NVision 2022

Naugatuck Valley Conference on 

Fostering Equitable Development

NVision 2022 was a one-day regional conference that brought together stakeholders from the public and private sectors, elected officials, and community members to discuss our region’s future.

This year’s discussions and presentations were underpinned by the concept of equity. Interactive sessions with expert panelists helped frame the Greater Naugatuck Valley’s path on key issues related to:

  • Transportation
  • Affordable Housing
  • Public Involvement

The conference featured an engaging agenda that included appearances from Guest Speakers Governor Ned Lamont and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary. It took place at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT. This event was free and open to everyone.

“Moving the Masses May be Micro” Presentation & Panel

As energy prices continue to rise and roadway safety is increasingly in focus, Connecticut and the nation are turning toward walking, biking, and other micro-mobility solutions to make up gaps in the transportation system. Bikes, scooters, hoverboards, and other personal transport devices provide a more, but not perfectly, attainable alternative to car ownership, especially for lower-income individuals living in or near urban centers.

This session provided an overview of the current state of infrastructure, legality, and safety barriers to more widespread adoption of micro-mobility devices, as well as discussed ways that municipalities and the COG can work together to improve access.

“Home-Field Advantages of Local Affordable Housing” Presentation & Panel

The location, size, and type of affordable housing development is inherently a local level decision. However, over the last few years, many municipalities in the Naugatuck Valley Region have faced similar housing-related challenges that are changing the housing conditions of our communities.

This session explored how affordable housing development can create opportunities for economic and social mobility and how meeting the needs of all residents creates more resilient and diverse communities.

“Justice Isn’t Just Us: Pursuing an Equitable Environment” Presentation & Panel

Many communities affected by Environmental Justice issues have historically been left out of planning and decision making processes. Involving community members and organizations not only enhances understanding of and by the target population, but it is also fundamental to identifying the best way to meet the community’s needs.

This session explored the significance of Environmental Justice and narrowed in on strategies to build the community’s capacity to be meaningfully involved in the environmental decisions that affect their lives.

A Special Thank You to our Partners Eversource & Avangrid

Without the generous support of Eversource and Avangrid, this event would not have been possible. Click below to explore their slides and recordings of their speeches.

Eversource Recording | Eversource Slides
Avangrid Recording | Avangrid Slides

Valley Transit Bus Shelters

Project Overview

Main St and Bridge St., Ansonia (Inbound)
Main Street and Bridge Street, Ansonia (Inbound)

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG), in collaboration with Valley Transit District, CTtransit, and Greater Bridgeport Transit, has engaged a multidisciplinary team to design bus shelters within the lower valley municipalities of Seymour, Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton. These communities are served by several transit agencies, and several of these sites lack accommodations and are only marked by signs at the bus stop locations. This forces users to stand and be exposed to the elements while waiting for their bus to arrive. Several of these sites have ridership numbers of hundreds of people each day.  

The intent of the project is to assess existing bus stops within these municipalities and to design bus shelters and amenities where possible. The bus shelters will be able to accommodate a variety of users for Valley Transit District, CTtransit, and Greater Bridgeport Transit. The project is being conducted by a team of planning experts and key stakeholders, led by SLR, a multidisciplinary firm. Electrical and illumination expertise is being provided by VN Engineers. 

Elizabeth St. and 5th St., Derby (Outbound)
Elizabeth Street and 5th Street, Derby (Outbound)

As part of this project, we will collect data from critical bus stops and analyze their site conditions. Each site will be assessed for its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, topography, visibility and sight lines, potential Right-of-Way issues, Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) compliance, utility conflicts, access to electricity, and any other notable features. We will work with our team, the municipalities, stakeholders, and the public to determine the most suitable sites for bus shelter installation.

Staff contact

Kevin Ellis
Transportation Engineer
kellis@nvcogct.gov 

Get involved

Public Involvement Process 

We strive to involve the public in a way that is collaborative, accessible, and inclusive. During the project, our team will use a variety of tools to gather public feedback and ensure that this project meets the needs of these communities. 

To fulfill these goals, the project team will meet with stakeholders, conduct a public information meeting, and provide frequent updates via this website and NVCOG’s social media platforms. Additionally, all documents related to the project will be posted to this website. If you have a question or would like to provide a comment, suggestion, or idea, please email kellis@nvcogct.gov. 

