Change to County Equivalents in the State of Connecticut, 80766-80770 [2020-27459]

Download as PDF 80766 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 240 / Monday, December 14, 2020 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau [Docket Number 201105–0290] Change to County Equivalents in the State of Connecticut Bureau of the Census, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of proposed program and request for comments. AGENCY: This notice provides information about the State of Connecticut’s (hereafter Connecticut or the State) formal request to the Bureau of the Census (hereafter, Census Bureau) to adopt the State’s nine planning regions as the county equivalent geographic unit for purposes of collecting, tabulating, and disseminating statistical data, replacing the eight counties, which ceased to function as governmental and administrative entities in 1960. The Census Bureau proposes to implement this change in 2023. The Census Bureau is publishing this Notice to inform users of countylevel data of the proposed change and is requesting information related to potential impacts of this change. The Census Bureau and the State of Connecticut will use this information to reach a final decision regarding whether to implement this change to the county equivalents in Connecticut as well as the timing of implementation. DATES: Written comments on this notice must be submitted on or before February 12, 2021. ADDRESSES: Please direct all written comments on this proposed program to Vincent Osier, Geographic Standards, Criteria, and Quality Branch, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 4H173, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233–7400. Email: geo.geography@census.gov. Phone: 301– 763–1128. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information on this proposed program should be directed to Vincent Osier, Geographic Standards, Criteria, and Quality Branch, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 4H173, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233–7400. Email: Vincent.osier@census.gov. Phone: 301–763–9039 or 301–763–1128. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice provides information about the State of Connecticut’s formal request to the Census Bureau to adopt the State’s nine planning regions, designated under Section 16a–4a(4) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as the countyequivalent geographic unit for purposes jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 02:51 Dec 12, 2020 Jkt 253001 of collecting, tabulating, and disseminating statistical data. The Census Bureau seeks information and comments related to the impact that adoption of planning regions as county equivalents might have on data analysis, planning and decision making, and program implementation; specifically, (1) are there data collection and tabulation programs or nonstatistical programs that will not be able to implement this change; (2) will the proposed change in county equivalents pose such a substantial break in data continuity that longitudinal analyses are not possible; and (3) are there specific programs and other uses of county-level information in which continued reference to the more familiar current counties is advisable and preferred? The Census Bureau strives to provide statistical data for geographic areas that are meaningful and relevant to analysis and decision-making. In Connecticut, nine councils of governments (COGs) exist to address matters of mutual interest to their constituent cities and towns, with each city and town represented by its municipal chief elected official. Connecticut’s counties ceased to function as governmental and administrative entities in 1960. The nine COGs function as regional planning organizations, coordinating activities for their constituent cities and towns, and in that capacity can exercise a variety of responsibilities typically undertaken by counties in other states. As such, the planning regions are more meaningful and relevant areas for tabulation and dissemination of statistical data within Connecticut as well as for regional and national county comparisons, than are the eight counties. The Census Bureau proposes to implement this change in 2023, and use the new county equivalents when reporting demographic and economic statistical data referenced to 2023 and all years thereafter. Background Officials with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management contacted the Census Bureau in October 2017 regarding the possibility of replacing the State’s eight counties with the State’s nine planning regions for purposes of collecting, tabulating, and disseminating statistical data. Connecticut officials noted that cities and towns, not counties, are the primary units of local government. Although Connecticut’s eight counties have long provided stable geographic units for reporting statistical data, they have not served as functional governmental and administrative entities since county government was PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 abolished in 1960. The State’s nine COGs function as regional planning organizations, coordinating activities for their constituent cities and towns (note, however, that in some instances the name of the planning region differs from that of its COG). As such, planning regions provide a more meaningful geographic unit for reporting data since the data would be aligned with the collection of municipalities (i.e., cities and towns) that constitute the governance framework for each COG. Each municipality within a designated planning region is entitled to membership in the region’s COG upon adoption of an ordinance by its legislative body. The chief elected official of each member municipality is then provided a vote on all COG matters. By reporting statistical data for COGs, member municipalities will be in a better position to plan and act collaboratively and strategically on the efficient delivery of services, bulk