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CMSC Webinar Recap: DOT & Downtown – An Update On CT’s Complete Streets & Other Programs

CMSC Webinar

Webinar Summary

Kimberly Lesay, Bureau Chief of Policy & Planning at the Connecticut Department of Transportation, provides a detailed overview of the latest updates to several federal and local DOT programs including Complete Streets, Community Connectivity Grant Program (CCGP), Transportation Rural Improvement Program (TRIP), and many more. Watch the recording and review the resources to learn more about funding opportunities for your downtown transportation projects!

Presentation Highlights

  • CTDOT’s Complete Streets Policy & Directive

    As of August 2023, Complete Streets has three new controlling design criteria:

    • Pedestrian facilities–includes sidewalks, shared use paths, or side paths on both sides of the roadway.
    • Bicycle facilities–includes paved outside shoulders, bike lanes, separated bike paths, or shared use paths on both sides of the roadway.
    • Transit provisions–includes crosswalks, shelters, benches, and other ways to make existing or proposed transit stops more accessible.

    Regarding Complete Streets project applications, CTDOT:

    • is the project proponent/ administers the project
    • is responsible for providing project funding (state or federally aid)
    • controls the affected infrastructure (State Highway)

    Design Exceptions: Design Exceptions may only be granted by the Chief Engineer, with reporting requirements to the Commissioner.

  • Overview of Discretionary Federal Grant Opportunities

    The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) reauthorizes federal surface transportation programs for FY 2022 – FY 2026. Unlike the 2008 Recovery Act, IIJA is long-term, continuous investment in transportation infrastructure, not a “Shovel Ready” stimulus program. In Connecticut, there are $5.38 billion in formula-based funding over five years – a $1.62 billion increase over FAST Act. IIJA provides for over $100 billion in competitive grant opportunities between FY 2022 and FY 2026.

  • Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A)

    IIJA authorizes $6 billion over 5 years in Safe Streets grants. Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) is open to MPOs and Local Governments, not State DOTs.

    The grant program supports Vision Zero planning efforts, as well as capital projects to improve safety for all users.

    Eligible Activities:

    • Develop or update a comprehensive safety action plan
    • Conduct Planning Design and development activities in support of an Action Plan
    • Carry out projects ID’in an Action Plan
    • Demonstration Activities (Quick-Builds)

    Amendments to the latest SS4A Notice of Funding Opportunity:

    • Upwardly revises the amount available to implement projects and strategies from $580 million to $780 million.
    • Clarifies that funding awards to applicants submitted after each deadline is contingent on remaining funds. Funds are available on a rolling “first-come, first-serve” basis.
    • Waives up to $200,000 in non-Federal match for applications from certain U.S. territories.
    • Removes the option for unsuccessful Implementation Grant applicants to apply for a Planning and Demonstration Grant. Implementation Grant applicants are encouraged to bundle requests for supplemental planning and demonstration activities into their Implementation Grant application.
    • Changes the deadline for technical questions to April 24 to answer any questions related to the amendment. Application deadlines remain the same.

      New SS4A application resources:

    • CTDOT Programs

    • Success Stories

      In partnership with Smart Growth America, the cities of Waterbury, Bristol, and Middletown of along with NVCOG and RiverCOG, completed the 2022-2023 Complete Streets Academy that included workshops, planning and building temporary street safety demonstration projects.

      View 2022-2023 Complete Streets Academy final report here.


    View the Recording


    About Our Presenter

    Kimberly Lesay, Bureau Chief of Policy & Planning at the Connecticut Department of Transportation



    Contact Info

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    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Blighted and Vacant Properties

    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Blighted and Vacant Properties

    Presentation Summary

    Rista Malanca, Director of Community and Economic Development at NHCOG, discusses updates to two important pieces of recent legislature concerning blight and littering:

    Regarding PA 19-92, her presentation defines a party of interest and explains how one can file a claim to receive ownership of an abandoned/blighted property. Later, she provides an analysis of PA 23-33 that includes updated language on the maximum daily penalties municipalities can assess for blight under their general powers and the increased state littering fine.


    What is Tax Increment Financing?


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenter

    Rista Malanca

    Director of Community and Economic Development at Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG)

    View Downtown Resource Library

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    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

    Presentation Summary

    Julie Carmelich, Historic Tax Credit Administrator, State Historic Preservations Office (SHPO), will discuss several tax credit programs offered by SHPO applicable to historic rehabilitation efforts including:

    She will also present on the environmental benefits of historic preservation and other grant opportunities from SHPO.


    What is Tax Increment Financing?


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenter

    Julie Carmelich

    Historic Tax Credit Administrator, State Historic Preservations Office (SHPO)

    View Downtown Resource Library

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    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: C-PACE for New Construction

    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: C-PACE for New Construction

    Presentation Summary

    Peter Ludwig, Senior Manager of Market Engagement at CT Green Bank, presents on the CT Green Bank C-PACE for New Construction program.

