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.

Final Draft of the Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Routing Feasibility Study Report Posted

The final draft of the report detailing  methods and findings of the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) Trail Thomaston to Torrington Routing and Feasibility Study has been published on the NVCOG websiteThe report and appendices can be reviewed on the project web page:  https://nvcogct.gov/nrg-thomaston-to-torrington-routing-study  

 

The project 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 catalogue existing conditions in the project corridor, inventory and assess all potential multiuse 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 determine the opportunities for constructing the NRG Trail, identify the strengths and constraints of each possible route, and provide decision-makers with the information they would need when deciding whether or not to advance a section of the trail 

 

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  

 

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.   

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