NEWS RELEASE: Oxford Receives $3.4 Million Grant for Multi-Use Path

Oxford Receives $3.4 Million Grant to Extend Multi-Use Path on Route 67

The Town of Oxford has been awarded a $3.4 million Congressionally Directed Spending grant and will use the funds to build a mile-long multi-use path on Route 67 that is integral to making the center of Oxford more walkable and bicycle-friendly.

“This project will be a significant improvement to the Town of Oxford.  It will not only allow for more passive recreation, but it will also enhance the historical ambiance in our town,” said Oxford First Selectman George Temple.

Oxford was awarded the grant in December, and the project is in the design phase. The path will run from Dutton Road to Quarry Walk, a mixed-use development with stores, medical and commercial office space, and 150 residential units. Plans include three pedestrian bridges to carry the path over water courses, a sidewalk between Oxford Municipal Center/ Town Hall and Academy Road along with lighting, street furniture and crosswalks.

The new path will connect with one that opened in the spring of 2021 and runs from the Little River Nature Preserve across from Oxford Town Hall to Dutton Road. A $398,200 award from the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Community Connectivity Grant Program (CCGP) paid for the first project.

Putting a multi-use path on Route 67 is a key part of town leaders’ goal of making Route 67 better for pedestrians and cyclists. There were no sidewalks or safe access for cyclists and pedestrians until the path from the town hall to Dutton Road was built.

In 2019, the town partnered with the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) to conduct the Oxford Route 67 Alternative Transportation Study to address the lack of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections along Route 67. The study identified routing for a pedestrian and bicycle network along Route 67 and a plan for implementing improvements. The Oxford Board of Selectmen adopted the study’s findings in February 2022.

The long-term goal is to build a multi-use path on Route 67 that connects to the Naugatuck River Greenway where it passes through Seymour and the Larkin State Park Trail in Southbury.

 

                                • END –

Seymour To Start Trash Reduction Pilot Program Feb. 13

The town of Seymour starts a Trash Reduction Pilot Program on Feb. 13 that will run for nine months. When this happens, Seymour will be the third NVCOG member community to implement this program. Ansonia started its program in December and Woodbury is expected to start on Feb. 7.

NVCOG has produced a video that explains how the program will work in Seymour.

Households whose trash is picked up on Mondays are in the pilot and Seymour received a $121,000 grant from the state to run the program, so there is no cost to those residents to participate. The town will collect data throughout the pilot and if it shows that a permanent, town-wide program would save taxpayers money then town leaders may vote to go that route.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) is funding Trash Reduction Pilot Programs around Connecticut in response to a waste crisis. Currently, cities and towns in Connecticut send a lot of their garbage to facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This hurts the environment and burdens taxpayers because without any changes waste disposal costs could quintuple by 2050. State and local leaders hope that the pilot programs will pave the way for a healthier and more sustainable way to manage waste.

Public Meeting Planned on Waterbury New Mix Project

The Connecticut Department of Transporation (CTDOT) will hold virtual public meetings on Jan. 31 where people can offer thoughts about the New Mix project in Waterbury. One is scheduled for noon and the other at 6 p.m. This will be the third time that CTDOT has held meetings where the public can speak about the project.

CTDOT started the New Mix program to assess the condition of Waterbury Mixmaster, where I-84 and Route 8 intersect, and plan for its long-term future. Through the New Mix program CTDOT is gathering public and stakeholder input and analyzing the options for rehabilitating or replacing the Mixmaster. Reconstructing the Mixmaster, whether through replacement or an intensive rehabilitation, will likely be phased with breakout projects that will occur over a number of years.

People can learn more about the New Mix project, watch previous public meetings and register for the sessions scheduled for Jan. 31 on the website that CTDOT has created for the project.

NVCOG Represented at Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Summit

Environmental Planner Christine O’Neill represented NVCOG at the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Education Fund’s 2023 Environmental Summit on Jan. 24 at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. The event brings together citizen advocates, environmental leaders, lawmakers, and policy experts to discuss and learn more about the issues facing the state’s environment each year.

O’Neill said the powerful event included inspiring conversations about forests, wildlife, climate change and waste.  The summit was great preparation for this year’s session of the Connecticut General Assembly, which started on Jan. 4. With many exciting environmental bills anticipated this year like a ban on harmful rodenticides, strengthening existing mandates and an extended producer responsibility law that would cover packaging materials, environmental advocates will have their hands full in the best way possible, O’Neill said.

The summit included remarks from Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Commissioner Katie Dykes of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Panel discussions were about forests and habitats, protecting wildlife, and climate and energy issues. The final panel discussion was about solutions to Connecticut’s waste crisis. NVCOG is already helping member communities implement a Trash Reduction Pilot Program that could help point the way to solving the problem. Ansonia started its pilot in December while Seymour and Woodbury will do so in February.

NVCOG Provides Information on Route 8 Design/Build Project

NVCOG has a new page on its website devoted to the Connecticut Department of Transporation’s Route 8 Design/Build project that starts this summer and will go through 2024. NVCOG will make information on the project is it progresses available there.