Technical Advisory Committee Meetings 

A project Technical Advisory Meeting will be convened, which will be comprised of members of Valley Transit District, the municipalities of Seymour, Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton, as well as CTtransit and Greater Bridgeport Transit. This group will review potential bus shelter sites, bus shelter designs, and related accommodations.  

Public Informational Meeting 

A public informational meeting will be conducted once the site feasibility assessment has been completed and a bus shelter design has been finalized. The public information meeting will have the dual purpose of sharing our findings and hearing directly from the community about their concerns and ideas for the new bus shelters. These meetings are open to all. To ensure widespread access, this meeting will be live streamed and made available for viewing on the NVCOG YouTube page.  

Social Media  

In addition to this website, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, andLinkedIn for updates on the project’s status and progress. 

Interactive Site Assessment Map 

Check out the NVCOG Bus Shelter Inventory interactive map which includes the site assessments for eligible bus stops within the municipalities of Seymour, Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton. 

Project Timeline 

NVCOG along with SLR are finalizing a project schedule which will be posted here when it is completed. 

Documents 

Documents related to this project will be uploaded here when available. 

MTP 2050

About the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)  

As the regional planning agency and a Metropolitan Planning Organization, NVCOG must prepare a long-range transportation plan every four years that lays out the vision for transportation in the future. This document, known as the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, is currently underway, and will identify the current needs and deficiencies within the transportation system, lay out a vision for what we hope to see by 2050, and establish implementation steps to achieve that vision.  The region’s last MTP update was completed in 2019. View the approved and adopted 2019-2045 plan here.

Updating our Plan

With an expected adoption in 2023, the updated MTP provides the region with an opportunity to examine both the present state of our transportation system and share a vision for getting around the Naugatuck Valley in the future.  

We want your feedback!

Now Extended! Due to the strong response to the MTP survey to date, the NVCOG, along with the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments, has extended the survey deadline an additional month to November 30th. It is critical that we can capture the needs of our residents, and we hope this additional period will allow an even wider group within the region to share. A critical component of MTP development is feedback from residents, visitors, and anyone else with an interest in the future of the Greater Naugatuck Valley. 

En Español: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/00ac7cdc6db149be969f7ded9e28f5cd

As a draft of the updated document is prepared, there will be several opportunities for public comment, including at regularly scheduled meetings of the NVCOG and CNVMPO boards, regular meetings of the NVCOG Transportation Technical Advisory Committee, and several meetings held specifically for feedback on the MTP.  Updates will be shared regularly on this page, the NVCOG Facebook, and the NVCOG Twitter account

Transportation in our Region:

Staff Contact

Rich Donovan
Director of Transportation Planning
rdonovan@nvcogct.gov
(203) 489-0361

HydroLand Kinneytown Dam Fish Passage

An ineffective fish ladder at Kinneytown Dam in Seymour, owned by HydroLand, is currently preventing migratory fish from accessing miles of restored habitat upstream. NVCOG has joined the Naugatuck River Restoration Coalition with the goal of returning migratory fish to the Naugatuck River by ensuring that safe, timely and effective fish passage is established at Kinneytown Dam. The Coalition has developed an Interactive Story Map to explain the issue. 

Kinneytown Dam and Fish Ladder
Kinneytown Dam and Fish Ladder, Seymour, CT

As a hydroelectric generating facility, Kinneytown Dam is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  As part of the facility’s license exemption, Hydroland must provide for safe, timely and effective fish passage at the dam.  FERC opened a docket in Fall of 2020 in response to a letter from the US Fish and Wildlife Service documenting inadequate fish passage at the facility.  NVCOG is participating in the docket to ensure that regional and municipal voices are heard by regulators. 

On September 30, 2021, NVCOG, Save the Sound and the Naugatuck River Revival Group jointly took formal legal action asking FERC to revoke the License Exemption held by Hydroland for Kinneytown Dam. A Press Release explained the filing.  

Hydroland, HydroLand, HydroLand Omega, Hydroland Inc, Hydroland Corp, Hydroland Corporation, 

Explore the Issue:

This interactive storymap details the effort to restore migratory fish to the Naugatuck River, and the current issues at Kinneytown Dam keeping fish from miles of restored habitat upstream.

