The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut

The What is your look around southwest Connecticut for the week of February 5.

The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut
Happy first full week of February! (Photo by Kelly Prinz)

Monday, February 5

Happy Monday! Billions of dollars for investments in rail infrastructure will provide safer, more efficient, and more sustainable transportation and opportunities for economic development and more jobs. That was the message from state, local, and federal officials at a panel discussion called “Reinvesting in the Region’s Future: A New Era for Rail in the Northeast Corridor.”

In November 2023, President Joe Biden announced that $16.4 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would go toward repairing and replacing “critical rail infrastructure along Northeast Corridor.”

Some of the projects in that funding include the Walk Bridge project in Norwalk, the Saugatuck River bridge replacement in Westport, power line improvements along the New Haven Line, and support for the state’s Time for CT initiative, which aims to speed up trains across the state. 

These projects are part of the Northeast Corridor, which includes some of the country’s largest cities such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the surrounding areas—such as southwest Connecticut—includes just 2% of the United States’ land area, but is home to 17% of the country’s population and generates about 20% of the nation’s GDP.

In addition, much of that work and population is centered along the Northeast Corridor rail lines, according to Stephen Gardner, the head of Amtrak. 

“About one-third of all jobs are within five miles of the Northeast Corridor,” he said. “About 80% of the population is within 25 miles of the Northeast Corridor. It truly is a central artery of commerce, mobility, and culture across the corridor.”

And Connecticut is at the heart of that corridor. “Our geographic location is one of Connecticut’s great strengths,” Governor Ned Lamont said.

Learn more about the new era for rail in the Northeast Corridor, or check out our video on some of the highlights. 

Let’s see what else is happening around the region. 


The Board of Finance will meet on Thursday, February 8 at 7 p.m. and review a request to accept almost $2.6 million in grant funds from the state and federal government to create a “microtransit pilot program.” Microtransit is a form of public transit that operates on an on-demand basis—outside of a fixed route system—such as the Wheels2U program in Norwalk and Westport. The goal of this grant is “to enhance transit and mobility options for residents from traditionally underserved neighborhoods and reduce traffic congestion.”

On Monday, February 5, the Board of Representatives will meet at 8 p.m. and vote on spending about $200,000 to update the city’s 10-year comprehensive plan, including an update to the Stamford Affordable Housing Plan, and to update the data collection needs of the Community Development Department to update plans, including creating an equity action plan.

Other meetings this week include:


The Public Works Committee of the Common Council will meet on Tuesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. and vote on advancing a stormwater management plan, as well as a $2 million contract for safety, accessibility, and streetscape for Wall Street. The committee will also vote on supporting grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation related to resilience along the Long Island Sound and green infrastructure. Learn more about these grants and the impact they could have in the city. 

Other meetings this week include: 

  • Monday, February 5: Bike/Walk Commission at 6 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, February 6: Arts and Culture Commission at 6 p.m. | Board of Education at 7 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, February 7: Parking Authority at 5 p.m. | Planning and Zoning Commission at 6 p.m. |  Land Use & Building Management Committee of the Common Council at 7 p.m. | Fair Rent Commission at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 8: Norwalk Housing Board of Commissioners at 5:30 p.m. | Library Board of Trustees at 7 p.m.


The Board of Finance will meet on Tuesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. to hear an update and discuss the town’s capital plan; discuss plans to reallocate some American Rescue Plan Act funds, and vote on accepting a grant of $2.5 million for the Rooster River Flood Mitigation Project.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center is hosting a Climate Change and Coastal Communities: Exploring Resilience Strategies event at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 8. 

Other meetings this week include: 


On Monday, February 5, the Aquarion Water Company will be hosting a public meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss its plans to upgrade approximately 2,000 feet of water main on Greenwich Avenue. According to Aquarion, the work is an upgrade of its water distribution system and should help reduce leaks and water main breaks.


The Board of Selectmen will meet on Monday, February 5 at 7 p.m. to continue its budget review and discuss the proposed guidelines for pedestrian access to Great Island.

Great Island is also on the agenda for the Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. The commission will be reviewing a proposal to make improvements to the property related to the replacement and widening of the existing entry accessway/driveway between Rings End Road and the Great Island Road cul-de-sac, to provide for two-way vehicular flow and public access.


The Board of Finance will meet on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. and review a request from the Long Lots School Building Committee to approve an appropriation of $6.8 million for the design of the new Long Lots Elementary School and Stepping Stones preschool. The board will also vote on appropriating $110,000 for a concept analysis to create a joint public safety facility for police, fire, and EMS. 

Other meetings this week include: 

Please note: All of these agendas and information here are current as of Sunday night. Meeting times and agendas may get adjusted throughout the week.

Thank you for reading! 

If you are interested in being a part of our reporting or just want to share your thoughts, please reach out at

Have a great week,

Kelly Prinz

Founder, Reporter at Coastal Connecticut Times