Regional Brownfields Partnership Newsletter Summer 2024

Quarterly Updates

The NVCOG published the summer edition of the Regional Brownfields Partnership of West Central CT newsletter. Read about the team’s insights on active brownfield projects and funding opportunities.

Highlights:

  • $4M EPA Funding Secured for Brownfields Clean Up & Revitalization
  • Staff Presents at 2024 Revitalizing New England: Brownfields Summit
  • Project Updates in Torrington & Shelton

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PRESS RELEASE: $5.7 Million RAISE Grant for Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2024

Contact:
Richard Donovan
Transportation Planning Director
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
203-757-0535
rdonovan@nvcogct.gov

$5.7 Million RAISE Grant for Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Development

(Waterbury, CT) – On June 26, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO) will receive a $5.7 million grant under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program to advance the development of the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail. The project’s intent is to improve safety, environmental sustainability, and quality of life in the Naugatuck Valley Planning Region. Program funds were awarded through the efforts and support from Congresswomen Jahana Hayes and Rosa DeLauro, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

The CNVMPO, as the federally designated transportation planning organization for the towns included in the study, is excited to advance this critical transportation asset within the region. As the host agency of the CNVMPO, the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) will manage the award and ensure completion of the project.

The NVCOG will use the RAISE grant funding to fully design approximately 6.2 miles of the NRG trail in Naugatuck, Waterbury, Watertown, and Thomaston, and support the completion of plans for about 5.8 miles of the trail that have advanced to design. The project area extends from Breen field in Naugatuck to East Main Street in downtown Thomaston, covering 16.9 miles. Three sections of NRG Trail within this corridor have been completed. In addition, a section in Waterbury is being designed and will be constructed with federal funds awarded under a 2022 RAISE grant. The recently announced award will result in all sections in the project segment to be fully designed, setting up the municipalities and region for future funding requests to construct the trail. A proactive public engagement process will be conducted to ensure that public and stakeholder input is considered during trail routing and design phases. The project will complete a full environmental analysis of the proposed trail.

The Naugatuck River Greenway is a 44-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail that will connect 11 Naugatuck River communities: Torrington, Litchfield, Harwinton, Thomaston, Watertown, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia, and Derby. The NRG is an officially designated Connecticut State Greenway. To learn more about the NRG, please visit https://nvcogct.gov/what-we-do/naugatuck-river-greenway/.

Development of the NRG Trail will rejuvenate historic downtowns, enhance recreational access to the Naugatuck River, promote sustainable transportation, boost tourism, stimulate economic development, address environmental justice issues, and improve the quality of life and health of residents, especially in underserved communities.

“We are excited to receive this RAISE grant. It is a significant milestone in advancing the NRG Trail project and will allow us to address the critical challenges along the project corridor in a coordinated and regional manner,” said Mark Nielsen, NVCOG Assistant Director. “This funding will also move the region closer to realizing the vision of a long-distance trail along the Naugatuck River that will provide significant economic, health and environmental benefits and connect several of our communities with a safe, non-motorized transportation option.”

“We are grateful for the efforts of Congresswomen Jahana Hayes and Rosa DeLauro, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, in securing approval from USDOT Secretary Buttigieg. We also thank our state partners for their critically important support, including Mark Boughton, the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Infrastructure, Katie Dykes, CTDEEP Commissioner, and Garrett Eucalitto, CTDOT Commissioner,” said Rick Dunne, NVCOG Executive Director. “With these funds, we can advance crucial environmental assessments and design plans, ensuring the NRG Trail becomes a transformative asset for our communities.”

About the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG):
The NVCOG facilitates collaboration among the Mayors and Selectpersons of 19 member municipalities to maximize resources, advance shared goals, and address common challenges confronting their communities. Member municipalities include Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bristol, Cheshire, Derby, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Seymour, Shelton, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury.

In addition to serving as the state designated regional planning agency, the NVCOG is responsible for the federal transportation planning process as the host agency for the Central Naugatuck Valley MPO and co-host of the Greater Bridgeport and Valley MPO.

About the Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO):
The Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization oversees transportation planning in the Waterbury area, ensuring a coordinated approach to regional development. The CNVMPO comprises fifteen municipalities stretching north and south from Thomaston to Beacon Falls and east and west from Bristol to Southbury. To learn more about the CNVMPO, visit nvcogct.gov/who-we-are/a-metropolitan-planning-organization/.

