating System Pilot Program.

Noroton Heights Station Area Study: On May 11, the Town of Darien hosted the study's first public meeting. During this event, the project team presented the study's initial findings on challenges and opportunities around the station. The meeting had a great turnout with over 40 community residents participating in group discussions to identify potential improvements for the Noroton Heights area. 

GIS Training in New Milford: On April 19, WestCOG provided its first round of GIS Training for the town of New Milford, giving an introduction to free GIS software for municipal staff to access, parcel, planimetrics, and wetlands data. Additional towns and organizations within the region interested in receiving GIS training please contact Carl Zimmerman at czimmerman@westcog.org.

ESF1 in DEMHS Region 1: WestCOG and MetroCOG have re-initiated the transportation emergency service function (ESF1) on April 18. The group meets quarterly and will be looking to address transportation in regards to emergency management.

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

Grant Opportunities


The DECD is now accepting applications for its 11th round of competitive grant funding for CT’s Brownfield Remediation Program, under which the state partners with local municipalities and economic development agencies to put blighted properties back into productive use. Under this round, a total of $4 million will be earmarked for remediation projects and $1 million will be reserved for assessment projects. Applications must be submitted via email to brownfields@ct.gov no later than Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 3pm.

The OPM has announced a Request for Applications for the 2017 Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program.  Municipalities and COGs are invited to apply for grants ranging between $10,000 and $2,000,000, for a wide range of planning and construction projects to advance goals for responsible growth and TOD. Joint applications and  partnerships are encouraged, and may also include non-profit and private entities, where appropriate. Priority may be given to applicants which have received implementation grants under CTNext's Innovation Places program. Applications for the 2017 program are due Friday June 23, 2017.

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: Kristin Floberg

Kristin assists both the Transportation and GIS staff on projects, including the regional snow removal optimization. She graduated with a M.S. in Transportation and Urban Engineering as well as a B.S in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining WestCOG, she worked as a Junior Planner at Fitzgerald & Halliday and as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Connecticut. She is passionate about the relationship between the built urban fabric and its effects on walkability.

Regional News & Events
 
 
  • May 17 - Hudson to Housatonic All Partners Meeting. The multi state conservation group is meeting on May 17th from 5:30 – 8:00 at the New Canaan Nature Center to develop the organization’s mission, goals and strategy. WestCOG is an active member on their board.
 
  • May 17 - GC3 Transportation Stakeholder Event. As the GC3 continues to develop climate mitigation scenarios and strategies to set a mid-term marker and meet the State’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 80% below 2001 levels by 2050, the Council is seeking input on mitigation opportunities within the transportation sector. Three simultaneous events will be linked via videoconference, with locally facilitated dialogue at each location. The Stamford location will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 at the UConn Stamford, Multipurpose Room, 1 University Place, Stamford, CT 06901. More information and RSVP here.
 
  • May 18 - Westchester GIS User’s Group Meeting. WestCOG will be attending to learn of Westchester GIS efforts and to network with our neighboring region. Information on the conference can be found here.
 
  • May 23 - FEMA Risk MAP for the Housatonic Watershed. FEMA is updating its flood maps for the Housatonic Watershed and is hosting a discovery meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 9:30 AM, Fairfield Hills Campus, 3 Primrose Street, Newtown, CT. They are currently collecting maps, studies, data, and input for areas that need to improve their flood zone information. More information here.
 
  • 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.
 
  • 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. 

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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