Kinneytown Dam Fish Passage

An ineffective fish ladder at Kinneytown Dam in Seymour 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 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
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, the facility operator 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.  

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

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.

Public Survey:  

We want to hear from you about the natural hazards in the region:

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.

Upcoming Meetings

There are no upcoming events at this time.

View Full Calendar

Staff Contact:  

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

Image of virus molecules

During this time of uncertainty, NVCOG would like to provide the best information available for the residents of our nineteen communities. 

On this page, you can find links with information related to 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

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and in accordance with Governor Lamont’s directives, most of the employees of NVCOG will be working remotely until further notice. Individual staff members may still be reached directly via their direct-dial numbers or by using the company directory. Messages left at our main phone number, 203-757-0535, are being actively monitored and will be returned as quickly as possible. All staff email accounts are active and being monitored as they normally are.

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.

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

Bristol-Burlington Health District (Bristol)

Chesprocott Health District (Cheshire, Prospect & Wolcott)

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

Pomperaug Health District (Oxford, Southbury & Woodbury)

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

Waterbury Department of Public Health

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

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.

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.

Municipal Closures and Updates

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.

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and in accordance with Governor Lamont’s directives, the employees of NVCOG will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. Individual staff members may still be reached directly via their direct-dial numbers or by using the company directory. Messages left at our main phone number, (203) 757-0535, are being actively monitored and will be returned as quickly as possible. All staff email accounts are active and being monitored as they normally are. Status updates will be posted on our website www.nvcogct.gov and our social media outlets.

2020 Census

Updated 2020 Census Timeline

After much deliberation, the 2020 Census has officially ended on October 15, 2020.

Timeline for Releasing Redistricting Data

If this were a typical decade, the Census Bureau would be on the verge of delivering the first round of redistricting data from the 2020 Census. The original plan was to deliver the data in state groupings starting Feb. 18, 2021, and finishing by March 31, 2021.  

However, COVID-19 delayed census operations significantly. Consistent with the previous census, the Census Bureau is focusing first on their constitutional obligation to deliver the state population counts for apportionment to the President by the deadline of April 30, 2021. This focus on meeting their constitutional obligation has delayed some of the processing activities necessary to generate the redistricting counts.   The Census Bureau expects to deliver the redistricting data to the states and the public by Sept. 30, 2021. 

This data delivery will be a single national delivery, rather than the originally-planned staggered delivery of redistricting data.  

This national delivery allows the Census Bureau to:

  • Ensure we are delivering the high-quality fit-for-use data products the states need for redistricting. 
  • Complete delivery to all states several weeks earlier than the last states would have otherwise received it.
  •  Better manage the production process.

The Census Bureau is acutely aware of the difficulties that this delayed delivery of the redistricting data will cause some states. Some states have statutory or even state constitutional deadlines and processes that they will have to address due to this delay.

See how many households in your community responded in the chart further down on this page. 

This was the first census offered online and over the phone. Most households received a mailing with instructions to participate online or by phone, while a more limited amount received mailings including a paper questionnaire, as well as the online or phone options.

Local organizations and municipal governments were willing to help you and your household get counted. 

Written response forms were available in English and Spanish.  Online response forms and over the phone had 12 languages available while residents can request video or written aids in 59 languages. Personnel is also available at regional offices for those to respond in person with American Sign Language.

Information needed to fill out the Census:

  • Your Census ID, located on your Census invitation.
  • Information for each person living in your home:
    • Names
    • Dates of Birth
    • Race & Ethnicity
Naugatuck Valley 2020 Census logo

Count Yourself in the Right Place.

In general, you should count yourself where you live and sleep most of the time. But pay attention if you are:

  • Completing Your Household’s Form. When responding, count any children, including newborns, who usually live and sleep at your home. If they split time between homes, count them where they were on April 1, 2020.
  • A Recent Mover. Count yourself at your new address if you were moved in by April 1, 2020.
  • A Renter. Count yourself where you live. Even if you don’t own the home, you need to participate. Don’t forget your family and roommates.
  • A College Student. You’ll be counted at your dorm since you live there most of the time. Even if you live off-campus, count yourself where you live and sleep the most of the time. This includes international students.
  • A Resident of a Group Facility. Census Bureau employees will work with representatives of the building to ensure you are counted. This includes nursing homes, group homes, shelters, and correctional facilities.

