DECD: Office of Capital Projects

Office of Capital Projects
 

The Office of Capital Projects (OCP) manages a wide variety of economic and community development projects, most notably those funded by the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) and Urban Act Grant Program (administered through the Office of Policy and Management).  The office maintains a special focus on building strong town centers, revitalizing downtowns, and promoting economic development by supporting the arts, tourism and other community growth based projects.

This office is also responsible for providing engineering and construction support services for development programs administered by OCP and other DECD offices.  Additional responsibilities include coordinating with clients and DECD staff from the project concept phase through design and construction phases.           

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Provide financial and technical assistance to municipal and nonprofit organizations;  
  • Manage large-scale infrastructure projects, downtown planning focusing on Transit Oriented Development and mixed-use projects, and business parks;
  • Manage large-scale rehabilitation projects including theaters, community centers, and museums;
  • Provide technical assistance to customers, including client intake/assessment, feasibility reviews, engineering and architectural services, project management and construction oversight;
  • Team with other DECD offices such as the Office of Brownfield Remediation & Development and the Office of the Arts on complex redevelopment and rehabilitation projects which involve various sources of financial assistance; and
  • Manage the agency’s environmental regulatory obligations, such as the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the State Plan of Conservation and Development compliance; synchronize planning with other state agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), Office of Policy and Management (OPM).
Financial Assistance Applications
The Urban Act grant program, which is approved under C.G.S Section 4-66c, is open to all municipalities designated as economically distressed as defined by CGS Sec. 32-9p(b), public investment communities, or urban centers. These criteria primarily apply to larger, urbanized towns and cities. In addition, the State Bond Commission may declare a town that otherwise would not be eligible for assistance under the Urban Act Program to be eligible if the commission determines the proposed project meets the Urban Act program's statutory goals.  The Urban Act Application is provided below. 
 
STEAP is primarily aimed at towns with fewer than 30,000 residents. The STEAP application process is administered through OPM.  The STEAP link below currently provides updated news and information about the STEAP program, application deadline notifications, award announcements, and an updated list of eligible towns under the STEAP program.
Financial Assistance Proposal (FAP)
Once an Urban Act grant, or another source of grant funding, is approved through the State Bond Commission and assigned to the DECD to administer, an OCP Project Manager works with clients in preparing the FAP.  The FAP is not a contract.   It acts as a guide for DECD Outside Counsel in preparing the Assistance Agreement (Contract).  Below are links to our boilerplate FAP for both Municipalities & 501(c) Non-Profit Organizations.  The Administrative & Project Monitoring Plan describes how clients must document and monitor the financial and construction oversight of the State funds as required by the Assistance Agreement and as approved in the DECD’s Project Financing Plan and Budget.
 
Environmental Compliance
The purpose of the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) is to identify and evaluate the impacts of proposed state actions which may significantly affect the environment.  This evaluation provides the decision maker with information necessary for deciding whether or not to proceed with the project.  The process also provides opportunity for public review and comment.  The Office of Capital Projects' 4-Step Process will assist our clients in understanding the environmental due diligence requirements needed in order for the sponsoring agency (DECD) to comply with its CEPA obligations.  
 
The Generic  Environmental Classification Document  helps determine whether a CEPA study of a proposed action may be required.  If the DECD feels that the potential exists for significant impact, it will solicit comments from the public and other state agencies to determine whether there are any special issues or concerns regarding that project. This scoping process should be performed at a very early point in project planning to help ensure that it considers relevant environmental concerns in an adequate and timely manner.
 
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is a mandated review office under the DECD for state-sponsored undertakings under the authority and regulations of CEPA. Section 22a-1a-3 (a) (4) of the implementing regulations specifies that consideration of environmental significance shall include an evaluation concerning the "disruption or alteration" of a historic, architectural, or archaeological resource or its setting. The SHPO staff work with the Office of Capital Projects in order to integrate cultural resource consideration as a component of state agency project planning efforts.  Any DECD-funded project that may impact historic or archaeological resources is subject to SHPO review before the project commences. 
 

The Connecticut Flood Management Program requires certification, or an exemption, for all state actions within floodplains. The floodplain is considered to be the area located within the limits of the 100-year flood. The floodplain for a critical activity means the area located within the limits of the 500-year flood. Critical activity includes the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste and the siting of hospitals, housing for the elderly, schools, or residences.  Additional information regarding Flood Management Certification such as the DEEP Permitting Fact Sheet and Pre-Application Guidance can be found below.   For certain minor activities within a regulated floodplain, DECD has been granted a “General Certification” by DEEP. When all work on a project consists of minor activities, DECD will certify the project through the general certification.

 

 
Engineering/Construction Procurement Compliance
The professional services selection guidelines below have been prepared to ensure fairness and equal opportunity to all firms and to secure the highest possible measure of professional service for a fair and reasonable fee.  DECD clients may submit an alternative quality-based selection process to DECD for review and approval or utilize existing DAS contracts for the applicable services.   

DECD has prepared the Bidding, Contracting, and Construction Guidelines to assist our clients through the agency’s requirements and policies.  These guidelines reference definitions, client responsibilities, categories of work, project planning to ensure CEPA compliance and various state agencies’ laws and regulations, the requirements of a publicly advertised competitive bid process for construction activities, selection and contracting for construction, DECD’s progress monitoring of construction, and the required documents from bidding on through to construction closeout.  

 
Office of Capital Projects Success Stories
 
 

 





Content Last Modified on 11/21/2017 9:49:01 AM