More Information:

Let the Naugatuck River Run Silver Again Op-Ed by John Waldman published in Hearst Media publications 12/4/2020

 

Staff Contact:

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The final Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan and Municipal Annexes have been posted to the NVCOG Hazard Mitigation Plan webpageThe Plan has been adopted by all 19 NVCOG Communities, and the NVCOG Board endorsed the plan on December 10, 2021.  FEMA approved the plan in January, 2022.  

In 2019, NVCOG received funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct a multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP) for all 19 NVCOG municipalities. 

An approved NHMP is required by FEMA to qualify a municipality for certain federal mitigation funding. NHMPs must be updated every 5 years. The purpose of this project is to update municipal NHMPs and develop a consolidated multijurisdictional plan for the entire Naugatuck Valley planning region in compliance with FEMA standards and requirements that will serve as the approved NHMP for each NVCOG municipality. 

Naugatuck River flooding in 1955

The NHMP will identify natural hazards and risks, existing capabilities, and activities that can be undertaken by a community to prevent loss of life and reduce property damages associated with the identified hazards. Public safety and property loss reduction are the driving forces behind this plan. Careful consideration will also be given to the preservation of history, culture and the natural environment of the region. 

Milone & MacBroom Inc. (MMI) was selected to serve as the project consultant. MMI has extensive experience developing NHMPs in the region and across the state.  NVCOG is administering the project and has prepared a detailed scope of work in collaboration with MMI. The project is expected to take 18 months and will include extensive public and stakeholder outreach and coordination with various municipal officials and departments.

Interactive Storymap:  

Click on the tabs at the top of the Project Storymap and scroll through the narrative to learn about hazards impacting the region and view topical maps.

Meetings and Workshops:

Public Information Meeting 8/4/2021
Recording
 
Public Workshop #2: Mitigation 
Recording
Slides
 
Coordinator Workshop #2: Mitigation
Recording
Slides
 
Public Workshop #1: Risk 
Slides
 
Coordinator Workshop #1: Risk
Recording 
Breakout Room Recording
Slides
 
Project Kickoff Meeting
Slides

Upcoming Meetings:

There are no upcoming events.

View Full Calendar

Staff Contact:  

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

COVID-19 Information

Image of virus molecules

As our towns, the state, and country return to normal, NVCOG seeks to provide the best information available for the residents of our nineteen communities. 

On this page, you can find links with information related to the COVID-19 pandemic for:

  • Bus Transit, Commuter Rail, and Highway Updates
  • Resources for Businesses
  • Latest Press Releases and Executive Orders from Governor Lamont
  • Local Health Districts
  • Your Municipality’s COVID-19 Response web page
  • Federal Departments and Agencies

NVCOG Current Status

Employees are back in the office and our office is open to the public. Public information meetings encourage in-person participation and will continue to have a virtual option for participation.

Information Sources

Below are links to trusted agencies with status updates, resources for municipalities and businesses, and the best data on how to prevent coming into contact with the virus and what to do if you do come into contact with the virus.

Connecticut Coronavirus Call Center: 2-1-1
Please contact 211CT if in need of food, mental health, transportation or many other services.

Click on a heading below for the resources NVCOG has compiled.

Bristol-Burlington Health District (Bristol)

Chesprocott Health District (Cheshire, Prospect & Wolcott)

Naugatuck Valley Health District (Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour & Shelton)

Housatonic Valley Health District (Oxford, Southbury & Woodbury)

Torrington Area Health District (Bethlehem, Middlebury, Plymouth, Thomaston & Watertown)

Waterbury Department of Public Health

Emergency Orders issued by the Governor and State Agencies

Executive Order No 700 “Protection of Public Health and Safety during COVID-19 Pandemic and Response – Procedures for Local Appointments and Elections Requiring In-Person Vote”

Governor Lamont’s Press Releases

Connecticut COVID-19 Data Tracker

Find a Test Center Near You including No-Cost COVID-19 Test Sites

Department of Public Health (DPH) resources

Department of Housing (DOH) Housing Notices and Orders regarding COVID-19

Connecticut State Department of Education Supporting Student Participation

Department of Social Services for SNAP and Child Support Services

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) resources for social distancing at state parks, beaches and more.

CT State Library for updates on local libraries.

Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection (4-CT) was launched as a non-profit that unites donors with state-wide programs that will help make an immediate impact.

Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) news and resources

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) resources

Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) news and updates

Municipal Guidance Document #1 “Suspension of In Person Open Meeting Requirements”

Municipal Guidance Document #4 “Suspension of Tax Deadlines and Collection Efforts”

Municipal Guidance Document #5 “Suspension of In-Person Voting Requirements by the Public in the Municipal Budget Process”

Municipal Guidance Document #8 Index of Executive Orders Pertinent to Municipalities

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes funds for Connecticut governments to pay costs incurred in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) has established the Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Program to reimburse municipalities for such costs.

Rules on Use, Allowable Costs & Ineligible Costs and Program Overview

Program Forms, Fact Sheets, and Application Portal

CT DECD – Stop the Spread in English and Spanish.

CT CBIA – Reopen Connecticut resources and materials.

CDC – Print Resources web page with information covering a variety of topics.

Watch live updates on global and national counts of COVID-19 by Johns Hopkins University

Also see state-by-state testing trends by Johns Hopkins University.

Oxford Route 67 Alternative Transportation Study

On February 16, 2022, The Oxford Board of Selectmen endorsed the The Oxford Route 67 Alternative Transportation Study Final Report.  

The study investigated the potential for bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements along Route 67 in Oxford.  The study was funded by the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) with federal transportation planning funds and was conducted with support by TranSystems, a planning and engineering consultant with offices in Meriden, CT.  It was overseen by the Oxford Main Street Committee that was formed in 2017.

Route 67
Existing Conditions along Route 67. Note the lack of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.

Unlike many of its neighbors, Oxford does not have a typical walkable New England downtown or Main Street.  Instead, municipal services and commercial areas are dispersed along with residences along State Route 67. Although Route 67 is fundamentally Oxford’s “Main Street,” it had no sidewalks or any safe bicycle or pedestrian access, and traffic speeds are excessive with no visual cues to alert motorists that they are driving through an area where they may encounter walkers or bicyclists.  In addition, no public transit is operated along Route 67 that could provide residents an alternative transportation option.  Transit options by train on Metro North and by bus on CT Transit are available only one mile from the Oxford town line, but there is currently no way for Oxford residents to safely access these services without a personal motor vehicle.

In Oxford’s 2018 Plan of Conservation and Development, the town prioritized creating more of a downtown feel along Route 67, and the Oxford Main Street Committee has been investigating streetscape improvements, sidewalks and trails within the corridor to improve non-motorized access.    The study built on the committee’s prior work to develop a cohesive plan for the entire corridor to better enable the Town to plan, prioritize, and fund future improvements.

Explore Study Findings

The interactive Project Storymap presents the study and potential bicycle and pedestrian improvements to Route 67 

Explore the Project Area

The interactive Project Webmap allows users to explore the project corridor in greater detail by turning on and off various data layers that are informing the study:

 

Upcoming Meetings

There are no upcoming events.

View Full Calendar

Staff Contact:

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

Regional Plan of Conservation and Development

RPOCD 2023 – Online Public Survey is open!

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) is currently working on its first Regional Plan of Conservation and Development (RPOCD). The RPOCD is an advisory policy document which  helps guide regional development and investment in the NVCOG community over the next ten years to 2033. We anticipate this RPOCD to be completed in 2023. Please click the tabs below to learn more about our RPOCD, participate in online surveys and other public outreach and follow the progress of our work.

ASKING FOR YOUR THOUGHTS – ONLINE PUBLIC SURVEY OPEN!

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments invites you to share your thoughts about where you live, work, learn and play in the Naugatuck Valley Region. All responses are anonymous! Survey open to December 31, 2022. Please click on the “Surveys and Public Input” tab for links.

Staff Contact:  

Joanna Rogalski
Senior Regional Planner
jrogalski@nvcogct.gov

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Regional Wastewater Treatment Consolidation Study

Wastewater equipment in Seymour.

Wastewater equipment in Seymour.The state Office of Policy and Management (OPM) has authorized $1.35 million for NVCOG to conduct a regional wastewater treatment consolidation study. The study, which began in April 2018,  will provide a preliminary analysis to help determine the region’s ability to increase capacity for properly treating wastewater in a consolidated facility or facilities, thereby leading to a reduction in long-term state and local capital improvements and a reduction of user fees.

Specifically, wastewater treatment plants in the municipalities of Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby are being analyzed for potential consolidation and/or the sharing of services. In addition to providing potential recommendations to mitigate costs and capital expenditures that will be required for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plants located in these communities, the study is designed to set an example for other communities throughout Connecticut in consolidating plants and reducing costs. The NVCOG conducted a Request for Proposal for study consultant services in mid-2017. Following a Qualification Based Selection process, Black & Veatch, of Overland Park, Kansas, was selected as the vendor. 

The study is being conducted in two phases. Phase 1 concluded in early 2019. The tasks included a review of existing planning documents and related assessments of existing wastewater treatment facilities and collection system infrastructures. It also provided an estimation of 20-year wastewater flows and load projections for each participating municipality, summarized existing wastewater system management and governance for each participating municipality, and identified potential opportunities for cost savings and operational efficiencies through alternative approaches to system management and governance structure. In addition, Phase 1  identified a long list of wastewater regionalization alternatives that appear to have initial merit for consideration.

Phase 2, which began in March 2020, will include a more extensive technical and engineering analysis, as well as identification of a short list of alternatives and preferred alternative(s) to the systems currently in place. It will also include a Cost Benefit Analysis, crafting of a Governance Model for any proposed regional wastewater entity and Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE). It is expected to formally conclude in early 2022.

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Route 8 & Waterbury Branch Line Corridor/Alternative Modes Study

A study of options to reduce congestion and increase mobility throughout the Route 8 and Waterbury Branch Rail Line corridors

About the Study

The Route 8 & Waterbury Branch Line Corridor/Alternative Modes Study is assessing the needs and opportunities for improving service on the Waterbury Branch Line and the feasibility of alternatives to single occupancy vehicles. These alternative modes include commuter rail, express bus and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), walking and biking. The project is being led by AECOM Technical Services, Inc. The study team has completed an overview of existing travel conditions within the corridor, an assessment of transit-oriented development opportunities within rail station areas, and the feasibility of instituting BRT service. A website has been set up to provide project details. Click here to access the Alt Modes Study website.

Transit Rider Input

In support of the study goals and objectives, the NVCOG conducted an on-board count and survey of passengers riding the Waterbury branch line trains. All inbound and outbound trains were counted and surveyed over a three-day period.  The goals of the survey were to gain insight into the key concerns passengers have with quality and frequency of service.

Take a look at what the riders had to say about train service in the Naugatuck Valley: WBL Passenger Count Summary.

Transit-Oriented Development 

Aimportant task of the study was determining the feasibility of Transit-Oriented Developments (TOD) in the vicinity of the Waterbury rail line stations. A TOD integrates land use, transportation, and the environment and results in new housing, jobs, and more sustainable and walkable communities. They are characterized by compact, mixed-use land uses that provide a wide range of housing styles and commercial space choices. To guide the assessment, the study team conducted a series of workshops in each community along the rail line and developed a Visual Preference Survey that allowed residents to describe how they would like to see their downtowns in the future. From these preference surveys, model TOD blocks were created. To read more about possible TOD scenarios in the Naugatuck Valley: TOD Scenario Report   

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) 

While the primary objective of the study is to improve and enhance service on the Waterbury line, other transiactions were also explored. Regular fixed-route bus services operate in the corridor, but they do not provide travel time efficiencies that commuters find attractive. A BRT operation blends the positive features of rail with the flexibility of bus transit, to make riding the bus a higher-end service alternative. The study team explored the merits of enhancing bus service between Derby and Bridgeport, identifying five possible alternatives. The preferred option included the construction of a dedicated busway within the median of Route 8 with limited stops at newly created transit hubs. Feeder bus services would be implemented to move travelers from the transit hubs to their final destinations. This action is considered a long-term vision for the corridor. To learn more about BRT in Naugatuck Valley:  BRT Scenario Report   

Next Steps 

The study is advancing to the final recommendations with a focus on a capital and operations improvement plan for the Waterbury Rail Line and a long-term vision of developing a Bus Rapid Transit system along Route 8 between Derby and Bridgeport. A visualization of recommended services is being developed and the study team will be meeting with municipal representatives to promote TOD land uses.  

In the meantime, the NVCOG is working with its mayors, first selectmen, and its state legislative delegation to support funding for needed short-term Waterbury rail line improvements.  In January 2020, NVCOG held the Naugatuck Valley Rail Conference to engage stakeholders in a dialog about the region’s rail needs.   

Watch statewide news coverage of the event here.

Staff Contact: 

Mark Nielsen
Director of Planning/Assistant Director
mnielsen@nvcogct.gov

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