purchasing, and other matters of practical interest. While COGs do not have the authority to levy taxes, they are authorized under State law to assess dues on their member municipalities, to accept other sources of public and private assistance for the purpose of providing regional and shared services, and to administer a regional property tax base revenue sharing system if approved by a unanimous vote of its member municipalities. In this regard, as well as the ability to provide the variety of services listed below, the Connecticut’s COGs and associated planning regions have the authority to carry out administrative functions that are typically found among counties in other states. Section 8–31b(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes states that Regional services provided to member municipalities shall be determined by each regional council of governments . . . and may include, without limitation, the following services: (1) Engineering; (2) inspectional and planning; (3) economic development; (4) public safety; (5) emergency management; (6) animal control; (7) land use management; (8) tourism promotion; (9) social; (10) health; (11) education; (12) data management; (13) regional sewerage; (14) housing; (15) computerized mapping; (16) household hazardous waste collection; (17) recycling; (18) public facility siting; (19) coordination of master planning; (20) vocational training and development; (21) solid waste disposal; (22) fire protection; (23) regional resource protection; (24) regional impact studies; and (25) transportation. In the same section, the COGs are authorized to ‘‘accept or participate in any grant, donation or program made available to counties by any other governmental or private entity.’’ E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 240 / Monday, December 14, 2020 / Notices Adoption of COGs as county equivalents will make them eligible to apply for federal grant programs open to counties. Scope of Change Adoption of the nine planning regions as county equivalents applies to the collection, tabulation, and dissemination of Census Bureau statistical data for Connecticut. The Census Bureau proposes to implement this change in 2023, and will use planning regions in all of its programs that collect, tabulate, and disseminate demographic or economic data, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), the intercensal Population Estimates Program, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program, the Economic Census, County Business Patterns, and the Longitudinal Cities and towns are the constituent governments within each COG/planning region. As such, data for cities and towns can be aggregated to planning regions, facilitating reconstruction of Employer-Household Dynamics Program. While other federal agencies are encouraged to adopt Connecticut’s planning regions as county equivalents for use in their statistical and nonstatistical programs, the Census Bureau does not have the authority to require such a change. Nevertheless, adoption of planning regions as county equivalents will assure comparability of data produced by all federal agencies as well as comparability between statistical and non-statistical programs. Transitioning From Counties to Planning Regions 80767 and its nine planning regions. Although the planning regions and counties do not align, there is substantial overlap, to the extent that one can discern the relationships between individual planning regions and counties. The closest relationship is between Middlesex County and Lower Connecticut River Valley planning region, with all 15 of the cities and towns within the county also located within the planning region (which also contains two towns located in New London County. See Table 2). Relationship Between Counties and Planning Regions Figure 1 depicts the relationship between Connecticut’s eight counties time series data and longitudinal analysis. Table 1 provides the 2010 Census population and the 2019 estimated population for each planning region, based on aggregated data for constituent cities and towns. Source: https://www.census.gov/data/ tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010stotal-cities-and-towns.html 2010 Census population Planning region Capitol ...................................................................................................................................................................... Greater Bridgeport ................................................................................................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 02:51 Dec 12, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1 973,959 318,004 2019 Population estimate 969,831 320,921 EN14DE20.091</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES TABLE 1—PLANNING REGION POPULATION: 2010 AND 2019 80768 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 240 / Monday, December 14, 2020 / Notices TABLE 1—PLANNING REGION POPULATION: 2010 AND 2019—Continued Lower Connecticut River Valley .............................................................................................................................. Naugatuck Valley ..................................................................................................................................................... Northeastern Connecticut ........................................................................................................................................ Northwest Hills ......................................................................................................................................................... South Central Connecticut ....................................................................................................................................... Southeastern Connecticut ....................................................................................................................................... Western