Oxford Route 67 Study Public Information Meeting and Public Input Opportunities

For Immediate Release: September 22, 2020

Contacts:
Aaron Budris
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
203-757-0535
abudris@nvcogct.org

Oxford Main Street Committee Announces Public Information Meeting

and Seeks Public Input on the Oxford Route 67 Alternative Transportation Study

The Oxford Main Street Project (OMSP) Committee has announced a virtual public meeting on October 8th at 7pm to hear about plans and progress along Route 67, and to provide input about ongoing projects. You can find meeting specifics at www.nvcogct.gov/event/oxfordmainstreet. The OMSP Committee has been working to make the Route 67 and Little River corridor pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and to provide better access to the businesses and natural resources throughout the corridor. In order to better inform and engage with the public on their progress, the committee has kicked off a new project visibility campaign to include enhanced public outreach and opportunities for residents to provide feedback. The Committee has started a new Facebook group that has grown to over 250 members, and residents are encouraged to join. Information about the OMSP Committee can be found at www.oxford-ct.gov/main-street-project-committee.

The OMSP Committee is overseeing the Oxford Route 67 Alternative Transportation Study that will be highlighted at the October 8th Meeting. The Study is building 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. The planning study is being funded by the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) with federal transportation planning funds and is being conducted by TranSystems Corporation, a planning and engineering consultant with offices in Meriden, CT. The study is expected to be completed in Summer, 2021, when a report detailing final recommendations will be published.

Throughout the spring and summer, study partners collected and analyzed information about the existing conditions in the corridor, and they have begun investigating potential bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements. The focus of these potential improvements will be to improve connections and transportation options to the Seymour sidewalk network, train station and Naugatuck River Greenway Trail to the south, and the Larkin Bridle Trail to the north, as well as to all of the businesses, services, green spaces, and residential areas within the corridor. The potential for transit service is also being investigated, focusing on connections to services and major residential and commercial centers and to surrounding communities.

While the Covid-19 Pandemic has altered public outreach for the study, there will still be numerous opportunities for residents and businesses to provide input. Public input will be gathered at and following the Virtual public Meeting on October 8th and comments can be left at any time through the study webpage at www.nvcogct.gov/oxfordroute67. Residents and business owners are also encouraged to complete a short survey that can be found on the webpage.

Oxford prioritized creating more of a downtown feel along Route 67 in the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development. Unlike many of its neighbors, Oxford does not have a typical walkable New England downtown or Main Street. Instead, municipal and commercial areas are dispersed along with residences along State Route 67. Although Route 67 is fundamentally Oxford’s “Main Street,” it currently has no sidewalks or any safe bicycle or pedestrian access, and traffic speeds can be 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.

Kathleen O’Neil, Oxford Grant Administrator and Chair of the Oxford Main Street Committee explained that “Oxford residents have said they want pedestrian and bicycle access along the Little River and Route 67. We are very excited to share progress toward that goal, and to give the public a chance to help guide and contribute to future work”.

Discussing the Oxford Route 67 Alternative Transportation Study, TranSystems Project Manager Casey Hardin said that, “This is a tremendous opportunity to build off the excellent work that the Oxford Main Street Committee has completed over the last several years. We are aiming to create a multimodal master plan for the corridor that can encourage sustainable transportation and growth in the Town for years to come.”

Artist rendering of possible revisions to Oxford’s Route 67/Little River Corridor. Residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback and learn details of plans for the corridor during an October 8 virtual meeting.

Public Comment Period Has Opened for the Draft 2021-2024 CNVMPO TIP

Road work ahead sign

The public comment period has opened for the Draft 2021-2024 Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Improvement Program (CNVMPO TIP). The TIP lists all proposed highway and transit improvement projects programmed to receive federal financial assistance from the US Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration – over the next four federal fiscal years. The MPO’s TIP conforms to the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) being developed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The CTDOT has completed the air quality assessment of the draft TIP and the results of the analyses are also available for review and comment.

A forty-five (45) day review and comment period has been established, beginning on August 24, 2020, and ending on October 9, 2020. The public is welcomed and encouraged to review and comment on the MPO’s draft TIP and air quality analyses.

The TIP is expected to require about $1,113.9 million to implement over the next four years. This funding requirement includes regional (specific projects located in one of the fifteen municipalities in the Central Naugatuck Valley MPO area), statewide, and multi-region projects. Project located wholly within the CNV planning area accounts for $70.4 million of this total value. The complete list of projects is available in the CNVMPO TIP.

The public is invited to attend and offer comments on the draft TIP and air quality conformity documents at the virtual CNVMPO meeting to be held on October 9th at 10:00 AM. A virtual public information meeting to be held on September 16th at 5:00 PM. Agency and CTDOT staff will be available to informally discuss any aspects relating to the draft TIP/STIP, air quality conformity determinations, and any other transportation issues and concerns. All documents and additional information is being made available here.

ACIR has developed Best Practices Guidelines to assist municipalities in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) has developed Best Practices Guidelines to assist municipalities in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this effort is to provide local officials with solutions that meet local needs and are in sync with state expectations.
Chaired by Mayor O’Leary, the ACIR appreciates the leadership provided by COST, CCM & CTCOG, and guidance from the General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research and many state agencies.
The Best Practices Guidelines, which will be updated regularly to reflect any new Executive Orders or guidance, are available here.
In addition, towns that are planning to reopen to the public and employees or expand public access to town halls should adhere to the Safe Workplace Sector Rules for Offices.