    The C-PACE for New Construction program (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) offers financing available to commercial properties for GREEN solutions and low-cost, long-term funding (up to 25 years). The owner repays over time through a senior assessment placed on the property. The assessment stays with the property regardless of ownership. This presentation also includes information on eligible and ineligible costs for C-PACE financing.


    What is Tax Increment Financing?


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenter

    Peter Ludwig

    Senior Manager of Market Engagement at CT Green Bank

    Contact Info

    Website:

    View Downtown Resource Library

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    Goman + York

    Goman + York

    Listen + Advise + Execute

    Drawing on decades of experience, Goman + York’s primary mission is to develop realistic and actionable strategies that revitalize towns, cities and neighborhoods at the intersection of planning, economic development, and real estate development.

    Services

    Services include: Placemaking; Downtown Revitalization; Community & Economic Development; Mixed-use Development; Adaptive Reuse of Historic Buildings; Economic Health of the Downtown; Strategic Planning; Small Business Development

    Visit their website

    Contact

    Denise Robidoux
    EVP/COO
    111 Founders Plaza, Suite 1000
    East Hartford, CT 06108
    860.798.2804
    drobidoux@gomanyork.com

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    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: reSET

    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: reSET

    Presentation Summary

    Sarah Bodley, Executive Director, reSET co/BL&D, will present on the ways that reSET is a resource in retail incubation, launching and propelling social enterprises and other entrepreneurial initiatives to occupy vacancies on Main Street.

    Her presentation will highlight successes with Connecticut businesses such as Blue Earth Compost, Charlie’s Traveling Treat Truck, and the Hartford Culinary Collaborative.


    What is Tax Increment Financing?


    View the Recording


    Other Resources


    About Our Presenter

    Sarah Bodley

    , Executive Director at reSET

    Contact Info

    Website:

    View Downtown Resource Library

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    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Fighting Blight with TIF

    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Fighting Blight with TIF

    Presentation Summary

    Tax Increment Financing (TIF) uses new/incremental real property tax revenue generated from new development and increased value to repay costs of the project or improvements to the TIF District.

    In this presentation, Michael Andreana, Attorney, Pullman & Comley, will discuss the ways that TIF revenues can be used to fight blight, requirements for establishing a TIF district, and the basic components of a Master TIF District Plan.

    Presentation Highlights


    What is Tax Increment Financing?


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenter

    Michael J. Andreana

    , Attorney at Pullman & Comley LLC

    Contact Info

    Website:

    View Downtown Resource Library

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    Downtown Gift Card Program

    Downtown Gift Card Program

    Are you considering a gift card program for your downtown? Or maybe you already launched one, but it’s struggling – or worse?

    When done well, a gift card program can be an excellent way to market your downtown and support your Main Street businesses.

    Learn the secrets of Middletown’s gift card program that led to a 14x return in sales for Main Street businesses! In this webinar, Sandra Russo-Driska discusses the must-do’s and absolutely-don’ts that have helped the Middletown Downtown Business District run a profitable gift card program for over a decade, including selling 4,100 gift cards in 2021!

    Helpful LInks

    In this presentation, Sandra Russo-Driska, Downtown Business District Coordinator, shares:

    • The support & resources you need to start and maintain a successful gift card program
    • Common issues that come up & how to overcome them
    • The staff & time commitment you need to run a successful gift card program
    • A brief overview of the technology platform Middletown’s Downtown Business District uses for their program.

    Other Resources

    CMSC Professional Affiliates

    • Link to MP PA post

    Search Downtown Resource Library

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    CMSC Webinar Recap: Funding Main Street Management – 3 Models

    CMSC Webinar

    Webinar Summary

    Sustainable funding for a main street management program is critical to achieve incremental progress in your downtown district. In this webinar, we’ll be covering three models to fund a main street management program: Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and tax incremental financing (TIF) districts.

    Our three presenters will give a short overview of each type’s general structure and pros and cons to consider.

    Presentation Highlights


    Funding Model Comparisons

    Click here to find a comparison of the different funding model types. 


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenters

    • Jennifer E. Goldman

      Jennifer E Goldman LLC

    • Sandra Russo-Driska

      Coordinator of Middletown Downtown Business District

    • Michael J. Andreana

      , Attorney at Pullman & Comley LLC

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    D.5.1 Placemaking & Wayfinding Signage

    D.5.1 Placemaking & Wayfinding Signage

    Action

    Improve district and wayfinding signage.

    Why

    A successful downtown main street layout will include highly visible, easy-to-read, and decorative way-finding signage.  The goal is to have a positive experience for both the pedestrian and motorist who are navigating through the district.

    How

    There are numerous wayfinding and district signage plans available.  Once signage locations have been determined, it’s important to list all points of interest, municipal service locations, transit options, and other significant destinations.

    CMSC Professional Affiliates

    Search Downtown Resource Library

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    P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337