Rt. 6 Regional Economic Development Council
On November 9, 2005 representatives from the Towns of Andover, Bolton, Columbia and Coventry met to discuss the concept of a regional approach to economic development along Route 6. A Memorandum of Understanding and a Mission Statement was reviewed and was later adopted by the member towns' governing bodies. Through the Memorandum of Understanding, the Route 6 Regional Economic Development Council was created. The member towns are desirous of: (1) working together to promote economic development along Route 6 and the immediate areas adjacent thereto and (2) creating a cohesive plan for development within the Route 6 Corridor. The corridor begins at the junction of Route 6 and Route 44 in Bolton and extends east through the Towns of Bolton, Coventry, Andover and Columbia to the Windham Town line via Route 66E.
The goals of the Route 6 Economic Development Council are:
- Create a unified vision for the Route 6 Corridor;
- Make recommendations to Member Towns for appropriate economic development within the Route 6 Corridor;
- Make recommendations to Member Towns for coordinated zoning within the Route 6 Corridor;
- Market properties within the Route 6 Corridor through literature, websites, and other appropriate media; and
- Apply for grants where appropriate or recommend grants to Member Towns.
As an initial step, funding was obtained through the Small Town Economic Assistance Program for a study to plan and design for the future improvement, economic development and enhancement of the Route 6 corridor. The Study will encourage planning for the future development of the Route 6 Corridor and implement the goals of the Route 6 Regional Economic Development Council by:
- Addressing the issue of access management and traffic controls.
- Reviewing and recommending utility improvements to include but not limited to fiber optic and public sewer and water.
- Reviewing existing land use regulations and recommending regulation changes to create consistency within the Route 6 Corridor.
- Creating a strategy for economic development within the Route 6 Corridor and determining what economic initiatives are appropriate and realistic for the region.
Begun in 2005, the Route 6 Regional Economic Development Council (Route 6 EDC) received funding in 2008 to begin the Route 6 Planning Project. The Route 6 Planning Project was defined as a project to explore, define, and consider what was the economic development potential of Route 6 was. The Study Area was defined as from the intersection of Route 44 in Bolton, CT and continuing through Coventry and Andover. The project also included Route 6 in Columbia, CT but continued to the Windham Town Line along Route 66.
A Request for Qualifications was published in the fall of 2008. After an extensive screening and interview process, a consultant was brought onboard and the project began in earnest. The consultant team consists of LADA, P.C. Land Planners (Project Managers / Landscape Architects / Planners); Garnet Consulting Services (Economic Development); Frederick P. Clark Associates (Traffic); and Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates, Inc. (Engineering).
The project goals were defined in October 2009 as:
- Project Goals Re-vision the future of Route 6 through the use of public input and consensus building.
- Create a Master Plan of Route 6 that provides targeted areas of development for each Town in the Corridor.
- Preserve the historic, scenic, and environmental resources of the corridor in a manner that identifies those resources as potential revenue positive elements.
- Balance the investment potential and costs among the four towns.
- Identify "kick-off" projects that should be done first and which will provide the best foundation for future projects.
In keeping with Goal #1, the Route 6 EDC focused on trying to re-vision Route 6. As part of this process, a new name and logo were created for this project. The name, as shown on this website, has been defined as:
The Route 6 Hop River Corridor
This new name identifies the two significant documents of the Study Area — the road (Route 6) and its context (Hop River Valley). To further define a new vision of the corridor for the future, a logo was chosen from nearly 40 alternatives considered. This logo is part of the top banner of this website.
On October 25, 2010, Route 6 Economic Development Council adopted the Route 6 Regional Economic Development Strategy and Master Plan Study. After nearly two years, this report includes a new vision for the Route 6 Hop River Corridor. The report is attached or copies can be reviewed at each of the Bolton, Coventry, Andover, and Columbia Town offices. Please note that the files are quite large and may take some time to load. In some cases, the maps and figures for an individual chapter may be in multiple files. This is especially true for Chapter 9 — Existing Environmental Setting.