Census Materials

The following materials are online documents available for use on other websites or for printing purposes.

View this website in español. For more languages, click on “English” at the top of this page and select from the drop-down your preferred langauage.

For Your Safety

The Census Bureau will never ask for:

• Social Security numbers
• Bank or credit card account numbers
• Money or donations
• Anything on behalf of a political party
• Citizenship status

If a census taker comes to your home, they will have an ID with their photo, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. They will not ask to come in nor ask you to step outside.

If would like to avoid census takers coming to your door, fill out the Census online or by phone.

Report Suspected Fraud

Call the Census Bureau at 1-800-923-8282 or your local police department.

Helpful Links

United States Census homepage for all information on the upcoming Census and is available en español.

Connecticut Counts 2020 is the state’s go-to-page for 2020 Census events and materials.

U.S. Census Jobs for temporary positions needed to support three offices within Connecticut.

Naugatuck Valley Regional Profile is based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Staff Contact:

Richard Crowther Jr.

GIS Analyst

rcrowther@nvcogct.gov

Tracking Responses

Our goal is 100%, but a more realistic goal is a higher response rate than in 2010 and so far in the region, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bristol, Cheshire, Naugatuck, Oxford, Plymouth, Seymour, Shelton, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury have surpassed their 2010 self-response rates! Response rates are as of October 15, 2020. The total Enumerated in Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) for the State of Connecticut is 29.5%. Below are the self-response rates for each municipality in the region. Percentage rates and colors reflect those of the map from the U.S. Census Bureau below. 

Ansonia
0%
Beacon Falls
0%
Bethlehem
0%
Bristol
0%
Cheshire
0%
Derby
0%
Middlebury
0%
Naugatuck
0%
Oxford
0%
Plymouth
0%
Propsect
0%
Seymour
0%
Shelton
0%
Southbury
0%
Thomaston
0%
Waterbury
0%
Watertown
0%
Wolcott
0%
Woodbury
0%
Connecticut (Total Response Rate)
0%

This interactive dashboard displays delayed live counts of response rates for the 2020 Census provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Map of the completion rates for the Nonresponse Followup operation by Area Census Office.
Nonresponse Followup is the final 2020 Census data collection operation to count households that have not already responded online, by phone, or by returning their completed questionnaire.

Learning about each hard-to-survey area allows the U.S. Census Bureau to create a tailored communication and partnership campaign, and to plan for field resources including hiring staff with language skills. The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) application was developed before the 2020 Census to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates available in the Planning Database. These and other efforts can improve response rates. Some of these hard-to-survey areas are in the Naugatuck Valley region .

Complete Count Committees

Naugatuck Valley Complete Count Committee Kickoff

Thank you to all of those who volunteered their time to get everyone in their community counted! When community members are informed, they are more likely to respond to the census. State and local governments; community based organizations; faith-based groups; schools; businesses; the media; and others play a key role in developing partners to educate and motivate residents to participate in the 2020 Census.

Municipalities and organizations in our region have formed Complete Count Committees in preparation of the 2020 Census:

  • City of Ansonia 
  • Town of Beacon Falls
  • Town of Bethlehem
  • City of Bristol
  • Town of Cheshire
  • City of Derby
  • Borough of Naugatuck
  • Town of Oxford
  • City of Waterbury
  • Naugatuck Valley Complete Count Committee
    • includes Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour & Shelton
  • Along with many organizations and businesses in the region.

Be prepared for the next census to see how you and your community can get involved with a Complete Count Committee.

When is it?

Census Day was April 1, 2020, but counting began before then.

The U.S. Census Bureau states “by not trying to capture a response from everyone in a single day, or even a single month, they will make sure everyone has a better user experience and the ability to complete the census on their own time.”

The Census is Safe and Simple

There were only nine questions on the census. They ask very basic demographic questions: who lives in the household; how they are related; their age, sex, and race; whether they own or rent their house; and their phone number. All personal information recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is not shared with any other department or branch of the government under federal law.  The data is summarized and distributed by census blocks at the smallest scale. 