Connecticut ............................................................................................................................................... Table 2 provides the number of cities and towns within each of the eight 2019 Population estimate 2010 Census population Planning region counties and the number within corresponding planning regions, further 175,686 448,738 96,617 115,247 570,001 286,711 589,135 172,058 442,869 95,570 110,102 566,579 277,635 609,722 illustrating the overlap between counties and planning regions. TABLE 2—DISTRIBUTION OF CITIES AND TOWNS WITHIN COUNTIES AND PLANNING REGIONS. Cities and towns within planning regions Cities and towns in county County Capitol Greater bridgeport Lower CT river valley Naugatuck valley Northeastern CT NW Hills South central CT Southeastern CT Western CT Fairfield .................. Hartford ................. Litchfield ................ Middle-sex ............. New Haven ............ New London .......... Tolland ................... Wind-ham .............. 23 29 26 15 27 21 13 15 ........................ 26 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 12 ........................ 6 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 15 ........................ 2 ........................ ........................ 1 1 5 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 2 19 ........................ ........................ 16 ........................ ........................ 2 12 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 1 1 14 ........................ ........................ 15 ........................ 18 ........................ ........................ 1 Total ............... 169 38 6 17 19 16 21 15 19 Using the distribution of cities and towns within counties and planning regions as a guide, Table 3 presents the approximate relationship between counties and planning regions, which could be used when building longitudinal data for geographic areas for which counties and county 18 equivalents are building blocks if component city- and town-level data were not available. TABLE 3—COUNTIES-TO-PLANNING REGIONS APPROXIMATION jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Fairfield ............................................ Hartford ............................................ Tolland ............................................. Litchfield ........................................... Middlesex ......................................... New Haven ...................................... ........................ 943,823 892,697 150,921 181,111 162,682 857,620 New London ..................................... Windham .......................................... 266,784 117,027 To assist with transitioning from counties to planning regions and to assist with development of longitudinal data for the new county equivalents, the Census Bureau will produce and make available reference files identifying the cities and towns that constitute each planning region. This will facilitate aggregation of data from decennial censuses, the ACS, the intercensal Population Estimates Program, SAIPE, the Economic Census, and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program, all of which collect, tabulate, and disseminate data for cities VerDate Sep<11>2014 02:51 Dec 12, 2020 Planning region 2019 Planning region population estimate Greater Bridgeport ..................................................................................... Western Connecticut ................................................................................. Capitol ....................................................................................................... 320,921 609,722ROW≤ 969,831 Northwest Hills .......................................................................................... Lower Connecticut River Valley ................................................................ Naugatuck Valley ...................................................................................... South Central Connecticut ........................................................................ Southeastern Connecticut ......................................................................... Northeastern Connecticut .......................................................................... 110,102 172,058 442,869 566,579 277,635 95,570 2018 County population estimate County Jkt 253001 and towns in Connecticut. In addition, the Census Bureau will produce and make available other reference files, identifying the relationships between various sub-state and sub-county geographic areas and the planning regions. Upon adoption of this change, the Census Bureau will include planning regions in all geospatial data products, including TIGER/Line shapefiles, TIGER/Line geodatabases, cartographic boundary files, and mapping services. Each planning region will be assigned a three-digit Federal Information PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Processing Series (FIPS) code, starting with 017, and continuing in alphabetical order by name (Table 4). Codes 001 through 015 will continue to reference the eight counties but will be retired. Each planning region also will be assigned an eight-digit American National Standards Institute (ANSI) code and will be included in the U.S. Board on Geographic Names’ Geographic Names Information System. In addition, the Census Bureau will work with the State of Connecticut to determine the appropriate FIPS class code, functional status code, and other E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1 80769 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 240 / Monday, December 14, 2020 / Notices codes that describe the attributes of the planning regions. The FIPS codes, ANSI codes, and attribute codes will be included in Census Bureau geographic reference products when this proposed change is adopted. TABLE 4—PLANNING REGION NAMES, LEGAL/STATISTICAL AREA DESCRIPTION, AND FEDERAL INFORMATION PROCESSING SERIES (FIPS) CODES FIPS