Air Quality Conformity Assessment Public Comments

Public Comments on Air Quality Conformity Assessments

The Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley (COGCNV) is seeking public comments related to air quality assessments for its 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program and Long Range Plan. Air quality assessments have been conducted on upcoming transportation projects to ensure that they meet the Ozone and PM 2.5 air quality standards established by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The full reports of the assessments, which were conducted by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT), can be found below. 

CT DOT Ozone Report (PDF) >
CT DOT PM 2.5 Report (PDF) >
COGCNV Legal Notice (PDF) >

A thirty (30) day public comment period has been established beginning on September 17, 2014 and ending on October 17, 2014. A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the COGCNV offices at 49 Leavenworth Street, Suite 303, Waterbury CT 06702. Comments can also be submitted in writing or via email to Pat Gallagher, Senior Planner at 

TIGER grant heralds a big stride for city


By Samuel Gold 

The chief elected officials of the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley (COGCNV) congratulate Waterbury on its successful application to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Improvement Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. In March, COG voted unanimously to partner with the city on its Waterbury Active Transportation Economic Resurgence (WATER) project, and is excited to support the city on what will be a transformative project.

The project will extend Waterbury’s walkable, mixed-use downtown, increase transit accessibility, and redefine the city’s image around an enjoyable and attractive riverfront greenway. Investment in these improvements will support the city’s economic recovery and the larger regional economy. A reimagined and redeveloped Freight Street corridor will provide space for new businesses, including new medical offices near Waterbury’s hospitals. The corridor also will provide opportunities for development oriented to Metro-North commuter-rail service and the CTFastrak station.

No other location in the Central Naugatuck Valley region has the unrealized development potential of the Freight Street corridor. It is bounded by the region’s most significant transportation assets: the Interstate 84/Route 8 interchange, Metro-North terminal and the future Naugatuck River Greenway. The corridor is underutilized because it lacks basic connections to the transportation infrastructures that surround it.

The WATER project will construct the long-planned Jackson Street/Thomaston Avenue connector, and will connect the Freight Street corridor to West and South Main streets and to the region’s expressway network.

The up-and-over pedestrian bridge connecting to Library Park, and complete street retrofit of Freight and Meadow streets, will provide the pedestrian and bicycle connections needed to make transit-accessible development possible in the Freight Street corridor.

The most exciting and ambitious element of the WATER project is the Naugatuck River Greenway. With the extension of the Naugatuck River Greenway into the Freight Street corridor, this abandoned area, which no one thinks about or ventures to, becomes a real place that is desirable and special. The multi-use greenway trail will provide Waterbury residents and visitors a safe place to walk, bicycle, and access the now-clean Naugatuck River. As planned connections to neighborhoods and Naugatuck, Watertown, and Thomaston are completed, it will become an alternative transportation commuter facility as well.

As a partner in the WATER project, the COG will support the city with technical and administrative assistance, and ensure the coordination of Waterbury’s project with local, regional, state and federal transportation planning, design and capital projects.

This is an exciting time for Waterbury and the region. As Waterbury’s rejuvenation efforts achieve fruition, COGCNV is joining with six neighboring Naugatuck Valley municipalities to form a new, larger, and more capable Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. We look forward to helping Waterbury and the Region realize the promise of the WATER project and the resurgence of the Naugatuck Valley.

Samuel Gold is executive director of COGCNV. 


For more information, please visit the City of Waterbury WATER Project Information Page.

NVCOG Off to a Great Start

Map of the NVCOG Planning Region


Map of the NVCOG Planning Region

Following certification by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM), the newly formed Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) held the first meeting of our municipal chief elected officials Aug. 22 at Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury. As chairmen of the current councils of governments covering the Naugatuck Valley area, we believe this step to align the 19 cities and towns around the urban center of Waterbury provides the best opportunity for all of our communities to combine resources, and bring significant new investment and cost savings to each of our communities. 

With a population of 448,738, the council brings together our common interests in highway and rail transportation, redevelopment of vacant brownfields and the revitalization of our riverfront downtowns. Our smaller suburban communities will benefit equally by this regional approach to economic development, and the ability to jointly deliver services at a scale that is more cost efficient for all of our taxpayers. 

The fact Mike Donnarumma, district superintendent of operation services for Metro-North Railroad, and James Redeker, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, asked to attend this meeting demonstrates that others share this view. 

NVCOG will replace the Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley and the Valley Council of Governments, the current regional planning organizations. In addition, two towns from the Central Connecticut Council of Governments, Bristol and Plymouth, are part of the NVCOG. The new organization will serve five cities, 13 towns and one borough over 420 square miles, with 2,965 miles of roads. 

A Map of the NVCOG Planning RegionMap of NVCOG Planning RegionAs the respective chairmen of the two existing councils, we are enthusiastic about the possibilities of this larger region. We believe it will bring more focus to our transportation needs, which are critical to the future quality of life of our communities. We also are encouraged about the prospects of providing shared services, enabling us to take advantage of the economies of scale of a larger organization. Although our two current organizations have done high-quality work over the past four decades, we recognize they each have had different strengths and areas of focus. Bringing those strengths and experience together is a challenge and an exciting opportunity that will provide greater economic benefit to each of our municipalities. 

The new organization will have its offices in Waterbury at the current location of the Council of Governments of the Naugatuck Valley, where there is adequate space for expansion. It is expected that the staff from the Valley council will be relocated by early 2015. 

The formation of the NVCOG was part of an overall effort initiated by the legislature and implemented by OPM about a year ago. Before 2013, the state had 15 regional planning organizations. As a result of volunteer consolidations and the state’s 2014 redrawing of the boundaries of Connecticut’s planning regions, there now are nine regional planning organizations. The next challenge for the state is the consolidation of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), which are the federal regions that plan our transportation systems and jointly allocate federal funds for these projects with the Connecticut Department of Transportation. There currently are eight MPOs in Connecticut, and the direction is to have fewer MPOs with boundaries that coincide with the new councils of governments’ boundaries. 

