Collaborative awarded new $13K grant
to support local economic development groups
(December 23, 2011)
In November, the Collaborative applied for a $10,000 Preservation of Place grant and was thrilled to be awarded even more than we had asked for, a grant of $13,237 !
This funding will be used to support each of our towns' economic development committees to take the critical next steps needed to keep our village center businesses vital.
This funding will allow us to meet with existing economic development entities groups in our member towns to identify organizational and resource needs (technical assistance, funding, and partnerships), near and long term goals, and local business development priorities. In member towns which do not currently have a local economic development group, we will assist in getting one started. We can then help to coordinate the efforts of these local organizations for the economic benefit of the whole region.
This grant is from Connecticut Main Street Center and the 'Preservation of Place' program in cooperation with the State Historic Preservation Office with funds from Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut.
Collaboration takes the stage at our annual meeting
TriArts Sharon Playhouse was the perfect setting for the Collaborative's annual meeting on the evening of December 5th.
Representative Roberta Willis (who we are happy to report now represents all our member towns) shared information about the new Main Street Investment Fund bringing $5 million a year to small towns like ours. There funds can be used to help make improvements to town commercial centers to attract small businesses, promote commercial viability and improve aesthetics and pedestrian access. We look forward to working with Roberta to bring these needed resources to our towns.
Representatives from our member towns shared what they have learned over the last year working on issues including Low Impact Development regulations in Goshen, village center signage and incentive housing zones in Sharon, wind energy regulations in Canaan, and Town Plan updates in Falls Village, Kent, Norfolk, and Salisbury. We also got an update on the regional HouBike
project and other regional initiatives through the NWCT COG and LHCEO.
Chris and Jocelyn presented the new housing and economic development resources we have brought to our towns over the last year and whats to come. To see Chris's slide presentation with a summary, click here
A big thank you to all who attended the annual meeting making it a success and to Alice at TriArts for hosting.
Homeownership counseling now available in Sharon
Litchfield County residents can now take advantage of new housing resources including free first time home buyer courses, down payment & closing cost assistance, and homeownership counseling. Please refer anyone interested in becoming a first time homebuyer or needing homeowner counseling to these new services.
These services are provided by Housing Development Fund which has established a satellite office space in Sharon, CT at the Foundation for Community Health offices with the assistance of HousingUs, an initiative of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. For a copy of a flyer on these services with contact information,
We hope to have more good NEWS to share with you in the new year. (STEAP grant announcements coming soon!)
NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative
Northwestern Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative
October 18, 2007
Introduction: The legislature has established a new Regional Performance Incentive Program to encourage regionalization of existing municipal services. The purpose of the program is to lower the costs and tax burden associated with providing the service. The legislature has authorized $8.6 million for the program, which is a onetime grant for a one year period of time.
Proposal: To establish a “Northwestern Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative” to better meet the needs of land use, affordable housing, and economic development organizations in the northwest corner of Connecticut. The Collaborative would operate under the aegis of the Northwestern CT Council of Governments and the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials. Program funding would be used to hire a regional planning consultant for a minimum of one year to enhance technical planning assistance in the NWCCOG and LHCEO Regions with an emphasis on the rural towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, North Canaan, Norfolk, Salisbury, and Sharon. Technical assistance provided will be in cooperation with other land use, housing, and economic development organizations in the regional area including The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, Northwest Conservation District, Housatonic Valley Association, Litchfield Hills Greenprint, Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development, and CT Farmland Trust. This leveraging of advice and assistance by collaborating agencies will greatly expand the capacity of the collaborative and facilitate improved communication and land use decision making in the region.
Justification: Economies of scale will be achieved through a regional program of technical planning assistance. For example, the twenty Planning and Zoning Commissions in the NWCCOG and LHCEO service area function as independent entities. Thousands of dollars are spent each year by these Commissions on technical planning advice. Since many of the issues and concerns facing these Commissions are the same, town by town payment for this assistance is often duplicative and is not a cost-effective way to operate. Through the establishment of the NW Regional Planning Collaborative, economies of scale will be achieved by a) preparing and sharing technical planning advice by a professional planner hired to serve the regional area, and b) establishing a robust and comprehensive interactive webpage for area land use, housing and economic development organizations to keep up-to-date with new planning related information. By providing a forum for information exchange and the sharing of sample regulations and guidelines on key topics such as open space, affordable housing, economic development and farmland protection, the Collaborative will greatly enhance long term planning in a cost-effective way.
Funding Request: The NWCCOG and LHCEO plan to jointly apply for a $120,000 grant from the $8.6 million authorized under Connecticut's Regional Performance Incentive Program. The funding will pay for consultant services, travel, office equipment and supplies, website development and maintenance, and program administration.
Schedule: Upon approval of the grant request, the NWCCOG and LHCEO will advertise for consultant services to initiate the program. A Personal Services Agreement will be entered into with the successful applicant for a one year period of time. The NWCCOG will administer the program and be responsible for providing office space to the planner at their Warren office. Following this one year period, the NWCCOG and LHCEO will evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and pursue funding sources to sustain the program as appropriate.