statecounty code Name Capitol Planning Region ...................................................................................................................................................................... Greater Bridgeport Planning Region ................................................................................................................................................... Lower Connecticut River Valley Planning Region ............................................................................................................................... Naugatuck Valley Planning Region ..................................................................................................................................................... Northeastern Connecticut Planning Region ........................................................................................................................................ Northwest Hills Planning Region ......................................................................................................................................................... South Central Connecticut Planning Region ....................................................................................................................................... Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region ........................................................................................................................................ Western Connecticut Planning Region ................................................................................................................................................ Relationship to Other Statistical Geographic Entities The Census Bureau accounted for the change from counties to planning regions when implementing the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) for the 2020 Census, the program in which the Census Bureau works with local officials to review and update block groups and census tracts. The planning regions were the official PSAP participants in Connecticut for both the 2010 and 2020 censuses, thus ensuring that census tracts and block groups generally aligned with city and town boundaries, facilitating transition to the new county equivalents. The Census Bureau further reviewed block group and census tract boundaries for the 2020 Census to ensure alignment with planning region boundaries. As a result, the change to county equivalents in Connecticut will not affect block group and census tract boundaries. Both types of entities will nest within planning region boundaries. The adoption of planning regions as county equivalents will affect the delineation of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas as well as Combined Statistical Areas by the Office of Management and Budget. Areas delineated based on 2020 Census and 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data will reflect the new county equivalents. New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs) and combined NECTAs are not affected by this change. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Timeline The Census Bureau proposes to implement adoption of the nine planning regions as county equivalents in 2023 and include the planning regions in all geospatial and statistical data products referenced to 2023 and each year thereafter. Officials with the State of Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management contacted the Census Bureau in October 2017 regarding the process they should follow in order to adopt the State’s nine planning regions as county equivalents. At that time, Census Bureau staff advised that officials first obtain broad data user support throughout the State, including from other State agencies, the State Data Center, as well as the planning regions. Once broad support for the change was achieved, a formal request addressed to the Census Bureau’s Director was needed for the Census Bureau to take formal steps toward adoption of the nine planning regions as county equivalents. The State’s formal request was received by the Census Bureau in August 2019. The State also submitted a letter of support from the Connecticut Data Collaborative/State Data Center attesting to the importance and value of data for planning regions to analysts, decision makers, and other data users throughout Connecticut as well as broad support for the change among data users throughout the State. In addition, members of Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation, chairs of each of the State’s nine COGs, and officials from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Council of Small Towns, and the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations were copied on the State’s letter to the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau held a meeting with Connecticut State and 09017 09019 09021 09023 09025 09027 09029 09031 09033 local government officials, state agency staff, and COG chairs in April 2020 to provide an update on outreach regarding the proposed change; meeting participants reiterated the importance of, and support for, adoption of the State’s nine planning regions as county equivalents. The Census Bureau began outreach to other federal agencies and data users regarding this change in October 2019, following the State of Connecticut’s formal request to replace its eight counties with the nine planning regions. The Census Bureau has held seven briefings for federal agency staff: one for the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy; two organized by the Federal Committee on Statistical MethodologyGeospatial Interest Group; two for Department of Housing and Urban Development staff, including staff managing the Community Development Block Grant and other funding programs; one for Bureau of Labor Statistics staff; and one organized by the US Department of Transportation attended by federal, state, and local transportation planners. This Notice serves as the formal process by which the Census Bureau is announcing the intended change and through which it will gather formal comments. Following completion of the formal period of comment associated with this Notice, the Census Bureau, in consultation with officials with the State of Connecticut, will review comments received and reach a final decision regarding whether to implement adoption of the nine planning regions as county equivalents. TABLE 4—TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES Activity Dates Officials from the State of Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management contact Census Bureau regarding proposed adoption of planning regions as county equivalents. VerDate Sep<11>2014 02:51 Dec 12, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1 October 2017. 