Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
860.567.2204 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.nwctedc.com
Board of Directors
Monday, May 15, 2017
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
The meeting was called to order by President/Chairman Doug Parker at 8:08 a.m.
Attendance: Jocelyn Ayer, Peter Bevivino, Susan Clayton, Fran Delaney, Maggie Selby (for Anthea Disney), Laura McCarthy, Patricia Mechare, Rich Meinert, Doug Parker, William Riiska, JoAnn Ryan, Steve Sadlowski, Steve Silver, Larry Sweeney, Myrna Watanabe, Erin Wilson, and Steve Zarrella. Guest: Mark Waterhouse, Garnet Consulting
1. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Overview
Mark Waterhouse, Garnet Consulting
- Mark served as the consultant for the current NW CT CEDS which was approved by the U.S. EDA in April 2013 and will expire in April 2018.
- He has worked with many of the other regional economic development organizations in CT as a consultant to create and/or update their CEDS documents.
- He has also worked with numerous economic development organizations throughout the country for over 30 years.
- He lives in Barkhamsted and has frequently attended NWCTEDC meetings as a guest.
What is a CEDS?
- A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a five year regional strategic plan following U.S. EDA (Economic Development Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce) guidelines and CT DECD (Department of Economic & Community Development) guidelines.
- It is a strategic plan with specific action objectives/initiatives based on extensive input from a multitude of regional representatives and organizations.
- Mark indicated that economic development does not occur for free and requires an investment from the region to implement the objectives/initiatives.
Why should we have a CEDS for NW CT?
- If NW CT wants economic development, there needs to be an investment to make it happen, that investment should be guided by a well thought-out plan.
- The NW CT CEDS serves as a regional plan/road map to guide economic development strategy for the 21 municipalities served by the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG) and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce.
- A regional NW CT CEDS should also be complementary with the NHCOG Plan of Conservation & Development.
Who is involved with creating a CEDS?
- The NW CT EDC will serve as the Strategy Committee in developing the CEDS.
- The Strategy Committee should be broad-based and represent both the public and private sectors, as well as any important and relevant not-for-profit sectors.
- The NWCTEDC Executive Committee will serve as a Steering Committee.
- Focus groups and broad-based public outreach will provide additional input.
How long does it take to create a CEDS?
- Typically it takes between 8 months and a year to create a regional CEDS.
- A 30 day public review is required after the draft CEDS has been completed.
- The final CEDS must be approved by DECD and the Governor before being submitted to the U.S. EDA for approval.
- Since there is already an approved CEDS for NW CT, this will serve as the required Five-Year update to the current CEDS. (The previous CEDS had to be created from scratch since the two regional planning organizations [NWCCOG & LHCEO] merged in January 2014.)
- The NWCTEDC is also recognized as an Economic Development District (EDD) by the U.S. EDA. An updated CEDS is required to maintain that status.
How does a CEDS benefit NW CT?
- The NW CT CEDS will serve as a regional economic development plan (roadmap) for the 21 municipalities in NW CT. The CEDS is intended to be an action plan that drives the region's economic development efforts.
- As an officially recognized EDD, NWCTEDC can apply for federal grants managed by the U.S. EDA.
Who has to approve a CEDS?
- The CEDS will need to be approved by the NWCTEDC, the NHCOG, the NW CT Chamber of Commerce, CT DECD, CT Governor and U.S. EDA.
Changes to the new CEDS Format
- Less data is required, size of document will most likely will be 50-60 pages vs. over 140 pages for current CEDS.
- Simple format, identify most meaningful focus areas and projects.
- Should be broadly approved and comply with state and federal plans.
- Priority project listing is not required, but can be included as a local option. If included, the NW CT EDC Board needs to decide if the focus should be on projects of regional importance vs. projects important to individual municipalities.
- Infrastructure projects may have greater chance of getting federal and state support.
- A new requirement is a section focusing on Economic Resilience including both "steady-state" efforts to prevent economic disruptions and planning for post-disruption responses.
- New performance measures include a focus on higher paying jobs vs. overall job creation. Other relevant performance measures will be determined locally.
EDA Planning Grant
- Jocelyn is applying for a Planning Grant to EDA to update the NW CT CEDS.
- NHCOG is contributing $10,000, which can be matched by in-kind services for another $10,000.
- If approved, EDA would provide $20,000 as a match for a total of $40,000.
- Jocelyn is also investigating another EDA grant to provide administrative financial support for developing and implementing the NW CT CEDS.
2. NWCTEDC By-Laws Revisions
- Doug Parker presented suggested revisions to the NWCTEDC By-Laws that were developed by the NWCTEDC Executive Committee.
- The By-Laws have not been revised since they were approved in October 2003.
- The revisions were based on the current operating structure of the NWCTEDC.
- A motion was made by Jocelyn Ayer to table approval of the By-Law revisions until further discussion could clarify some of the issues. The motion was seconded by Erin Wilson. The motion was approved to table approval, but allow for more discussion.
- The By-Law revisions were reviewed and items of concern were noted.
- Further discussion will be required by the Executive Committee before bringing back to the full board at a later date.
The meeting was officially adjourned at 9:30 a.m.
NW CT Economic Development Corporation