CT ReOpen Enforcement Guidelines & Nuisance Form

Building and Sky

The Department of Economic Community Development, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and Department of Public Health have released a document with consolidated information regarding ReOpen Enforcement Guidelines concerning municipalities and local health officials.

As authorized by Executive Order 7PP, issued May 18th, 2020, a local or district health director can order the closure of Public Health Facilities (defined as hair salons, barbershops, beauty shops, nail salons, spas, tattoo or piercing establishments, restaurants, eating establishments, private clubs, or any locations licensed for on-premise consumption of alcohol, that is allowed to reopen pursuant to the Sector Rules) until such time as the local or district health director determines that the Public Health Facility has abated the nuisance by coming into compliance with the Sector Rules.

As authorized by Executive Order 7PP, issued May 18th, 2020, a Municipal Designee selected by the municipal chief executive officer can order the closure of any business other than hair salons, barbershops, beauty shops, nail salons, spas, tattoo or piercing establishments, restaurants, eating establishments, private clubs, or any locations licensed for on-premise consumption of alcohol until such time as the Municipal Designee determines that the business has abated the nuisance by coming into compliance with the Sector Rules. A municipal chief executive shall not select a local health director, a district health director, or the staff of a local or district health director as their Municipal Designee.

In order to ensure compliance with Connecticut’s Sector Rules for May 20th Reopen, the State has established a Reopen CT Online Complaint Form which will become available at https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus beginning on May 20th.
For more information, please refer to the aforementioned documents, provided below.

NVCOG receives $800,000 EPA grant for regional brownfields

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments’ (NVCOG) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) $800,000 toward the remediation of contaminated properties in the greater Naugatuck Valley region.  

The grant will be used to provide loans and subgrants to support cleanup activities. Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach activities. The majority of the award will be utilized in the City of Waterbury’s Brownfields Corridor, which contains more than 45 acres of closed metal manufacturing and foundry sites within the low-income, minority South End neighborhood and five Qualified Opportunity Zones. 

However, that commitment also frees up resources that can be used in any of the Regional Brownfields Partnership’s (RBP) 27 Western-Central Connecticut towns 

EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is a real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.  

RLF’s are one of the competitive grant programs that EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism. 

Read more about the Regional Brownfield Partnership and see a list of brownfield sites around the region.

Governor Lamont Encourages Connecticut Residents to Use the “How We Feel” App to Improve COVID-19 Response

How We Feel App

Original Press Release

Posted on April 20, 2020

The How We Feel app was developed by leading health experts from several institutions, including Harvard University, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. It was created in response to the need for health officials and doctors to obtain more information on COVID-19 in the face of widespread testing shortages. It only takes users about 30 seconds each day to report any symptoms they may be experiencing, and the information shared has the potential to reveal outbreak hotspots and provide insight into the progression of COVID-19.(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is partnering with the developers of the How We Feel app in an effort to anonymously provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of COVID-19. Available to download for free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store, it is supported by a nonprofit organization and does not require logging in or the sharing of any personal details, such as name or email address. In addition to being available to download to mobile devices, users can also complete the survey through a web version available at howwefeel.app.

People in Connecticut – whether they are healthy or sick – can help this research by using the app and self-reporting their daily symptoms through a series of short prompts about how they’re feeling, and share that data with scientists in real time. Aggregate data is securely shared with leading medical institutions so scientists and public health professionals can better spot emerging outbreaks early, identify new populations who are at risks, and measure the efficacy of public health measures such as social distancing.

Getting this data to the medical community as quickly as possible enables them to make faster decisions to help slow or contain the virus. When they have a better idea of who is sick, how sick they are, and where they are, there’s the potential to increase testing, deploy additional resources, and ultimately save lives.

“We’re all looking for something we can do to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this app provides an opportunity for everyone – regardless of whether you are currently sick or if you are in healthy condition – to share how you’re feeling to leading health professionals, so they can track the spread of this virus and quickly determine where a new outbreak may be occurring,” Governor Lamont said. “Likewise, as people report healthier symptoms, the data could reveal which health measures are having the fastest impact and apply those learnings in other areas. It’s quick and easy to use, and completely anonymous. By encouraging everyone to use How We Feel, we all benefit.”

Dr. Albert Ko, co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, said, “We need to provide all residents of Connecticut with the best technology to identify whether they are feeling ill and need to get tested for COVID-19. We can all be assured that by partnering with most trusted and high-caliber doctors and scientists who created How We Feel, we can provide the best care the highest standards of data privacy.”

Indra Nooyi, co-chair of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, said, “As our taskforce works on our plan for fighting the virus and getting the state back to work, How We Feel will be a critical tool for us to get a better understanding of how the whole population is feeling, both healthy and sick. This will enable us to more quickly make the important decisions about opening the economy.”

Download the app now:
Apple App Store | Google Play Store

For more information, visit www.howwefeel.org or contact info@howwefeel.org.

 

Please visit our COVID-19 Response page for more information concerning this virus.

Everyone in the Valley Counts – Your Local Resource on the 2020 Census

Naugatuck Valley 2020 Census logo

Do you have questions about the 2020 Census? Are you unsure of what is being asked of you? Do you think taking the Census is unsafe? Do you need assistance with filling out the questionnaire?

We answer these questions and concerns by providing all the real facts about participating in the Census and why you are so important. Visit our 2020 Census page or http://nvcogct.gov/2020census for information on the 2020 Census.

Naugatuck Valley 2020 Census logo