80770 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 240 / Monday, December 14, 2020 / Notices TABLE 4—TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES—Continued Activity Dates Office of Policy and Management staff conduct outreach at the State-level to obtain consensus for change ............ Formal request from the State of Connecticut to the Census Bureau’s Director regarding adoption of planning regions as county equivalents. Census Bureau outreach to federal agencies and other data users ............................................................................ Federal Register Notice announcing the Census Bureau’s proposed implementation of the change in county equivalents. Census Bureau, in consultation with the State of Connecticut, issues final decision regarding adoption of planning regions as county equivalents. Steven D. Dillingham, Director, Bureau of the Census, approved the publication of this Notice in the Federal Register. Dated: December 9, 2020. Sheleen Dumas, Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2020–27459 Filed 12–11–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–07–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Annual Capital Expenditures Survey The Department of Commerce will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, on or after the date of publication of this notice. We invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on September 10, 2020 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. Agency: U.S. Census Bureau. Title: Annual Capital Expenditures Survey. OMB Control Number: 0607–0782. Form Number(s): ACE–1(L), ACE– 1(M), ACE–1(S), ACE–2. Type of Request: Regular submission, Request for a Revision of a Currently Approved Collection. Number of Respondents: 70,127. Average Hours per Response: 2.69. Burden Hours: 188,787. VerDate Sep<11>2014 02:51 Dec 12, 2020 Jkt 253001 Needs and Uses: A major concern of economic policymakers is the adequacy of investment in plant and equipment. Data on the amount of business expenditures for new plants and equipment and measures of the stock of existing facilities are critical to evaluating productivity growth, the ability of U.S. business to compete with foreign business, changes in industrial capacity, and overall economic performance. The ACES is the sole source of detailed comprehensive statistics on investment in buildings and other structures, machinery, and equipment by private nonfarm businesses in the United States. This request is for a revision to the currently approved collection and will cover the 2020 through 2022 ACES (conducted in years 2021 through 2023). Changes from the previous ACES authorization are the collection of content related to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the presence of robotic equipment and investment in robotic equipment by industry segment from employer businesses, and the amount of time it took to complete the nonemployer survey. The detailed capital expenditures data, collected every five years, were collected in the 2017 ACES and will be collected again in the 2022 ACES. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit organizations. Frequency: Annually. Respondent’s Obligation: Mandatory. Legal Authority: Title 13 of the United States Code, Sections 131 and 182. Sections 224 and 225 of Title 13 make this survey mandatory. This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of this notice on the following website www.reginfo.gov/ public/do/PRAMain. Find this PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 November 2017–March 2019. August 2019. September 2019–present. Fall 2020. Summer 2021. particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function and entering either the title of the collection or the OMB Control Number 0607–0782. Sheleen Dumas, Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2020–27462 Filed 12–11–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–07–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S–217–2020] Foreign-Trade Zone 22—Chicago, Illinois; Application for Subzone Expansion; Abbott Laboratories, Itasca, Illinois An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Illinois International Port District, grantee of FTZ 22, requesting an expansion of Subzone 22F on behalf of Abbott Laboratories (Abbott), located in Itasca, Illinois. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on December 8, 2020. Subzone 22F currently consists of the following sites: Site 2 (480 acres)—One Abbott Park Road, North Chicago; Site 3 (129 acres)—Atkinson Road, North Chicago; Site 4 (42 acres) 22nd Street, North Chicago; Site 5 (17 acres)—1300 East Touhy, Des Plaines; and, Site 7 (1.4 acres)—1800 Brummel Avenue, Elk Grove Village. The proposed expansion would add an additional site to the subzone: Proposed Site 8 (5.64 acres)—1015 West Devon Avenue, Itasca, DuPage County. No authorization for expanded production activity has been requested at this time. The subzone will be subject E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 240 (Monday, December 14, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 80766-80770]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27459]



