Wilton selectmen endorse WestCOG’s cost-saving, economic grants
The Board of Selectmen has endorsed grant applications for five regional projects, including studies for consolidating animal control and transfer station services.
The projects are expected to deliver costs savings or promote efficiency at the municipal and regional levels.
The grant applications are being proposed by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCOG), the regional planning agency for Wilton and 17 other Connecticut towns, as part of WestCOG’s Regional Performance Incentive Program (RPIP).
RPIP funds applications from Councils of Governments and Regional Education Service Centers.
The selectmen’s endorsement of the grant applications comes without cost or commitment to a municipality, according to WestCOG.
The projects will be fully funded by the state and WestCOG. Post-award local participation is voluntary, and a municipality may opt in or out any point.
The five projects endorsed by the selectmen for RPIP grant applications:
1. Regional economic development initiatives. This project completes three priorities for the state-approved Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy — A coordination plan for industry needs and higher education to improve the pipeline of employment; a regional tourism and development marketing plan; and a regional agricultural viability study. Total cost is $300,000, with WestCOG providing a 5 percent cash match.
2. Regional planimetric dataset update. This project will update the planimetric dataset used by municipalities to reflect recent development. It captures the location, dimensions, and areas of manmade features (for example, buildings, sheds, decks, pools, roads, driveways, parking, sidewalks, utility poles, catch basins, manholes, street trees, walls and fences). The cost is $234,682, with WestCOG providing a 5 percent cash match.
3. Regional animal control facilities/services.This application will evaluate the feasibility and potential savings of sharing or consolidation of animal control facilities and services. The cost is $112,349, with WestCOG providing a 5 percent cash match.
4. Regional transfer station facilities/services. This project will evaluate the feasibility and potential savings of sharing or consolidation of waste transfer station facilities and services in the region, with the aims to reduce costs and enhance capacity and capabilities. The cost is $88,667, with WestCOG providing a 5 percent cash match.
5. Statewide municipal boundary survey (Class D) update. This project will create a statewide municipality boundary dataset that meets Connecticut survey standards (Class D). It will replace existing state datasets which are inconsistent, substantially inaccurate, and fail to meet relevant standards. This project will extend statewide a successful pilot from the Lower Connecticut River Valley Region and will be coordinated by WestCOG. The cost is $852,612, with no regional match (given the statewide benefits of the project).