Community members walk along the Naugatuck River Greenway

NEWS RELEASE: DeLauro Announces $5.7 Million Infrastructure Grant for Naugatuck River Greenway Trail

Click here to access the press release

Published on June 25, 2024 

Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) announced that the Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO) was awarded $5,725,669 million in funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. This grant will support the planning and design of a critical segment of the Naugatuck River Greenway Trail (NRG).

“I am thrilled to announce $5,725,669 million to support the planning and design of a significant portion of the Naugatuck River Greenway Trail,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “The Naugatuck River Greenway Trail is a critical piece of the vision for a revitalized central business district in downtown Naugatuck. This infrastructure investment will tie our community more closely together – expanding transportation options for residents, connecting individuals to work and recreation, and expanding access to green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Naugatuck River Greenway aims to reconnect the Naugatuck Valley to its river, fostering economic development and providing a safe, accessible transportation corridor for physical activity and recreation. The Naugatuck River Greenway will serve as an economic driver by providing access to the river, promoting tourism, and supporting local businesses.

“This RAISE grant for the Naugatuck River Greenway represents a significant investment in our community’s future, offering both environmental and economic benefits,” continued DeLauro. “This project will enhance connectivity, provide vital transportation options for underserved communities, and stimulate economic growth in the Naugatuck Valley region.”

PRESS RELEASE: Household Hazardous Waste and Paint Collection Scheduled for Saturday, July 27 in Wolcott

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2024

Contact:
NVCOG
(203) 757-0535
https://nvcogct.gov/HHW

Household Hazardous Waste and Paint Collection Scheduled for Saturday, July 27 in Wolcott

Do you have paints, cleaners, and other chemicals in your home that you need to dispose of? The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) and participating municipalities will sponsor a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Paint Collection event on Saturday, July 27, 2024. The collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wolcott Public Works facility, located at 48 Todd Road, Wolcott, CT 06716.

The collection is open to residents of the following communities: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Derby, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury. There is no charge to residents. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, tax bill, or other identification, is required for entry. There is no need to line up before the 8 a.m. start time.

Hazardous waste consists of poisonous, flammable, and corrosive materials that are harmful to human health if not disposed of properly. The only waste that will be accepted is hazardous waste produced by households. Materials generated by a commercial enterprise or non-profit entity will not be accepted. A full list of acceptable and unacceptable materials can be viewed at nvcogct.gov/hhw.

Examples of wastes that will be accepted include: oil- and latex-based paints and stains, thermometers and thermostats containing mercury, drain and oven cleaners, upholstery cleaners, wood cleaners, strippers and varnishes, pesticides, poisons, pool and photo chemicals, automotive cleaners and fluids, gasoline and motor oil, grease and rust solvents, aerosols, and metal polishes.

Items that will not be accepted include: auto batteries, propane tanks over 1 lb., compressed gas cylinders, asbestos, smoke detectors, explosives, radioactive or medical waste, grout, joint compound, lead paint chips, and empty containers of any kind. Aerosol containers will not be accepted unless they contain a non-paint chemical. Empty aerosols that contain food products can be recycled. Full or partially full spray paint, full or partially full food products, and empty chemical aerosol containers can be placed in the trash. The contractor reserves the right to reject additional materials.

Up to 50 lbs. of residential waste will be accepted per vehicle. Residents should leave materials in the original container whenever possible. When arriving at the collection site, residents must remain in their cars at all times. Trained waste handlers will remove materials from the cars.

Unacceptable materials will be returned or left in the vehicle and information, if known, will be provided on how to dispose of them. For further information, please contact hhw@nvcogct.gov or call (203) 757-0535.

-END-

NVCOG Welcomes Temporary GIS Planning Assistant, Freddy Rios

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) extends a warm welcome to Freddy Rios, who has joined the team as a Temporary GIS Planning Assistant!

The NVCOG GIS Department designs maps, creates applications, and manages spatial data for our member municipalities, the public, and regional partners. Freddy will play a crucial role in enhancing planning processes and enabling data-informed decision-making. 

Meet Freddy Rios

Freddy Rios holds a BA in Geography with a Specialization in Planning and an MS in Geography with a Geographic Information System (GIS) focus from Central Connecticut State University. His interests lie in improving transportation, the environment, and public health issues.

Outside of work, Freddy enjoys going on adventures with his dog Max, dancing to Latin music, exploring new areas in Connecticut, collecting vinyl records, hiking, listening to music, and playing soccer.      