[[Page 80766]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Census Bureau

[Docket Number 201105-0290]


Change to County Equivalents in the State of Connecticut

AGENCY: Bureau of the Census, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of proposed program and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice provides information about the State of 
Connecticut's (hereafter Connecticut or the State) formal request to 
the Bureau of the Census (hereafter, Census Bureau) to adopt the 
State's nine planning regions as the county equivalent geographic unit 
for purposes of collecting, tabulating, and disseminating statistical 
data, replacing the eight counties, which ceased to function as 
governmental and administrative entities in 1960. The Census Bureau 
proposes to implement this change in 2023. The Census Bureau is 
publishing this Notice to inform users of county-level data of the 
proposed change and is requesting information related to potential 
impacts of this change. The Census Bureau and the State of Connecticut 
will use this information to reach a final decision regarding whether 
to implement this change to the county equivalents in Connecticut as 
well as the timing of implementation.

DATES: Written comments on this notice must be submitted on or before 
February 12, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Please direct all written comments on this proposed program 
to Vincent Osier, Geographic Standards, Criteria, and Quality Branch, 
Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 4H173, 4600 Silver Hill 
Road, Washington, DC 20233-7400. Email: [email protected]. 
Phone: 301-763-1128.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information on 
this proposed program should be directed to Vincent Osier, Geographic 
Standards, Criteria, and Quality Branch, Geography Division, U.S. 
Census Bureau, Room 4H173, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233-
7400. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 301-763-9039 or 301-763-
1128.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice provides information about the 
State of Connecticut's formal request to the Census Bureau to adopt the 
State's nine planning regions, designated under Section 16a-4a(4) of 
the Connecticut General Statutes, as the county-equivalent geographic 
unit for purposes of collecting, tabulating, and disseminating 
statistical data. The Census Bureau seeks information and comments 
related to the impact that adoption of planning regions as county 
equivalents might have on data analysis, planning and decision making, 
and program implementation; specifically, (1) are there data collection 
and tabulation programs or nonstatistical programs that will not be 
able to implement this change; (2) will the proposed change in county 
equivalents pose such a substantial break in data continuity that 
longitudinal analyses are not possible; and (3) are there specific 
programs and other uses of county-level information in which continued 
reference to the more familiar current counties is advisable and 
preferred?
    The Census Bureau strives to provide statistical data for 
geographic areas that are meaningful and relevant to analysis and 
decision-making. In Connecticut, nine councils of governments (COGs) 
exist to address matters of mutual interest to their constituent cities 
and towns, with each city and town represented by its municipal chief 
elected official. Connecticut's counties ceased to function as 
governmental and administrative entities in 1960.
    The nine COGs function as regional planning organizations, 
coordinating activities for their constituent cities and towns, and in 
that capacity can exercise a variety of responsibilities typically 
undertaken by counties in other states. As such, the planning regions 
are more meaningful and relevant areas for tabulation and dissemination 
of statistical data within Connecticut as well as for regional and 
national county comparisons, than are the eight counties. The Census 
Bureau proposes to implement this change in 2023, and use the new 
county equivalents when reporting demographic and economic statistical 
data referenced to 2023 and all years thereafter.

Background

    Officials with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management 
contacted the Census Bureau in October 2017 regarding the possibility 
of replacing the State's eight counties with the State's nine planning 
regions for purposes of collecting, tabulating, and disseminating 
statistical data. Connecticut officials noted that cities and towns, 
not counties, are the primary units of local government.
    Although Connecticut's eight counties have long provided stable 
geographic units for reporting statistical data, they have not served 
as functional governmental and administrative entities since county 
government was abolished in 1960. The State's nine COGs function as 
regional planning organizations, coordinating activities for their 
constituent cities and towns (note, however, that in some instances the 
name of the planning region differs from that of its COG). As such, 
planning regions provide a more meaningful geographic unit for 
reporting data since the data would be aligned with the collection of 
municipalities (i.e., cities and towns) that constitute the governance 
framework for each COG. Each municipality within a designated planning 
region is entitled to membership in the region's COG upon adoption of 
an ordinance by its legislative body. The chief elected official of 
each member municipality is then provided a vote on all COG matters. By 
reporting statistical data for COGs, member municipalities will be in a 
better position to plan and act collaboratively and strategically on 
the efficient delivery of services, bulk purchasing, and other matters 
of practical interest.
    While COGs do not have the authority to levy taxes, they are 
authorized under State law to assess dues on their member 
municipalities, to accept other sources of public and private 
assistance for the purpose of providing regional and shared services, 
and to administer a regional property tax base revenue sharing system 
if approved by a unanimous vote of its member municipalities. In this 
regard, as well as the ability to provide the variety of services 
listed below, the Connecticut's COGs and associated planning regions 
have the authority to carry out administrative functions that are 
typically found among counties in other states. Section 8-31b(b) of the 
Connecticut General Statutes states that

