Continued support for the upgrade of I-84 in western Connecticut (Regional Transportation Plan); East of I-691 in Southington to Rte 69 in Waterbury (in design) ;Rte 69 in Waterbury to the Housatonic River in Southbury (corridor study is almost completed); I-84/Route 8 Interchange in Waterbury (initiate engineering design)
State Aid to Municipalities
Review the Education Cost Sharing formula, increasing the state share of total cost and taking into account the cost of special education. . Maintain the present level of state aid to municipalities for Town Aid for Roads (TAR) and Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP).
Raise municipal funding from the Pequot funds — Grants to municipalities have not increased since the program's inception despite sizable increases in revenues. PILOT — Increase state reimbursement to municipalities under the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) programs for real property owned by the state (prisons, airports, institutions, offices, etc.) as well as private colleges and hospitals.
Revaluation — Support relief for municipalities from revaluation mandates. Allow municipalities with uniform grand lists that meet reasonable standards for valuation accuracy to be able to forego revaluation every four years.
Increase funding for existing elderly circuit breaker program. Establish a statewide uniform mill rate, or other equitable tax, for property tax for automobiles, to be collected locally and subsidized for distresses cities and possible others.
Ensure that the regional mobile data communication system for law enforcement that has been set up in the Waterbury area by COGCNV and already in use in the Capitol Region will be able to interconnect with the state police data communication system. Include funding for vehicle computer equipment for resident state trooper towns.
Job Access/Reverse Commute Program — Continued funding of Job Access and Reverse Commute transportation program, linking low-income workers and welfare-town clients with employment areas beyond fixed route bus service areas and hours of service.
Minibus Service for the Disabled — Support increased operating subsidies for minibus transportation for the disabled for service beyond the fixed bus route service area. (Under ADA regulations, complementary minibus service is required within a 3/4 mile band of the fixed route bus service, but beyond that band, the disabled are the most isolated.)
Regional Planning — Restore State funding for Regional Planning Organizations (RPO's) such as COGCNV to the level of ten years ago but adjusted for inflation. During the recession of the early-1990's, the state cut RPO funding by 5% and then 20%. Despite the increasing role and responsibilities of RPOs, funding has not been restored; and state RPO funding has dwindled to 9% of RPO's budgets.
Greenway/Bikeways — Proceed with extension of the state-designated Naugatuck River Greenway by funding a consultant design study and pilot for the greenway from Beacon Falls to the Thomaston. Open Space — Maintain DEP funding for open space purchases. Encourage DEP to set priorities for water company lands up for purchase or acquisition.
Farm Preservation — Increase Dept of Agriculture funding for farm preservation. Environmental — Maintain funding for brownfield remediation. Urban initiatives — Continue support for the downtown Waterbury revitalization project, a major project with region-wide benefits.
Keep grant formulas consistent from year to year and notify municipalities early on in the local budget-making process if major changes are planned. The state must not renege on program funding commitments — municipalities become reluctant to participate in new programs when they see the state withdraw support from previous initiatives.