Freddy is particularly excited about contributing to the Regional Open Space Inventory Project for the Naugatuck Valley Region. He is eager to learn more about land conservation, access to public recreation, historic site preservation, and promoting orderly development. 

PRESS RELEASE: Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Awarded $270,326 Grant for Kinneytown Section of Naugatuck River Greenway

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2024

Contact:
Desira Blanchard
Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
203-489-0353
dblanchard@nvcogct.gov

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Awarded $270,326 Grant for Kinneytown Section of Naugatuck River Greenway

(Waterbury, CT) – On June 3rd, Governor Lamont announced that the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) is one of forty-five entities selected to receive a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) 2024 Recreational Trails Program grant. NVCOG will receive $270,326 for planning, preliminary design, and public outreach related to the development of a 2.5-mile ADA-accessible multi-use trail in Ansonia and Seymour.

This project will investigate and begin design of a trail on property associated with Kinneytown Dam, between North 4th Street in Ansonia and Derby Avenue in Seymour. The project will also investigate connections to existing or designed sections of the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail in those two communities. The trail will eventually connect to the larger 44-mile NRG Trail, increasing public access to the Naugatuck River, presenting a non-motorized transportation alternative, and offering recreation opportunities for residents of the adjacent historically underserved communities.

This funding will supplement substantial federal and state funding received by NVCOG for the Kinneytown Dam Removal Project and will enhance the restoration of the Naugatuck River post-dam removal. With Kinneytown Dam slated for removal, this project will allow for the planning and design of a section of the NRG Trail to proceed in concert with the dam removal design work, with public outreach and input opportunities being incorporated into those of the larger project. This will ensure the river restoration and recreational additions, like the proposed trail, meet the needs and preferences of the community.

“We are excited about the development of the Kinneytown section of the Naugatuck River Greenway Trail,” said Mayor David Cassetti of Ansonia. “This trail is a significant step forward for Ansonia and the entire Naugatuck Valley.”

“This trail will enhance the connection between our communities and allow our residents to share and experience nature, increase visibility, and make our communities more walkable and inviting,” said First Selectwoman Annmarie Drugonis of Seymour.

Last year, NVCOG received a $15,000,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and additional funding from the CT DEEP to decommission and remove the non-operational Kinneytown Dam hydroelectric facility and restore fish passage on the Naugatuck River. For more information about the Kinneytown Dam Removal Project, and to stay engaged in the process, please visit the project page at: www.nvcogct.gov/kinneytown.

Aerial image above the Naugatuck River and Kinneytown Dam.

NVCOG Welcomes Sustainability CT Fellow

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) is excited to welcome this summer’s Sustainable CT Fellow, Jacob Bartel.  

Each summer, a fellow is placed with Councils of Governments (COGs) to assist municipalities in achieving Sustainable CT certification and to support the COGs with sustainable actions and projects.

Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program that partners with Connecticut COGs to facilitate regional planning of sustainability initiatives, communicate and track progress, and to provide towns with overarching frameworks for sustainability goals.

Meet Jacob Bartel

Jacob Bartel is from San Diego, California and a rising senior at Sacred Heart University here in Connecticut.

Jacob is working on town outreach at NVCOG and is looking forward to working with planners to learn more about city planning.

Jacob, a San Diego resident, is equally enthusiastic to learn more about his new home in Connecticut through his work with the region’s communities. 

Outside of the office, he is a member of the Division I Fencing Team at Sacred Heart, and is an avid disc golfer and hiker.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about achieving Sustainable CT certification or need support with sustainability actions, please contact Jacob Bartel at 203-489-0368 or email jbartel@nvcogct.gov. 

NEWS RELEASE: Governor Lamont Announces $10 Million in State Grants for Recreational Trails Across Connecticut

Forty-Five Projects Selected to Receive Grants to Plan, Build, Expand, and Improve Multi-Use Trails

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes today announced the release of a series of grants totaling $10 million that will support the planning, building, expansion, and improvement of 45 multi-use trails located in towns and cities throughout Connecticut.

The grants are being awarded through Connecticut Recreational Trails Grant Program, which is administered by DEEP. Funds to support the grants were approved by the State Bond Commission at its October 2023 meeting. Governor Lamont serves as chair of the commission.

