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.

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.   

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.   

MTA Implements “NY Essential Service Plan” to Move Essential Personnel to the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Crisis

Waterbury Train Station platform

MTA IMPLEMENTS “NY ESSENTIAL SERVICE PLAN” TO MOVE HEALTHCARE WORKERS, FIRST RESPONDERS AND OTHER ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL ON FRONTLINES OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Service Plan Will Ensure Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Essential Personnel Get to and From Work By Mass Transit
New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad Move to Reduced Schedule As Ridership Drops As Much As 90%
MTA Urges Congress to Take Action and Pass $25 Billion Federal Relief Package for Mass Transit with $4 Billion for MTA

Metro-North Railroad Service During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Modified Metro-North Weekday Schedule

MTA Continues Aggressive Efforts to Protect Customers & Employees – Around-the-Clock Disinfection of Workplaces and Rolling Stock, No Cash Transactions and Rear-Door Boarding to Ensure Social Distance
As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and move the healthcare workers, first responders and essential personnel on the frontlines of this public health crisis, the Authority today announced the implementation of the “NY Essential Service Plan.” The reduced schedule will ensure service to and from work for the workers on the frontlines of this crisis, while adapting to never-before-seen ridership lows – dropping by as much as 90 percent across New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.

The schedule change follows “New York State on PAUSE” order, which directed New Yorkers use of public transportation for only essential travel and limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders. New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North continue their aggressive disinfecting procedures at each of its stations twice daily, and continue daily sanitization of its fleet of rolling stock with the full fleet of train cars and buses disinfected every 72 hours or less. The Access-A-Ride dedicated fleet is disinfected daily.

In the midst of this crisis, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is now facing financial clamity. Farebox and toll revenue, which normally constitutes nearly half of the M.T.A.’s annual budget at approximately $8 billion, has dropped significantly as more and more riders stay home. That’s on top of more than $6 billion in state and local taxes dedicated to the M.T.A. that is likely to evaporate in the inevitable economic downturn. Additionally, the MTA’s enhanced and intensive disinfecting efforts are expected to total over $300 million on an annualized basis.

In response, the MTA is urgently calling on Congress to do the right thing and include at least $25 billion in dedicated funding for mass transit, to ensure that the M.T.A. and systems across the country not only continue to operate through the crisis, but also serve as the catalyst for economic growth in local economies across the nation once the pandemic subsides.
“The MTA is committed to getting the heroes who keep this city moving where they need to go,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “The dramatic decrease in ridership shows our customers are continuing to follow the advice of health professionals to keep themselves and others safe. But we’re here for the critical workers and first responders, and I also want to thank our transit workers who continue to show up and keep New York moving every single day.”

“The service changes announced today will help reduce workplace density and ensure social distancing, including in crew rooms and other facilities,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren. “The MTA has previously taken every precaution to protect our customers and employees, including stepped up disinfecting schedules for stations and rolling stock, the implementation of rear-door boarding on buses, and the elimination of most cash transactions. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure the system remains safe for customers and employees and operating during this challenging time.”

“Like after 9-11 and Superstorm Sandy, our workers have been nothing short of amazing as they continue to show up to work at such a difficult time,” said MTA Chief Operating Officer Mario Peloquin. “The decision to reduce service is not one we take lightly, but feel at this time is in the best interest of our workers, customers and the system as a whole. Our goal has been and continues to be to move New Yorkers where they need to go. That’s never been as important as right now.”
The “MTA Essential Service Plan” will be phased in beginning Wednesday, March 25 over the course of several days, and includes the following measures:

SUBWAYS AND BUSES: On the subways – starting March 25th, lines will operate our “MTA Essential Service Plan.” Most customers will not notice a difference. This preserves our AM and PM peak to get first responders and essential personnel where they need to go. Some lines will not run Monday through Friday – including the B, W and Z lines, which will be covered by other local service. Also, some express services and branches on some lines will operate only local service. To date, there has been an 87% decline in subway ridership vs. the comparable dates last year.

Even with these changes, the New York City Transit team continues to undertake a line-by-line, hour-by-hour analysis of ridership. So, we’re retaining flexibility to increase service as necessary.

“The MTA Essential Service Plan” for buses will start on March 26th. This plan retains 75 percent of normal bus service, allows the MTA to serve essential workers and lessen crowding on transit and in crew facilities. This means that customers who still need to use buses for essential activities will continue to be accommodated. At the same time, the maximum number of buses needed is substantially reduced, requiring fewer operators and lessening crowding of depot facilities. Buses have experienced a more than 60% drop in ridership vs. the comparable dates last year.

LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD AND METRO-NORTH: Long Island Rail Road has seen a decline of 76 percent in ridership since the pandemic began. Under the new “MTA Essential Service Plan,” Long Island Rail Road will have over 500 weekday trains running, compared to a typical weekday of over 740 trains, beginning March 27. The LIRR will also have crews and equipment on standby to supplement service if necessary.

Metro-North Railroad has seen a 94 percent decline in ridership as a result of the pandemic. Beginning on March 27, Metro-North will provide hourly service on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines, with extra trains added during peak times. Normal weekday capacity will be reduced by approximately 50 percent when compared to a normal weekday. The reduced schedule will run 424 trains, down from 713 during a normal schedule. Beginning the weekend of April 4/April 5, Metro North will provide hourly service while also suspending shuttle service between Wassaic and Southeast on the Upper Harlem line.

These service changes will be reflected on our website, the MYmta app and on countdown clocks in stations and on platforms.

PARATRANSIT: The paratransit program has eliminated shared rides in accordance with the recommended public health guidance, and extended eligibility for existing Access-A-Ride customers. The paratransit system continues to have capacity to serve demand, which has declined by 71% from earlier this month.

The MTA joins a growing list of public transit agencies that have scaled back service due to a drop in ridership resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The 50,000 brave men and women of New York City Transit will continue moving essential employees and keep them safe during this public health crisis,” said NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. “The MTA Essential Service Plan is in the best interest of these workers and will keep the first responders, healthcare workers, child care workers and many more on the front lines of this crisis moving forward.”

“LIRR’s dedicated workforce will continue to move essential workers and those who need to care for loved ones as we fight to flatten the curve,” said Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng. “This new service pattern will continue to get customers where they need to be, and at the same time help us better ensure that our workforce is safe and healthy and able to continue this vital service.”

“Our crews and front line employees at Metro-North will continue to provide the service our customers deserve during these trying times,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “Our ridership has seen a steep decline over the past several weeks, but health care workers and other first responders continue to ride our trains every day. While some reduction in service makes sense right now, we will continue to run a safe and reliable service to get these critical employees to their places of employment every day.”

Members of NVCOG Staff are Published in the Latest Edition of Connecticut Planning Magazine

Connecticut Planning magazine cover Winter 2020

“If a picture is worth 1,00 words, then a map starts a whole conversation.”

Read “Story Maps as Conversations” in the latest issue of Connecticut Planning Magazine to learn how NVCOG uses interactive online maps to improve communication and engagement with the public. The article begins on page 6. The article was written by Richard Crowther Jr., GIS Analyst and Joanna Rogalski, Senior Regional Planner.

 

 

 

NVCOG CEOs Support Rail Line Legislation

NVCOG Mayors and First Selectman visited the State Capitol complex today in support of proposed legislation to improve rail service on the Waterbury Branch Line. A public hearing was held on Senate Bill 155, which would serve as the ‘vehicle’ legislation for the proposed upgrades.

Watch News 8’s video coverage here.

From left to right: Derby Mayor Richard Dziekan, State Sen. George Logan, R-17, Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller, Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess, State Rep. Kara Rochelle, D-104, Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Aresimowicz, Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, State Rep. Larry Butler, D- 72, State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-70, State Rep. Geraldo Reyes, D-75.


Municipal leaders and area state legislators, led by NVCOG Chairman, Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary addressed the media this morning prior to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee’s public hearing.


Testifying before the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, left to right, State Rep. Rosa, Rebimbas, R-70, Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary. Also, in the second row, second from left, Thomaston First Selectman Ed Mone and, fourth from left, Derby Mayor Richard Dziekan.

 

 

 

 

DRAFT Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Routing Feasibility Study Report Published for Public Comment

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) has published a draft report detailing the methods and findings of the Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Thomaston to Torrington Routing Feasibility Study. Public comments will be accepted at the project webpage through March 13th, 2020.

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 project, being 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.

BSC and project partners inventoried all potential trail routes, including points of interest and environmental constraints along the way, and documented property ownership and stakeholder preferences and concerns. This information was used to narrow down prospective routes to those that were most feasible. Public input on various potential routing options was solicited at a series of public information meetings held in February and March 2019 in Harwinton, Litchfield and Torrington. Comments received at those meetings and during a public comment period that followed, helped refine and identify a preferred route that is presented in the report. The preferred route was selected by a project steering committee consisting of officials from the involved municipalities and other stakeholders.

Concerns regarding potential impact to the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) area at the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) managed Thomaston Dam were well represented in public comments. The project team met several times with USACE staff and OHV representatives to address those issues. A compromise route was developed that avoids the OHV area to the greatest extent possible, and a trail concept along Old Route 8 was developed collaboratively between project partners, the USACE and OHV representatives that would safely separate motorized and non-motorized uses without negative impact to current OHV traffic flow.

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 NRG corridor has been officially designated as a greenway by the CT Greenways Council and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The entire NRG Trail is identified as a trail of statewide significance in the Connecticut Recreational Trails Plan, and was designated as one of 101 America’s Great Outdoors projects in 2011 by the U. S. Department of the Interior. An Economic Impact Study conducted by NVCOG in 2017 estimated that there would be substantial economic, health and community benefits of constructing the trail. The overall planned NRG trail route will follow the river for 44 miles, bringing it through parts of Torrington, Litchfield, Harwinton, Thomaston, Watertown, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby. To date, trail sections have been constructed and are open to the public in Torrington, Watertown, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby. Municipalities along the NRG Trail route are heading up the development of the trail locally, often funded with state and federal grants. For trail segments on federal land at Thomaston Dam, the USACE would be responsible for any trail development.

“The project team studied the corridor in detail, and worked hard to incorporate public and stakeholder desires and concerns in the preferred route and report,” said Bill Paille, Transportation Engineer at BSC Group. “The preferred route presented in the report is designed to meet each community’s long term goals and the information provided in the report will ensure that decisions made about NRG Trail development in the future will be well informed.”

The report includes information about the NRG Trail and the purpose of the study, along with a detailed explanation of the methods used by the project team. For each of seven corridor sections, it includes a description of existing conditions, summary of all routes investigated, and narrative and map of the preferred route. Cost estimates, phasing recommendations, and other pertinent information about the preferred route are presented, and a chapter about trail development considerations provides information to assist municipalities planning and developing trail sections in the future.

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

More information can be found, and comments can be submitted at:
https://nvcogct.gov/project/current-projects/naugatuck-river-greenway/nrg-thomaston-to-torrington-routing-study/

Public Meetings for the NRG Torrington to Thomaston Routing Study

Press Release

Contacts:
Aaron Budris

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

203-757-0535

abudris@nvcogct.org

Upcoming Meetings will Provide Opportunities for Public Input on Naugatuck River Greenway Trail Route

Harwinton, Litchfield, Thomaston and Torrington residents can review and provide feedback on prospective locations and plans for the Naugatuck River Greenway Trail during a series of upcoming public meetings. Project partners and community leaders will be on hand for the meetings, which will be held on February 28th at Thomaston Town Hall, March 6th at the Harwinton Town Hall, and March 7th at the Litchfield Community Center. All meetings will begin at 5:30 with an informal opportunity to view maps and talk to project staff. A formal presentation will begin at 6:00 pm and will be followed by a question and answer period and a review of specific comments with residents.

The public outreach follows more than one year of studying potential Naugatuck River Greenway Trail routing options between Torrington and Thomaston. The purpose of the NRG Torrington to Thomaston Comprehensive Routing Study, being conducted by BSC Group of Glastonbury, CT is to inventory potential routes and rank them with stakeholder and public input with the goal of selecting a final preferred route with broad consensus. BSC will also provide phasing recommendations and preliminary construction cost estimates of the preferred route to help municipalities plan for future construction and prepare for potential funding opportunities.

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (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 are overseeing the project.

The project area 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. During the past year, BSC and project partners inventoried all potential trail routes along with points of interest and environmental constraints along the way, and documented property ownership and stakeholder preferences and concerns. This information has been used to narrow down prospective routes to those that are most feasible. Now, public input is being solicited to help determine what route should ultimately be built when funding is secured.

Stakeholders have been 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 NRG corridor has been officially designated as a greenway by the CT Greenways Council and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The entire greenway trail is identified as a trail of statewide significance in the Connecticut Recreational Trails Plan, and was designated as one of 101 America’s Great Outdoors projects in 2011 by the U. S. Department of the Interior. An Economic Impact Study conducted by NVCOG in 2017 estimated that there would be substantial economic, health and community benefits of constructing the trail.

The overall planned NRG trail route will follow the river for 44 miles, bringing it through parts of Torrington, Litchfield, Harwinton, Thomaston, Watertown, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby. To date, trail sections have been constructed in Torrington, Watertown, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby. “We really want to hear what the public envisions for the NRG Trail,” said Bill Paille, Transportation Engineer at BSC Group. “We want to be sure that the preferred route meets each community’s long term needs and that the investments made are well-spent and provide the most benefit to residents.”

More information can be found on the study’s webpage.

Annual CFPZA Conference 2019

Apartment buildings in Shelton

The CFPZA annual conference will take place on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at the Aqua Turf in Southington, CT. The program for the Conference will include a presentation on Authority over Zoning Enforcement and recent attempts to transfer this power to First Selectman and Mayors. In addition, Length of Service awards will be presented to commission members. For more information, call 860-677-7355 or send an email to cfpza@live.com.