Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
860.567.2204 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.nwctedc.com
Meeting Minutes - Executive Committee
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
Attendance: Leo Paul, Don Stein, Erin Wilson, Jocelyn Ayer, Ted Shafer, Mark Lyon, Doug Parker, Frank Chiaramonte and Lou Helt
CERC "Celebrate CT" & CERC Quarterly Meetings
- CERC has been hosting a yearly Celebrate CT (Nov. 30, 2016) event each year since 2010. The event is held at the Bushnell in Hartford and features a business and community organization from each of the ten regions in CT. This year CERC has partnered with the Hartford Business Journal to help with pre-publicity for the event. Each region was asked to contribute $975 toward the cost of marketing the event.
- There was a discussion about the cost and benefit to the region. It was suggested that the NHCOG and Chamber might be interested in sharing the cost since NWCTEDC has no money.
- The next item was selecting two recipients from NW CT. One would be a business and the other would be a community organization.
- After extensive discussion about various nominees, Arethusa Farm in Litchfield (business) and Kids Play in Torrington (community) were selected as the unanimous choices to represent NW CT.
- CERC also hosts quarterly regional meetings to allow sharing among the regions about economic development initiatives.
Commercial Properties and Brownfields update
- Erin Wilson stated that Torrington is called "Micropolitan" because it has a population under 50,000. It has been receiving a lot of recognition as a top Micropolitan community.
- Torrington received a grant for $100,000 to assess existing Brownfield sites.
- One project using Brownfields funding involved remediating a former industrial property along the Naugatuck River. The goal is top attract a private developer now that the site has been remediated.
- Another project is to explore the remediation and re-use of a former industrial site for a regional transit center. The Torrington Preservation Trust is also interested in the preserving the buildings.
- Torrington is applying for a Brownfields Area-Wide Revitalization (BAR) Planning Grant to continue to assess and potentially remediate other former industrial sites.
- The NWCTEDC received official designation as an Economic Development District (EDD) from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) dated July 7, 2016. Jocelyn filed the paperwork and worked with EDA officials.
- The next steps are to apply for a Planning Technical Assistance Grant and apply for a Public Works Construction Project Grant.
- The planning grant needs a one-to-one match, the priority is to hire staff.
- Food Hub Update: Completed feasibility study in April, NHCOG approved and endorsed moving forward with advanced planning and startup implementation. Submitted grant application to USDA for $300,000
- Regional Infrastructure Plan Update: It was agreed to take out the passenger rail project from the plan. The plan has been finalized and approved by NHCOG. The plan has also been endorsed by NWCTEDC.
- New Opportunities is working with the NHCOG.
- NW Collaborative (8 town shared services): Jocelyn will share lessons learned at a later date.
- Broadband: NHCOG applied for a $200,000 Regional Performance Incentive grant (RPI) for $200,000 with NWConnect to bring broadband service to the smaller NW CT communities. If successful it would allow for review of available technologies, best technology matches for NW CT, and potential business models.
NW CT Chamber Updates
- The NW CT Manufacturing Coalition meets on the first Friday of each month at the NW CT Chamber. Rep. Elizabeth Esty will be at the Sept. 2 meeting.
- The Chamber will host "Meet the Candidates" forums (by political party) at the Chamber.
- CBIA is working with the NW CT Chamber to create a regional survey focusing on tourism and the arts, jobs and affordable housing.
Frank Chiaramonte, Secretary
NW CT Economic Development Corporation