“The Connecticut Recreational Trails Program and Connecticut Greenways Council are continuing to serve a vital role in providing funding for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of trails across Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “The funding for these 45 projects represents a significant investment in our state’s outdoor economy, and our trails and proximity to nature are a big part of why Connecticut is an attractive place to live and work. I am thrilled to announce funding for these projects, which will improve and expand recreational trail opportunities around our state.”

“These projects represent an investment in our communities, connecting our residents and visitors with open spaces, and providing equitable and accessible outdoor recreation opportunities,” Commissioner Dykes said. “Connection to Connecticut’s natural resources benefit everyone physically and mentally and enhance our state’s overall economy. Many of the projects funded by the Connecticut Recreational Trail Grant Program will support active regional transportation corridors that can provide safe, enjoyable alternatives to car travel and reduce pollution. My thanks to Governor Lamont and the State Bond Commission for supporting these important investments in our state-wide trail systems.”

Grant funding awarded to these projects can be allocated for a wide variety of purposes, including planning, design, land acquisition, construction, construction administration, and publications for bikeways, walkways, and greenways, as well as for equipment and trail amenities, such as parking lots, toilet buildings, signs, and benches.

Twenty-three of the awarded projects occur within or serve Connecticut’s distressed municipalities and environmental justice communities, which will improve equitable access to outdoor recreation.

The Connecticut Greenways Council assisted DEEP with the competitive grant selection process. DEEP anticipates most projects to be completed by 2027.

The following is a list of projects receiving grants under this round:

DEEP Connecticut Recreational Trails Program
June 2024 Grant Round

Applicant

Project Title

Project Type

Grant Funding

Andover

Andover Percy Cook Trail Design

Planning/Design

$83,500

Avalonia Land Conservancy

Cedar Woods Preserve Accessible Trail

Planning/Design

$26,000

Avon

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail Safety Features and Amenities

Amenities

$114,412

Branford

Trolley Trail Bridge Improvements

Planning/Design; Construction

$400,000

Branford Land Trust

Branford Land Trust Accessible Trail

Planning/Design; Construction; Amenities; Publications; Outreach

$319,961

Burlington

Farmington River Trail Improvements – Burlington Section

Maintenance

$494,000

Capitol Region Council of Governments

CRCOG Regional Trail Equipment

Equipment

$340,000

East Coast Greenway Alliance, Inc.

Promoting and Activating Connecticut’s Outstanding East Coast Greenway

Publications; Outreach

$87,500

East Granby

East Granby Greenway Restoration Project

Maintenance

$395,389

East Hartford

Improvements and Connectivity to Lower Great River Park Recreational Trail Network

Planning/Design

$262,750

East Lyme

Darrow Pond Outdoor Education, Conservation and Recreation Center

Planning/Design

$36,300

Fairfield

Open Space Trail in Urbanized Fairfield Neighborhood

Planning/Design; Construction; Outreach

$255,284

Farmington

Farmington Center Connectivity Project Phase 1

Planning/Design; Education; Outreach

$208,000

Friends of Tarrywile Park, Inc.

Improving Safety and Accessibility to Trails in Tarrywile Park

Planning/Design

$35,000

Friends of the Litchfield Community Greenway, Inc.

Litchfield Greenway – Phase 4 D&E – Bantam Connection

Construction; Amenities

$320,000

Gather New Haven, Inc.

Pond Lily Nature Preserve Trail Plan

Planning/Design; Construction; Amenities; Publications; Outreach

$308,257

Goshen Land Trust

Goshen Land Trust: Trails for All

Construction; Maintenance; Publications; Education; Outreach

$89,744

Groton

Copp Family Park Trail Accessibility Improvements

Construction; Amenities; Acquisition

$143,000

Hampton

Creation of ADA Trails and Other Public Access in the Little River Preserve

Planning/Design; Construction; Maintenance; Education; Amenities; Publications

$219,200

Hartford

Park Trail Connectivity Action Plan

Planning/Design; Outreach

$160,000

Harwinton

Harwinton NRG Greenway – Section 1

Planning/Design

$250,000

Middlefield

Middlefield/Durham Community Multi-Use Trail

Planning/Design; Outreach

$172,000

Middletown

Pistol Creek Trail Improvements

Planning/Design; Construction

$554,130

Mitchell College

Mitchell Woods: Accessibility in Action

Planning/Design; Construction; Maintenance; Amenities

$396,960

New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA)

