CHAPTER 588ff
REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 32-741. Establishment of regional economic development districts. Board of directors. Boundaries.
Sec. 32-742. Comprehensive economic development strategy.
Sec. 32-743. Review and approval of comprehensive economic development strategy. Approval and designation of region as economic development district.
Sec. 32-744. Priority regional grants to regional economic development districts.
Sec. 32-745. Projects identified in comprehensive economic development strategies. Eligibility for funding.

      Sec. 32-741. Establishment of regional economic development districts. Board of directors. Boundaries. (a) In order to coordinate, implement and promote responsible economic growth and activities in this state, any of the following entities may, after approval by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the Assistant Secretary of Economic Development of the United States Department of Commerce, either individually or in conjunction with one or more other such entities, establish a regional economic development district for the purposes of sections 8-35a, 16a-27, 32-1o and 32-742 to 32-745, inclusive: (1) A regional economic development commission formed under section 7-137; (2) any organization that has a strategy that would meet the requirements of section 32-742 and has been approved by the Assistant Secretary of Economic Development of the United States Department of Commerce; (3) a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time; (4) another regional economic development commission or corporation formed under any other provision of the general statutes or any special act; or (5) a regional planning organization, as defined in section 4-124i. The entity or entities establishing a regional economic development district shall provide for a board of directors of the district. Not more than eight regional economic development districts shall be established pursuant to this subsection.

      (b) The boundaries of such districts shall encompass one or more planning regions, designated or redesignated pursuant to section 16a-4a, or, to the extent practicable, be contiguous with boundaries of former county government regions. Each regional economic development district established pursuant to this section shall comply with the distress requirement provisions of 13 CFR 301.3(a)(1).

      (P.A. 10-168, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 10-168 effective July 1, 2010.

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      Sec. 32-742. Comprehensive economic development strategy. (a) The board of directors of a regional economic development district shall comply with the provisions of 13 CFR 304.2 and shall prepare and approve a comprehensive economic development strategy for the district to address identified economic development problems in a manner that promotes economic development and opportunity and housing availability, fosters effective transportation access, improves workforce development, enhances and protects the environment, balances resources through sound management of development, and encourages responsible growth and development. A comprehensive economic development strategy shall contain:

      (1) An analysis of economic and community development problems and opportunities, including incorporation of any relevant material or suggestions from other government-sponsored or supported plans;

      (2) Background and history of economic development in the district, with a discussion of the economy, geography, population, labor force, resources and the environment;

      (3) A discussion of community participation in the planning efforts for the strategy;

      (4) The goals and objectives for (A) taking advantage of the opportunities in the district, and (B) solving the economic development problems of the district;

      (5) A plan of action, including suggested projects to implement the goals and objectives set forth in subdivision (4) of this subsection; and

      (6) Performance measures that will be used to evaluate whether and to what extent such goals and objectives have been met.

      (b) Upon approving the comprehensive economic development strategy for a district, the board of directors of the district shall submit the strategy to each regional planning organization, as defined in section 4-124i, serving any portion of the geographical area of such district, except if such regional planning organization is not part of the regional economic development district pursuant to section 32-741. The regional planning organizations shall study the strategy and shall report their findings and recommendations thereon to the district not later than ninety days after the receipt of the strategy.

      (c) After review and comment on the comprehensive economic development strategy under subsection (b) of this section, the board of directors of the district shall submit the strategy to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. The secretary and the commissioner shall review the strategy and, not later than sixty days after receiving the strategy, shall either notify such board of directors of approval of the strategy or provide the board with recommendations for modifying the strategy for consistency with the state plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to chapter 297 and the state-wide comprehensive economic development strategy required under section 32-1o. If neither the commissioner nor the secretary notifies the board within such sixty days, the strategy shall be deemed to have been approved. If said commissioner or secretary recommends modifications, the board shall modify the strategy in accordance with such recommendations and resubmit the strategy for review in the same manner as for the original submission of the strategy.

      (d) The board of directors of a regional economic development district shall, annually, report to the commissioner and the secretary on progress made in implementing the comprehensive economic development strategy. A new or revised strategy shall be developed at least once every five years. The board shall submit each new or revised strategy for review and approval in accordance with the same procedure as for a strategy under subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

      (P.A. 10-168, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 10-168 effective July 1, 2010.

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      Sec. 32-743. Review and approval of comprehensive economic development strategy. Approval and designation of region as economic development district. (a) The boards of directors of regional economic development districts shall submit each adopted and approved comprehensive economic development strategy to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for review. Said commissioner and secretary may review and make recommendations to the regional economic development districts for consolidation of the comprehensive economic development strategies to encompass not more than eight regions for the entire state. After review by said commissioner and secretary and with the concurrence from the board of directors of the districts, the regional economic development districts may submit such strategy to the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce for approval pursuant to 42 USC 3121 et seq.

      (b) A board of directors of a state approved regional economic development district that adopts a comprehensive economic development strategy in accordance with sections 32-741 and 32-742 may request the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to approve the region as an economic development district. If said commissioner approves the regional economic development district as an economic development district, said commissioner shall recommend to the Governor that the region be designated by the Governor as an economic development district. Upon such designation by the Governor, the board of directors may request federal designation as an economic development district from the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce pursuant to 42 USC 3121 et seq. Approval by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development of the comprehensive economic development strategy under section 32-742 shall be deemed to meet the requirements of 42 USC 3121 et seq.

      (P.A. 10-168, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 10-168 effective July 1, 2010.

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      Sec. 32-744. Priority regional grants to regional economic development districts. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may, within available appropriations, make priority regional grants to regional economic development districts for municipal development projects and for economic development and manufacturing assistance pursuant to sections 8-186 to 8-200, inclusive, and sections 32-220 to 32-234, inclusive.

      (P.A. 10-168, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 10-168 effective July 1, 2010.

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      Sec. 32-745. Projects identified in comprehensive economic development strategies. Eligibility for funding. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any public or special act, projects identified in comprehensive economic development strategies approved by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce under sections 32-742 and 32-743 shall be eligible for funding from any bond funds available to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

      (P.A. 10-168, S. 5.)

      History: P.A. 10-168 effective July 1, 2010.

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