Northwest Hills Council of Governments
The Northwest Hills Council of Governments (COG) consists of the Mayors and First Selectmen from 21 member towns in the Northwest Corner. It is one of the nine Councils of Governments that have been established in Connecticut.
The COG meets on a monthly basis to discuss issues of municipal concern, oversee various COG projects, and explore new opportunities for regional cooperation. The COG has four employees and an office in Goshen town center.
The COG’s work program typically includes activities in three focus areas: regional planning, grant writing and administration, and regional service delivery.
Examples of regional planning activities include preparation of a Regional Plan of Conservation and Development, a Regional Transportation Plan, a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, and a Regional Trail Map.
Examples of grant writing and administrationactivities recently include conducting a rural broadband and mobile enhancement study, coordination of a regional food hub, the design of a regional animal shelter to serve the Torrington area, and implementation of the Rural Independent Transportation Service. In addition, the COG is allocated about $2M each year from ConnDOT (Connecticut Department of Transportation) for priority local road improvements and serves as the oversight agent for about $350,000 in Homeland Security Grant funding each year.
Examples of regional service delivery activities include on-going coordination of a number of popular programs such as the Foundation for Community Health’s Prescription Assistance Fund, a Neighbor-to-Neighbor program in cooperation with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a regional fuel bank program, the Northwest Hills Public Works Equipment Cooperative, and the region’s cooperative purchasing program.
The COG also assists a number of organizations in the region including the Regional Housing Council, Northwest Hills Road Supervisors Association, Public Safety Task Force, Recycling Advisory Committee, and the Housatonic River Commission. In addition, the COG hosts a quarterly “5th Thursday” forum for area Planning, Zoning, and Conservation Commission members to meet and discuss items of mutual interest, hear guest speakers, and provide input on regional plans.
More information on these and other COG activities is available at: www.northwesthillscog.org.
Respectfully submitted, Rick Lynn, AICP, Executive Director
Listen to Rick Lynn, NHCOG's Executive Director, talk about his organization and the Foundation for Community Health with Marshall Miles on Robin Hood Radio.