Canton Bike Pump and Skills Park

Planning/Design; Construction; Maintenance

$240,000

New Britian

Stanley Loop Trail Neighborhood Connections

Planning/Design, Construction

$388,160

North Stonington

Assekonk Borderlands Half-Mile ADA Accessible Nature/Hiking Trail

Planning/Design, Construction, Maintenance, Equipment, Amenities, Publications

$58,000

Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy

Master Planning for NCLC’s Public Nature Preserves

Planning/Design

$280,000

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

Kinneytown Section of the Naugatuck River Greenway

Planning/Preliminary Design; Outreach

$270,346

Old Saybrook

Saybrook Point Trail and Education Project

Planning/Design; Construction; Maintenance; Education; Amenities; Publications; Outreach

$366,640

Plainfield

Kate Downing Road Open Space

Planning/Design;

$52,000

Salisbury

Salisbury Railroad Street Multi Modal Pathway Planning and Design

Planning/Design

$50,000

Southington

Trail Project

Construction; Equipment

$7,270

Southwest Conservation District

Farm River Greenway Trail Section Final Design

Planning/Design

$150,000

Stamford

Weed Avenue Multi-Use Trail

Planning/ Preliminary Design

$223,608

Steep Rock Association

ADA-Accessible Bridge and Trail in Hidden Valley Preserve

Planning/Design

$60,000

Stratford

Stratford Trails Inventory and Expansion Planning Study

Planning/Design; Publications; Outreach

$131,200

West Hartford

West Hartford Multi-Use Trail Connectivity – Comprehensive Planning Study

Planning/Design

$100,000

Western Connecticut Council of Governments

Western Connecticut Regional Trail Project

Planning/Design; Outreach

$566,000

Windham

Windham Air Line Trail and Willimantic River Blueway Enhancements

Planning/Design; Construction; Amenities

$155,143

Woodbridge

Woodbridge Trail QR Scan Initiative for Historic Sites

Planning/Design; Education; Outreach

$8,400

Connecticut State Parks and Forests Projects

Gillette Castle Unit

Replacement of Railroad Trail Pedestrian Bridge

Construction

$300,000

Hop River State Park Trail

Hop River Trail Restoration – Railroad Brook

Construction

$284,000

Statewide

State Park Trail Maintenance Equipment

Equipment

$300,000

No Child Left Inside

Connecticut State Park Storywalk Frames

Amenities

$19,000

Funding for program administration of just over 3% ($319,846), pursuant to state statutes, is also included in this grant award round.

The Connecticut Trail Census, a project of the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), recorded more than 2.7 million trail uses at 42 trail counter locations across Connecticut in 2023. Average daily uses increased by 28% in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic (2017 to 2019) uses. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation in 2022 contributed nearly $4.5 billion to the state and supported more than 45,000 jobs.

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont

PRESS RELEASE: Public Meeting to Discuss City of Waterbury Residential Traffic Calming Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2024

Contact:
Richard Donovan
Transportation Planning Director
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
203-757-0535
rdonovan@nvcogct.gov

Public Meeting to Discuss City of Waterbury Residential Traffic Calming Study

(Waterbury, CT) – The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) will be hosting a public meeting and charrette activity to gather public input for the development of the Waterbury Residential Traffic Calming Study. The NVCOG invites Waterbury residents, business owners, transportation advocates, and local officials to participate in this event set to take place on Monday, June 17, 2024, 6:00 PM at Silas Bronson Library (267 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT). This marks the first of several meetings throughout the City of Waterbury.

As the NVCOG works to achieve its goal of zero deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes by 2060, the agency is developing a sample policy and guidebook outlining how Waterbury may best address road safety concerns and respond to resident requests. Following its completion, the city will consider ways to best implement the study’s recommendations.

The goal of the public meeting is to solicit public input regarding perceived speed issue locations, preferred traffic calming interventions, and ideal public request processes. The charrette is an interactive activity that allows participants to collaborate with professionals, share ideas, and explore innovative solutions. During the meeting, NVCOG staff will provide a brief overview of the study, and participants will have the chance to actively contribute their ideas, suggestions, and concerns.

To learn more about the study and to stay engaged in the process visit the NVCOG project page at https://nvcogct.gov/project/wtby-tcs/.

Language assistance is available to the public at no cost. For language assistance requests contact Desira Blanchard, Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator with the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, at dblanchard@nvcogct.gov or at 203-757-0535. Requests should be made at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.

Helpful Resources: