Push to name Naugatuck River Valley national heritage area

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A group of senators and representatives are working to declare the Naugatuck River Valley a national heritage area.

On Tuesday, Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and Christopher S. Murphy, D-5th District, introduced the Naugatuck River Valley National Heritage Area Study Act a first step toward the designation, which only Congress can grant, according to a press release.

The legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine if the area is suitable or not, the release states.
For five years now, the Healthy Valley Committee of the Valley Council for Health and Human Services, with help from other Valley organizations such as the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded efforts to get the recognition.

The designation would bring in federal dollars, which would enable the association to provide grants for projects such as historic preservation.

Groups wanting designation must achieve four steps, finish a feasibility study, involve the public in the study, demonstrate widespread public support for the designation and win commitment from key officials and organizations.

1 COMMENT

  1. I want to thank the Healthy Vally Committee and the many other people & organizations for persevering on what for all of us has been a long road to reach this point.

    As a supporter of this effort who worked with the committee to validate information related to Beacon Falls and the Valley, I urge people to write their Congressmen as well as state & local elected officials asking them to proactively support this effort. Public involvement is one of the criteria in the final determination in receiving the designation.

    The long term economic value of receiving this heritage designation goes well beyond the grant funding that will be made available to the Naugatuck Valley towns for historic preservation. It will afford us the opportunity to make our Valley towns a destination, which will help our local businesses to thrive. It will make Connecticut and the Naugatuck Valley specifically, more attractive to businesses looking to relocate adding to our economic base.

    There is still much to do and perhaps several years before we will realize the final step of receiving the heritage designation. Please keep informed and watch for and attend public forums that may be held in your community.

    Again, thank you to everyone who has been working to build a brighter future for our Naugatuck Valley communities.

    Michael A Krenesky, Selectman