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.   

POSTPONED -Household Hazardous Waste Collection

April 4 Household Hazardous Waste and Paint Collection Postponed

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) has postponed its Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Paint Collection Day that was scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 4 in Naugatuck, CT due to the developing COVID-19 crisis.

NVCOG HHW events serve the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Cheshire, Derby, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury. The next event currently scheduled will take place at Crosby High School in Waterbury on July 18, 2020.  

For future updates, please visit NVCOG’s HHW webpage: https://nvcogct.gov/what-we-do/municipal-shared-services/household-hazardous-waste/ as well as postings on social media channels and on local, municipal websites. Information on how to properly dispose of common household items is also featured on the NVCOG HHW webpage.

Household hazardous wastes are any wastes produced in the home that are poisonous, flammable, reactive, or corrosive. These wastes are harmful to human health and the environment if not disposed of properly. The goal of the program is to keep potentially hazardous waste out of local landfills and sewers, providing extra protection for wetlands and waterways. In addition, residents may now bring latex (water-based) paint to the collection event.  While not considered hazardous waste, the latex paint is also accepted as part of the statewide paint product stewardship program.

 

–END–

 

Seymour Land Use Workshop: POSTPONED

The land use workshop scheduled for March 26 with the Town of Seymour and NVCOG has been postponed until October. Stay tuned to find out the latest developments.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Study Underway to Investigate Alternative Transportation Opportunities along Route 67 in Oxford

News Release

The Oxford Main Street Study is underway to investigate the potential for bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements along Route 67 in Oxford. The 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. It is being overseen by the Oxford Main Street Committee that was formed in 2017.

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 are 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.

The Town has prioritized creating more of a downtown aesthetic along Route 67, and the Oxford Main Street Committee has been investigating streetscape improvements, sidewalks and trails within the corridor to improve non-motorized access. The study will build 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.

TranSystems will be using existing data and data collected during the study to assess the potential to develop pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure along Route 67. 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 in the corridor will also be studied, focusing on connections to services and major residential and commercial centers and to surrounding communities.

The Oxford Main Street Study kicked off in December, and is expected to take 18 months to complete. There will be numerous opportunities for residents and businesses to provide input to the study. The study team will be holding two public information meetings to present findings and solicit input. You can also expect to see the team staffing information booths at public events in town.

Oxford First Selectman George Temple said “We are very enthusiastic about the Oxford Main St. Project. I want to thank the Oxford Main St. Committee for their vision and hard work that made this project a reality. I believe it will enhance the charm of Oxford and provide a transformation and charm to our beautiful town. I am grateful for the dedication of the NVCOG staff and of course to my fellow selectmen and mayors of NVCOG for their generous support.”

“This project is something the residents of Oxford have said they want and because of this Oxford Main Street Study we will have the guidelines to make it happen” said Kathleen O’Neil, Oxford Grant Administrator and Chair of the Oxford Main Street Committee. “This study will be instrumental in providing the most aesthetically pleasing and beneficial plan for walkways and linear parks along Route 67.”

TranSystems Project Manager Casey Hardin said that, “This is a tremendous opportunity to build off of 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 to the corridor that can encourage sustainable transportation and growth in the Town for years to come.”

Meeting dates, documents and information will be posted to the study webpage at: https://nvcogct.gov/project/current-projects/transportation-planning-studies/oxford-main-street-study/

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/

Winter Assistance from Eversource & Scam Protection

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Eversource offers many programs to help you stay warm this winter. One important program is the Matching Payment Program, which allows customers to receive gas or electric heat at affordable rates. This program matches whatever you pay towards your energy bill. To find out more about this program please call 2-1-1 or visit your local community action agency.

Always be wary for scams, if it sounds suspicious hang-up. The energy company wants to remind its customers:

  • Eversource representatives never demand instant payment in person or over the phone.
  • Eversource representatives do not require the use of prepaid debit cards (such as Green Dot MoneyPak, Vanilla or Reloadit.)
  • Eversource representatives never request customers to meet at a payment center, such as a department or grocery store, to make a payment.
  • Eversource does not solicit door-to-door or on the phone on behalf of third-party energy suppliers.
  • All Eversource employees carry photo identification; field workers wear company logoed clothing and drive company vehicles.

Eversource urges anyone who believes they are a target of improper solicitation to please alert local law enforcement and contact the company directly at 1-800-286-2000. The energy company tracks these types of customer concerns and reports them to state regulators.

 

Our October Newsletter Has Arrived!

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NVCOG’s October newsletter is here! Our quarterly publication has news, project updates, and events for the Region.

NVCOG October Newsletter

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