Public Information Meeting for Spot Improvements Route 67 in Seymour

Road work ahead sign

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2020 

Contacts: 
Mark Nielsen
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
(203) 757-0535
mnielsen@nvcogct.gov   

 

VIRTUAL PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING 

STATE PROJECT NO. 124-165 

 ROUTE 67(BANK STREET) SPOT IMPROVEMENTS 

SEYMOUR, CONNECTICUT
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020 

 

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) will hold a virtual public information meeting to present preliminary design plans on Spot Improvements to Route 67 (Bank Street), in The Town of Seymour. The public meeting will be held on Monday, November 16, 2020. The meeting will be held online via Zoom beginning at 6 pm. The intent of the meeting is to provide residents and other interested persons an opportunity to learn about the design and proposed improvements and understand the project timeline. A presentation will be made, after which there will be a question and answer period. The following is the information to join the meeting. Live links to the meeting will be available on the NVCOG website at NVCOGCT.gov; scroll down the home page to Upcoming Events. 

Meeting Info:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87552345683 

Meeting ID: 875 5234 5683
Passcode: 835623 

 Individuals with limited internet access can join the meeting via phone by calling: 
1-929-205-6099 
Meeting ID: 875 5234 5683
Passcode: 835623 

It is NVCOG’s and the State’s policy to keep persons informed about and involved with ongoing road improvement projects. It is important that the community share its concerns to assist in the project’s development.  

 The intent of the project is to improve traffic, pedestrian flow, and safety along the section of Route 67 (Bank Street) between River Street/Franklin Street and Klarides Village and is a continuation of planning effort completed in 2017. The firm of Milone and MacBroom is designing the improvements under contract to the NVCOG. Construction will be advertised and administrated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT).  The project will include: 

Route 67 and River Street/Franklin Street Intersection 
Improve pedestrian crossings 
Widen northbound River Street approach to extend the left-turn lane onto Route 67
Make sidewalk connection from River Street to the south side of Route 67 

Route 67 between River Street/Franklin Street Intersection and Old Drive East
Widen Route 67 to provide adequate storage on northbound and southbound dedicated turn lanes and 5-foot shoulders
Widen north side of Route 67 to extend the two westbound departure lanes past Martha Street to the Walgreens Intersection.
Reconstruct stone masonry retaining wall at 100 Bank Street.
Construct new retaining wall between Martha Street and Walgreen’s driveway.
Install new traffic signal equipment.
Install new sidewalks, pedestrian accommodations, and lighting. 

 Route 67 at Walgreens Driveway
Widen Route 67 to provide a westbound dedicated right and extended right turn lane in addition to the single through lane.
Upgrade traffic signal to accommodate geometric changes at the intersection.
Implement revised signal timings. 

 Route 67 at Old Drive West
Upgrade the existing traffic signal with new pedestrian equipment.
Revised phasing to include an exclusive pedestrian phase. 

Route 67 at Klarides Village Unsignalized
Add westbound left turn lane into the driveway.
Modify driveway to prohibit left turns onto Route 67. 

 Route 67 at Beecher Street and Church Street
Reconfigure the intersection to better direct and channelize the turning movements. 

 Route 313 (River Street)
Widen River Street to provide additional storage and queuing lengths for the northbound travel lanes.
Widen bridge over Little River to provide a new sidewalk along the western side of River Street connecting to the existing Route 67 sidewalks. 

 Additional Traffic Signal Timing Improvements
Timing improvements throughout the corridor. 

Improve Pedestrian Connection to Downtown
Improve lighting and hardscape under Route 8.

Based on the preliminary design, the construction cost will be approximately $6,100,000. The Federal Highway Administration will provide 80% of the construction cost with the State providing 20%. 

The public informational meeting is being held to afford an opportunity for public participation and allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning this proposed project. 

 Persons with limited internet access may request project information be mailed to them by calling  (203489-0369 or emailing  mnielsen@nvcogct.gov(Allow one week for processing and delivery.) 

 Language assistance may be requested by contacting the CTDOT’s Language Assistance Call Line at (860) 594-2109.  Requests should be made at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.  Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance. 

Persons with hearing and/or speech disabilities may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). The live streams generally offer closed captioning for the hearing impaired and non-English translation options.   

 There will be a 14day comment period following the meeting.  Individuals may leave a question or comment via email/phone at ksvetz@nvcogct.gov and (203) 489-0374.

NVCOG Developing Regional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan

For Immediate Release: October 26, 2020

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments Seeking Input on Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

Virtual Workshop Scheduled for November 18

 

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) recently received a Pre-disaster Hazard Mitigation Planning grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prepare a regional, multi-jurisdiction Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) that will update plans in all 19 municipalities in its planning region. The project team will hold virtual public workshops where attendees can learn about hazard mitigation planning, possible risks they face from a natural hazard, and speak directly with the consultants developing the HMP update. The study team also wants to hear from residents about their concerns and opinions. The first public workshop is scheduled for November 18, 2020 at 5:30 PM.

A Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) is a tool that helps a community to understand risk and to take specific steps to reduce property damage, injury, and loss of life from natural disasters, such as Tropical Storm Isaias. The November 18 workshop will provide details on the hazards being addressed in the plan, the risks they pose, and the types of losses that can occur to life and property in the Naugatuck Valley region. Details of how to participate in the workshop are available at www.nvcogct.gov/HMP.

Public engagement is critical to the planning process, and a short online survey is also available for members of the public to provide information to project staff. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and can be found on the project webpage. While the ongoing pandemic will limit typical public engagement forums, such as public meetings and in-person workshops, the webpage, survey and workshop provide key opportunities for residents to learn about the project and provide feedback.

A FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan is required for a municipality to be eligible for certain hazard mitigation grant funding. An approved HMP is not required, however, for a community to be eligible for relief funding after an event has occurred. The HMP helps public officials and residents understand vulnerabilities and will identify actions that communities can take to prevent or minimize future risk.

NVCOG and project consultant Milone & MacBroom, Inc. of Cheshire will be working with all 19 regional municipalities over the next year to develop the multi-jurisdictional HMP. Developing a multi-jurisdictional plan is a more cost-effective approach than each community creating its own HMP. However, understanding that each community is unique and has its own specific risks, hazards specific to each municipality will be addressed in separate municipal sections in the regional plan. The plan will take recent major events into account and will investigate risks from floods, winter storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and dam failure, among others. The HMP will also identify activities that can be undertaken by each 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, but careful consideration will also be given to the preservation of history, culture and the natural environment of the region.

Future virtual public meetings will focus on specific communities in the region. Stay tuned for dates and times!

Please visit www.nvcogct.gov/HMP for more details.

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

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.

NVCOG and NRG Steering Committee Endorse NRG Trail Routing Feasibility Study Report

The report detailing methods and findings of the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail Thomaston to Torrington Routing and Feasibility Study was endorsed unanimously by the NVCOG Board at its regular meeting on May 8th.  The report was also endorsed by the NRG Steering Committee (NRGSC) on May 13thThe final report and appendices can be reviewed on the project web page:  https://nvcogct.gov/nrg-thomaston-to-torrington-routing-study  

The project study area detailed in the report spans approximately 11 miles of the Naugatuck Valley from Bogue Road in Torrington to a section of trail under design adjacent to the Water Pollution Control facility on Old Waterbury Road in Thomaston.  The goals of the high level planning project, conducted by BSC Group of Glastonbury, CT, were to catalog existing conditions in the project corridor, inventory and assess all potential multi-use trail routes, identify a preferred route with input from stakeholders and the public, and develop conceptual designs, cost estimates and phasing recommendations to assist with future trail development. The intent of the project was to provide decision-makers with the information they would need to seek funding for the design and construction of NRG trail projects.

A Draft Report was published on the NVCOG website for a 30-day public comment period ending on March 13th Nearly 400 public comments were received, most of which were from self-identified off-highway-vehicle (OHV) riders and were focused on fears that the study represented efforts to eliminate or disrupt use of the OHV area at Thomaston Dam.  Responses to comments are detailed in Appendix H of the final draft report  NVCOG staff presented the comments and the project team’s responses to them at both the NVCOG and NRGSC meetings prior to endorsement.  

Concerns regarding potential impact to the OffHighway Vehicle (OHV) area at the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) managed Thomaston Dam were well represented in an earlier round of public comments as well.  Iresponse, the project team met several times with USACE staff and OHV representatives to address those issues. These additional meetings and the Study Team’s responses to their concerns are detailed in the report.  A route was developed that avoids the OHV area to the greatest extent possible. For a 2-mile corridor section where there was no viable alternative, a trail concept along Old Route 8 on USACE land where OHVs are currently permitted (but do not have exclusive use) was developed.  The concept presented in the report was developed collaboratively with the USACE and OHV representatives to safely separate motorized and non-motorized uses without negative impact to current OHV traffic flow.  It provides for the safe use of the Thomaston Dam Recreation Area by all currently permitted user groups while providing a critical connection for the NRG trail.  It is noted that if a trail were to be developed, managed or maintained through the Thomaston Dam area it would be the responsibility of the USACE either directly or through future agreements with outside groups. 

Stakeholders were involved throughout the project including chief elected officials and staff from the municipalities of Torrington, Litchfield, Harwinton and Thomaston along with representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers, NVCOG, NHCOG, the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee, The Railroad Museum of New England, and several property owners along the route.  The preferred route presented in the report was selected by a project steering committee consisting of officials from the involved municipalities and other stakeholders.    

NVCOG, in partnership with the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG), received a Transit Oriented Development and Smart Growth grant from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to conduct the study. The NVCOG and NHCOG oversaw the project.   

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.