The 2020 Census at a Glance

Once every decade, the federal government conducts a census of the entire population to count everyone in the United States and record basic information about them. Our nation’s founders believed this data was so important that they mandated the decennial census in the Constitution.

The census is much more than just a head count. It provides a picture of our nation that helps determine where to build new schools, hospitals, and businesses; how over $675 billion in federal funding is distributed; and how congressional seats are apportioned. It also helps us see how our communities have changed over time. That’s why an accurate count is so important. 

To see how much federal funding is relying on Census data, please refer to this study by George Washington University. Each program on the list relies on Census data to determine how much funding is distributed to each state.      Hint: its over $10 Billion each year!

Census Partnership Badge

Copy this image to post on your website to show support of the 2020 Census.

What Has Been Done in Preparation to the 2020 Census

NVCOG and its member municipalities participated in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Operation in the spring of 2018.  Only house and unit numbers with road and street names were used during this process. In the spring of 2018, all of our municipalities participated in this process, with NVCOG completing the work for 17 and assisting the other two. NVCOG submitted 4932 housing units and made 1972 address corrections.

In August 2019, we received feedback from the U.S. Census on the submission of new addresses and corrections. The Census Bureau has accepted 91% (4506) of the added units and 85% (1685) of corrections submitted. By using the regional average of 2.6 people per household, there are now an additional 11,700 people to be counted in April 2020.

Some of our municipalities participated in a chance to add more addresses to the Census’ address database.  Seven municipalities designated NVCOG to add new and planned residential construction from March 2018 (the time of the first LUCA Operation step) and any that will be habitable by April 1, 2020.  This process added another 271 addresses in the region. 

During the entire LUCA Operation, an additional 12,400 people can now be counted, hopefully gaining more federal support for the region.

In the spring of 2019, NVCOG participated in the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) to review and update selected statistical area boundaries for 2020 Census data tabulation, following U.S. Census Bureau guidelines and criteria.  We created an online map showing existing boundaries and proposed boundary changes.

The U.S. Census Bureau is Hiring

The U.S. Census Bureau is continuing it’s recruiting efforts to hire temporary, part-time census takers for the 2020 Census in communities across the state. The positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training, and weekly paychecks. To determine the pay rate in a specific area, learn more about these positions, or apply for one of these positions, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

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Regional Plan of Conservation and Development

Though there are legal reasons to write a Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), we think the practical ones are far more important. Learn more about POCD’s through the questions and answers below:

What is your current Regional Plan of Conservation and Development?

Current regional planning work is being guided by the three POCD’s from the three regional planning agencies which consolidated as the NVCOG in 2015: the Valley Council of Governments, the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, and the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency.

What is a Regional Plan of Conservation and Development? 

The Regional Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) is the NVCOG’s advisory policy document on the future physical development of the region. The POCD addresses planning issues which transcend municipal boundaries, such as water supply, economy, housing and transportation, presents a metropolitan perspective, and recommends general policies that will guide the NVCOG region’s residents and decision makers in responding to future change. 

Why prepare a regional POCD? 

Legal reason: State Statute 8-35a mandates that regional council of governments prepare such a plan at least once every ten years. 

Practical reason: We live in a regional community. Each city and town in the NVCOG region relies on each other for employment, housing, retail, healthcare, and other services and needs. The regional POCD provides planning linkages between towns and cities and offers policies to more efficiently coordinate development to improve its residents’ quality of life. 

How will the Plan be used? 

The Plan will guide NVCOG in setting priorities, reviewing state, regional and local proposals, implementing programs, and assisting member communities. 

Relationship between Local, Regional and State Plans? 

LOCAL: Each municipality in the region has a local POCD. These plans address local issues and are connected to local zoning codes.

STATE: At the State level, its POCD is much broader in scope. State POCD recommendations guide major state initiatives and local and regional projects involving state funding in excess of $200,000.

REGIONAL: The Regional Plan falls between the two, more specific than the State Plan and more general than the local plans. Furthermore, State statutes require a review of consistency between a municipal plan and regional and state POCD’s. Because the municipal plan is connected to zoning, it is typically the most influential. For this reason, the Regional POCD places a great deal of emphasis on local plans and zoning. 

When will you update the POCD? 

The NVCOG staff and Regional Planning Commission is currently in the process of reviewing the three regional POCD’s to create one new NVCOG POCD.  Please check back to this page for NVCOG POCD progress updates and latest drafts. 

I want to tell you what I think about the Regional POCD’s! 

And we want to hear from you! We are in the process of creating an online survey and setting a schedule for public workshops and informational meetings 

Staff Contact:  

Joanna Rogalski
Senior Regional Planner
jrogalski@nvcogct.gov

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NRG Trail Thomaston to Torrington Routing Feasibility Study

NEW – The Naugatuck River Greenway Thomaston to Torrington Routing Feasibility Study Report was endorsed by the Northwest Hills COG Board on December 10, 2020, by the NVCOG Board on May 8, 2020, and by the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee on May 13, 2020.

Where should the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail be developed between Torrington and Thomaston?

The NRG Trail Thomaston to Torrington Routing Feasibility Study was  conducted to answer that question. In 2018 and 2019, study partners investigated environmental conditions and potential trail route options throughout the corridor, and talked with stakeholders and the public to help determine a preferred route for the NRG trail. The goal of the study was to identify a single preferred route for the NRG Trail through field investigation and public and stakeholder engagement, and to develop project phasing with cost estimates in preparation for future funding opportunities.

Final Report 

The Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Thomaston to Torrington Routing Feasibility Study Report was endorsed by the NVCOG Board on May 8th, 2020. The report explains the methods used by the study team throughout the study, and presents findings detailing the current conditions of the study area.  The preferred route, selected by the Project Committee, is described in detail, along with design and construction cost estimates and phasing recommendations. Additional trail development considerations are also presented.

The study was conducted by the BSC Group in partnership with NVCOG, The Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG), the City of Torrington and the Towns of Litchfield, Harwinton and Thomaston.  The study was funded by a Responsible Growth and Transit Oriented Development grant from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM), supplemented by funding from CT DOT and FHWA.

Explore the Project Area

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

 

Staff contact:  

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

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NRG Thomaston – Watertown Design & Construction

The Towns of Thomaston and Watertown received a federal Recreational Trails Program grant through the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to design and construct a trailhead parking area and short section of Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) trail in Thomaston and to design critical features along the future NRG route in Watertown.  NVCOG is administering the grant on behalf of the towns, and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) is the project engineer. The project is part of the larger 44-mile NRG trail that is planned to follow the Naugatuck River from Torrington to Derby.

The original purpose of the project was to design and construct a trailhead and trail on town property in Thomaston adjacent to the town water pollution control and animal control facilities connecting to an existing historic trolley bridge over Branch Brook, and design critical features including drainage and rail separation for a trail to be constructed in the future in Watertown. Investigation into the reuse of the Trolley Bridge revealed that it would be more cost effective to construct a new crossing. The scope was altered to use the limited construction funds to fully design a new crossing full design of a new crossing of Branch Brook.  

The trail segment and trailhead parking in Thomaston will provide access to the NRG, Mattatuck and Branch Brook Trails via a new pedestrian bridge over Branch Brook that was designed as part of this project.  Thomaston and Watertown each applied for Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LoTCIP) funding to construct sections of the NRG Trail in the respective towns.

Detail of new pedestrian bridge over Branch Brook
Plan view of new pedestrain bridge over Branch Brook

Project Webmap

Explore the project area and critical features in the interactive Project Webmap :

 

Staff contact:  

Aaron Budris
Senior Regional Planner
abudris@nvcogct.gov

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Thomaston East Main Street Riverfront Reuse Plan

Thomaston East Main

Project Type: Area-Wide Planning

Activities: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Analysis of project area-wide challenges and opportunities.

On behalf of the Town of Thomaston, NVCOG was awarded a $60,000 Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Brownfield Area-wide Revitalization Grant for three parcels along East Main Street in Thomaston.

The long underutilized former Plume and Atwood facility is the center of the project area, which also includes the Railroad Museum of New England and the former New England Oil Terminal. Thomaston and NVCOG will investigate the sites’ existing challenges. The Town will additionally identify low-cost, incremental projects that may improve existing conditions while additional funding is sought for remediation.

Project Status: Procurement and final project scoping in progress.

Documents: Thomaston East Main Street Riverfront Reuse Plan Request for Qualifications