    Regional services provided to member municipalities shall be 
determined by each regional council of governments . . . and may 
include, without limitation, the following services: (1) 
Engineering; (2) inspectional and planning; (3) economic 
development; (4) public safety; (5) emergency management; (6) animal 
control; (7) land use management; (8) tourism promotion; (9) social; 
(10) health; (11) education; (12) data management; (13) regional 
sewerage; (14) housing; (15) computerized mapping; (16) household 
hazardous waste collection; (17) recycling; (18) public facility 
siting; (19) coordination of master planning; (20) vocational 
training and development; (21) solid waste disposal; (22) fire 
protection; (23) regional resource protection; (24) regional impact 
studies; and (25) transportation.

    In the same section, the COGs are authorized to ``accept or 
participate in any grant, donation or program made available to 
counties by any other governmental or private entity.''

[[Page 80767]]

Adoption of COGs as county equivalents will make them eligible to apply 
for federal grant programs open to counties.

Scope of Change

    Adoption of the nine planning regions as county equivalents applies 
to the collection, tabulation, and dissemination of Census Bureau 
statistical data for Connecticut. The Census Bureau proposes to 
implement this change in 2023, and will use planning regions in all of 
its programs that collect, tabulate, and disseminate demographic or 
economic data, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), the 
intercensal Population Estimates Program, Small Area Income and Poverty 
Estimates (SAIPE) Program, the Economic Census, County Business 
Patterns, and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program. 
While other federal agencies are encouraged to adopt Connecticut's 
planning regions as county equivalents for use in their statistical and 
non-statistical programs, the Census Bureau does not have the authority 
to require such a change. Nevertheless, adoption of planning regions as 
county equivalents will assure comparability of data produced by all 
federal agencies as well as comparability between statistical and non-
statistical programs.

Transitioning From Counties to Planning Regions

Relationship Between Counties and Planning Regions

    Figure 1 depicts the relationship between Connecticut's eight 
counties and its nine planning regions. Although the planning regions 
and counties do not align, there is substantial overlap, to the extent 
that one can discern the relationships between individual planning 
regions and counties. The closest relationship is between Middlesex 
County and Lower Connecticut River Valley planning region, with all 15 
of the cities and towns within the county also located within the 
planning region (which also contains two towns located in New London 
County. See Table 2).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN14DE20.091

    Cities and towns are the constituent governments within each COG/
planning region. As such, data for cities and towns can be aggregated 
to planning regions, facilitating reconstruction of time series data 
and longitudinal analysis. Table 1 provides the 2010 Census population 
and the 2019 estimated population for each planning region, based on 
aggregated data for constituent cities and towns.
    Source: https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-total-cities-and-towns.html

           Table 1--Planning Region Population: 2010 and 2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2019
             Planning region                2010 Census     Population
                                            population       estimate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capitol.................................         973,959         969,831
Greater Bridgeport......................         318,004         320,921

[[Page 80768]]

 
Lower Connecticut River Valley..........         175,686         172,058
Naugatuck Valley........................         448,738         442,869
Northeastern Connecticut................          96,617          95,570
Northwest Hills.........................         115,247         110,102
South Central Connecticut...............         570,001         566,579
Southeastern Connecticut................         286,711         277,635
Western Connecticut.....................         589,135         609,722
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 2 provides the number of cities and towns within each of the 
eight counties and the number within corresponding planning regions, 
further illustrating the overlap between counties and planning regions.

