$2 million grant to aid region's municipalities
The South Western Regional Planning Agency was awarded a $2 million state grant to help municipalities jointly deliver services that they now provide on an individual basis.
The grant was awarded under the state Office of Policy and Management's Regional Performance Incentive Program to support the coordination or consolidation of municipal services.
By joining together, the region's municipalities can achieve economies of scale, reduce redundancy and lower costs.
The grant will allow the municipalities of the southwestern region to jointly acquire aerial photography and develop Geographic Information Systems data.
Municipalities rely on aerial photography and GIS data for numerous functions, including assessment, conservation, emergency management, engineering, planning and public works.
The past practice was for municipalities to individually collect and maintain this data, which resulted in different standards and update schedules.
This grant will allow the region's municipalities to coordinate their efforts, yielding cost savings now and in the future.
The grant will also support the creation of a clearinghouse to give the public access to and use of the data.
"We're pleased the state decided to recognize this proposal, which was supported by all eight southwestern region municipalities" said Floyd Lapp, executive director of SWRPA. "There are obvious economies of scale from reducing redundancy and lowering purchasing cost. This initiative should serve as an example of the important role regional planning plays in promoting inter-municipal cooperation."
SWRPA is the regional planning organization for eight municipalities in lower Fairfield County, including New Canaan. For information, visit www.swrpa.org.