The leaders of 10 Greater Danbury area towns are taking steps to merge their regional planning group with one representing lower Fairfield County towns. The state recently passed an initiative calling for the 13 planning agencies in the state to merge into no more than eight. Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi says his biggest concern in all of this is that it will lead to a county level of government. Marconi says he and others will stand firm that that can't happen.
The 10 towns in the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials and the eight towns in the South Western Regional Planning Agency would become the 18 towns in the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.
Marconi says the state is hoping for more regionalization efforts when it comes to a sharing of equipment and bulk purchasing power to bring the cost of government down. But he says, the HVCEO region already does a lot of that so they are entering this merger with caution.
If larger councils of governments are not created, the current ones risk losing funding.
HVCEO towns are: Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman.
SWRPA towns are: Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.