The project will go from Exit 13 in Shelton to Exit 22 in Seymour and in addition to making it safer will bring that section of the roadway up to modern highway standards. Much of the roadway will be repaved and 11 bridges will have minor rehabilitation work done to them. CTDOT will also put in new lights, improve drainage and install the infrastructure needed when an incident management system (IMS) is installed at a later date. The IMS will warn motorists of issues on the highway.

A total of $77.3 million is being spent on the project, 80 % of which is coming from the federal government and the rest from the state.

NVCOG Releases Draft Executive Summary of Updated Metropolitan Transportation Plan

The Central Naugatuck Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (CNVMPO) is finalizing its new Metropolitan Traffic Plan, NVision50. This document will lay out a vision for the region’s transportation system in the future and steps to achieve the goals in the plan. A draft of the executive summary for the new MTP is now available for public comment.

The MTP was last updated in 2019 and staff have been working on the data collection, drafting the narrative, and completing the financial analysis for the new MTP. As additional chapters are completed, they will be released as drafts for public comment.

Please send comments to contactus@nvcogct.gov or call our offices at (203) 757-0535.

The CNVMPO includes Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bristol, Cheshire, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury. The region’s last MTP update was completed in 2019.

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) is the host agency for the CNVMPO. The four NVCOG communities of Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton are in the Greater Bridgeport and Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (GBVMPO). For information about the GBVMPO’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan, contact that organization at 203-366-5405.

Waterbury Announces Community Development Block Grants

The City of Waterbury has announced the availability of funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Grant applications will be available from the city’s Office of Community Development starting on Jan. 20 and must be submitted by March 3.

Funding for the CDBG program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program supports initiatives that help low- and moderate-income people, eliminate slums and blight, and address emergency needs that do not have another source of funding. The Community Development Office will offer virtual technical assistance workshops to agencies and individuals who are interested in applying for a CDBG grant or an Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) on Jan. 31 from 10 – 11 a.m. and Feb. 2 from 2 – 3 p.m. To register, use the following links.

A public hearing on the CDBG program will be held by the Citizen Advisory Committee on Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Hall, Waterbury City Hall, 235 Grand Street. City officials will review the applications during the winter and spring and decide which ones will be funded early in the summer.

 

CTDOT Holds Public Information Session on Route 8 Project

The Connecticut Department of Transportation held a virtual public information session on the upcoming Route 8 Design/Build project on Jan. 12 so that people could learn more about what is planned before work starts later this year. The project will go from exit 13 in Shelton to exit 22 in Seymour. Plans call for repaving the roadway, installing new lighting and new drainage. Once finished, that section of Route 8 will meet modern highway standards. The project is expected to be done by the end of 2024.

About 40 people attended the information session. A presentation from DOT project managers was followed by questions from attendees. Many of those who asked questions wanted to know if lighting along the road would be better after the project is done. Others asked about planned improvements to entrance ramps to the highway.

The project is expected to cost $77.3 million, and the federal government will contribute 80 percent of the cost, with the state paying for the rest.

MetroCOG Updates Title VI & Limited English Proficiency Plan

The Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG) has updated its Title VI Program & Limited English Proficiency Plan, which ensures that the services MetroCOG and the Greater Bridgeport and Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (GBVMPO) provide are not discriminatory and the opportunity for full and fair participation is offered to the community. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that agencies which receive federal financial assistance have non-discrimination plans in place. MetroCOG is the host agency of the GBVMPO, which includes the NVCOG communities of Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton.

The updated plan also examines the need for services and materials for people who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.

The public can submit written comments on the updated plan from Jan. 13 to Feb. 27. Those comments must be clearly legible, submitted on 8½” by 11″ paper and include the person’s name and address. Anyone who wants to comment may submit them in writing to Matt Fulda, Executive Director, MetroCOG, mfulda@ctmetro.org or Rick Dunne, Executive Director, NVCOG, contactus@nvcogct.gov. Written comments must be received before 10 a.m. on February 27. A public information meeting will be held on Feb. 8 at 5:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments, 1000 Lafayette Boulevard, Suite 925, Bridgeport, CT 06604.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs, activities and services that receive federal financial assistance.

 

NVCOG Story Map Explains the Waste Crisis in Connecticut

Connecticut is in a waste crisis. Landfills and incinerators in the state are nearing the ends of their life cycles, but even though Connecticut is running out of capacity to handle its garbage we are producing more waste than ever.  This means municipalities must ship more of their trash out of state, which drives up disposal costs and taxpayers must foot the bill.

NVCOG has produced a story map that explains how Connecticut got into this situation and how we can get out of it. The story map explores proven, cost-effective strategies like unit-based pricing, separating food scraps from regular garbage so it can be made into renewable energy and other ideas. This is part of NVCOG’S effort to find and implement cost-effective solutions with state and local partners, businesses, and residents.

And don’t miss our new waste management page. Here, we talk about NVCOG’s efforts with sustainable material management, household hazardous waste and how we are exploring the idea of how a regional waste authority could solve some challenges the region faces with garbage disposal.