The alphabet soup of regionalplanning and service-delivery entities can be daunting to new mayors, first selectman and citizens, but the need for wider regional cooperation in conducting transportation planning, economic development, water resources and social services cannot be denied. Because of the many small, overlapping regional organizations, Connecticut was unable to take advantage of the economies of scale offered by new technology or be as competitive for federal resources when it came up against the much larger counties and MPOs that prevail across the rest of the United States. No one municipality can prosper unless the whole region moves forward. 

At the same time, as first selectmen of small towns, we recognize the importance of maintaining the quality of life that comes from our unique communities. That means carefully choosing what is appropriate to be done on a regional basis versus what should continue to be delivered and controlled at the town level. We expect there will be a vibrant conversation about this in the coming years. 

We want to encourage that. 

Although we recognize the attractiveness of receiving services on a small-scale, personal level that appeals to our residents, we also recognize there is a high cost to providing many of these services, especially in comparison with the 48 other states that have county-level government. 

There are many reasons Connecticut is a high-tax state, but we no longer can afford to ignore the fact many services are delivered at an inefficient and expensive scale. 

At the same time, we recognize the importance of our new region’s major cities — such as Waterbury, Bristol and Shelton — as the economic engines. Their economic and social future is critical to all of the surrounding towns. We are all dynamically linked. We also must press our case that all of our communities provide the highly educated workforce that drives the economy. New investment in our transportation connections to other parts of the state are the most important factor in Connecticut’s economic growth. The problems and successes of one are shared by all. 

With the start of the new organization, we see many positive possibilities to help all 19 municipalities. 

This is an exciting time, and we are optimistic about the future of the new Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. 

Ed Edelson, a Democrat, is first selectman of Southbury. Kurt Miller, a Republican, is first selectman of Seymour. They are co-chairmen of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. 


Metro Hartford Region Bike Share Plan Released


COGCNV recently provided funding and technical assistance to a study examining the possibility of introducing a bike share system in the Hartford area, including the City of Waterbury. Led by the Greater Hartford Transit District and the Capitol Region Council of Governments, this study examined the feasibility of bike share across an extensive geographic area stretching south from the Massachusetts state border to the City of Waterbury. The purpose of the plan is twofold: to determine if and where bike share makes sense within the Hartford region and to develop a blueprint for moving forward and implementing bike share. Please visit the Bikes and Pedestrian Studies section to read the reports.





COGCNV Helping Dam Owners Comply With New Dam Safety Regulations

black rock dam

July 18, 2014


COGCNV Helping Dam Owners Comply With New Dam Safety Regulations

Contact:Aaron Budris, Regional Planner/ GIS Specialist
Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley
The Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley (COGCNV) has posted a list of dam safety engineering firms on its website in order to assist Naugatuck Valley region dam owners in compliance with new state dam safety regulations. 
Modifications to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Dam Safety Program went into effect in October of 2013 shifting much of the responsibility of dam inspections from DEEP to dam owners. Previously, DEEP inspected privately owned dams, a service for which they charged owners a fee. Under the new program dam owners will be notified by DEEP when their dam is due for inspection and the dam owner will be required to hire a qualified engineer to inspect their dam and submit a report back to DEEP. The law also requires that all unregistered dams be registered, that owners of high and significant hazard dams develop and implement an Emergency Action Plan to be updated every two years, and that dams with safety deficits be remediated or removed, all which will require the services of a qualified engineer.
In order to assist area dam owners in selecting an engineer, the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley issued a request for qualification statements (RFQ) to engineering firms interested and able to perform these services in our region. Firms were asked to fill out a standardized submission form detailing their qualifications to provide several dam safety related engineering services, and listing references for recent work they have completed. They were also asked to submit résumés of staff that would be assigned projects in the region.
Sixteen firms submitted their qualification statements and résumés, which have been compiled into a list published on the COGCNV website at: /content/dam-safety. The list includes links to each firm’s submission materials and website. The completed submission forms will allow dam owners to easily compare qualifications of firms, and should be a valuable resource to dam owners in their search for a qualified engineer. The web page also includes an interactive map of the Naugatuck Valley region’s dams and links to more information about the CT Dam Safety Program.

Executive Director Search Consultant RFP – DUE 7/18/14 by 4 pm

The newly identified Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) will be hiring a new Executive Director.  The Formation Committee of NVCOG is looking to hire an executive search consultant to assist in the selection process.  Consultants interested in this work should submit their qualifications to the office of the Council of Governments Central Naugatuck Valley.  Questions and answers regarding this RFP may be found under the “Vendors” section of the “About Us” tab.

Animal Shelter Feasibility Study Completed


In February, 2014, COGCNV, with assistance from Silver/Petrucelli + Associates, completed a Regional Animal Shelter Feasibility Study, which examined the pros and cons of constructing a regional animal shelter. Middlebury was selected as the optimal location for a regional shelter. Included in the report are preliminary designs for the regional shelter, a discussion of management options, and a cost-benefit analysis for participating municipalities.

Animal Shelter Feasibility Study (PDF) >

CNVR Economic Profile 2013


An update to the economic profile was published. The profile delineates projected trends in areas such as employment, job concentration, and wages through 2020.

The Economic Profile provides an in-depth look at regional economic trends such as employment, job concentration, wages, worker age, and employment projections up to 2020. Twenty sectors of the region’s economy were examined. The report, which covers a period from 2002 to 2011, uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Connecticut Department of Labor, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CNVR Economic Profile 2013 (PDF) >