Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
860.567.2204 - email@example.com - www.nwctedc.com
Meeting Minutes - Board of Directors
Monday, November 21, 2016
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
The meeting was called to order by President/Chairman Doug Parker at 8:10 a.m.
Attendees: Jocelyn Ayers, Peter Bevivino, Bill Burgess, Frank Chiaramonte, Doug Parker, Leo Paul, JoAnn Ryan, Don Stein, Larry Sweeney, Sharon Waagner, Steve Zarrella, Tammy Warner (SBDC)
1. Overview of CEDS Process for NW CT
- NWCTEDC was created in 2002 and became a 501 (C)(04) on Oct. 1, 2004.
- There were 10 towns in the original CEDS from 2004-2009 (mostly Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, plus North Canaan)
- First CEDS was created from 2002-2004, approved by EDA in May 2004.
- Objectives/initiatives were more town-oriented than business/regionally oriented.
- In 2010, the state passed legislation (P.A. 10-168) officially recognizing regional economic development organizations, minimum of 15 municipalities, maximum of 8 regions state-wide.
- In 2010 there were two regional planning organizations (RPO) in NW CT - the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials (LHCEO - 11 municipalities) and the Northwest CT Council of Governments (NWCCG - 9 municipalities).
- Extensive discussions ensued about whether to work together to create a new regional CEDS for NW CT (20 municipalities) from 2010 until 2011, weighing pros and cons (LHCEO & NWCCOG merged in January 2014 to form NHCOG, Burlington joined NHCOG).
- Rick Lynn completed the application to EDA in May 2010 requesting a planning grant from EDA for $50,000 ($25,000 local match, $12,500 could be in-kind), grant was approved by EDA in fall of 2011.
- A major portion of the public input process was the establishment of eight topic-oriented Focus Groups. All CEDS Committee members were encouraged to be part of a Focus Group, but many other individuals were asked to participate, and the process was open for any volunteers from the community. All told, 79 people participated in the Focus Group portion of this project. The Focus Group topics were selected by the CEDS committee based on prior research, in particular Scenario Planning that was carried out by the NWCTEDC in 2008, as being the topics of most importance to the region's future economy.
2. Brownfields/Commercial Real Estate/Construction
3. Culture & Tourism/Film (Revitalizing Town, Village & City Centers)
4. Infrastructure (transportation - roads & rail, energy, water, sewer, broadband)
6. Service Sector (health-care, financial, retail, etc.)
7. Small Businesses (home-based, housing construction, etc.)
8. Workforce Development (education, higher education, training, etc.)
- NW CT CEDS was completed in April 2013.
- NW CT CEDS was approved by EDA on April 17, 2014.
- Objectives/Initiatives were developed as a result of the CEDS process. (Primary organization(s) for implementation in parentheses)
- NWCTEDC applied to EDA for Economic Development Designation (EDD) in April 2015.
- NWCTEDC officially recognized as an EDD on July 7, 2016.
2. NW CT CEDS Progress Report (see attached documents)
- The NWCTEDC has served as a bridge organization working closely with both the NHCOG and the NW CT Chamber to create the NW CT CEDS.
- The NW CT CEDS is a five year regional economic development plan (2013-2018).
- There has been significant progress on many of the CEDS Objectives/Initiatives by both the NHCOG and the NW CT Chamber. (Food hub grants, agriculture inventory, NW CT Manufacturer's Coalition, NHCOG Regional Infrastructure Plan, Broadband grants, Brownfields remediation projects in Torrington and Winchester, 8 small town collaborative, CEDF partnership, close partnerships with NCCC and Regional Workforce Investment Board)
- A lack of funding and staffing has limited the scope of the NWCTEDC to implement CEDS objectives/initiatives. (Due to local, state and federal budget problems, it is not likely that they will provide financial assistance to NWCTEDC anytime soon.)
3. Recommendations from Executive Meeting on October 17, 2016
- Revision of By-laws
- Have a narrow focus on one project.
- Funding could be available for that specific project
- Can't get funding for operating expenses at this time
- We need collective impact
- We were trying to focus on too many projects
- Needs a focused economic development effort to support and enhance municipal economic development efforts
- It was suggested to focus on tourism marketing as the primary short term goal of NWCTEDC.
- Emphasize young people as your target
4. Update/Action on CEDS Strategies
- Agriculture - Submitted grant for $50,000 to establish a food hub There are a large number of land trust lands that could be used for agriculture
- Regional Tourism - the state will work with chambers to promote tourism
Adjourn (9:38 a.m.)
Frank Chiaramonte, Secretary
NW CT Economic Development Corporation