                                                         Table 2--Distribution of Cities and Towns within Counties and Planning Regions.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cities and towns within planning regions
                                    Cities and   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             County                  towns in                         Greater     Lower CT river     Naugatuck     Northeastern                    South central   Southeastern
                                      county          Capitol       bridgeport        valley          valley            CT           NW Hills           CT              CT          Western CT
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fairfield.......................              23  ..............               6  ..............               1  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............              16
Hartford........................              29              26  ..............  ..............               1  ..............               2
Litchfield......................              26  ..............  ..............  ..............               5  ..............              19  ..............  ..............               2
Middle-sex......................              15  ..............  ..............              15
New Haven.......................              27  ..............  ..............  ..............              12  ..............  ..............              15
New London......................              21  ..............  ..............               2  ..............               1  ..............  ..............              18
Tolland.........................              13              12  ..............  ..............  ..............               1
Wind-ham........................              15  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............              14  ..............  ..............               1
                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................             169              38               6              17              19              16              21              15              19              18
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using the distribution of cities and towns within counties and 
planning regions as a guide, Table 3 presents the approximate 
relationship between counties and planning regions, which could be used 
when building longitudinal data for geographic areas for which counties 
and county equivalents are building blocks if component city- and town-
level data were not available.

                               Table 3--Counties-to-Planning Regions Approximation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   2019 Planning
                                                  2018 County                                         region
                    County                        population             Planning region            population
                                                   estimate                                          estimate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fairfield.....................................  ..............  Greater Bridgeport..............         320,921
                                                       943,823  Western Connecticut.............     609,722ROW>
Hartford......................................         892,697  Capitol.........................         969,831
Tolland.......................................         150,921
Litchfield....................................         181,111  Northwest Hills.................         110,102
Middlesex.....................................         162,682  Lower Connecticut River Valley..         172,058
New Haven.....................................         857,620  Naugatuck Valley................         442,869
                                                ..............  South Central Connecticut.......         566,579
New London....................................         266,784  Southeastern Connecticut........         277,635
Windham.......................................         117,027  Northeastern Connecticut........          95,570
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To assist with transitioning from counties to planning regions and 
to assist with development of longitudinal data for the new county 
equivalents, the Census Bureau will produce and make available 
reference files identifying the cities and towns that constitute each 
planning region. This will facilitate aggregation of data from 
decennial censuses, the ACS, the intercensal Population Estimates 
Program, SAIPE, the Economic Census, and the Longitudinal Employer-
Household Dynamics Program, all of which collect, tabulate, and 
disseminate data for cities and towns in Connecticut. In addition, the 
Census Bureau will produce and make available other reference files, 
identifying the relationships between various sub-state and sub-county 
geographic areas and the planning regions.
    Upon adoption of this change, the Census Bureau will include 
planning regions in all geospatial data products, including TIGER/Line 
shapefiles, TIGER/Line geodatabases, cartographic boundary files, and 
mapping services.
    Each planning region will be assigned a three-digit Federal 
Information Processing Series (FIPS) code, starting with 017, and 
continuing in alphabetical order by name (Table 4). Codes 001 through 
015 will continue to reference the eight counties but will be retired. 
Each planning region also will be assigned an eight-digit American 
National Standards Institute (ANSI) code and will be included in the 
U.S. Board on Geographic Names' Geographic Names Information System. In 
addition, the Census Bureau will work with the State of Connecticut to 
determine the appropriate FIPS class code, functional status code, and 
other

[[Page 80769]]

codes that describe the attributes of the planning regions. The FIPS 
codes, ANSI codes, and attribute codes will be included in Census 
Bureau geographic reference products when this proposed change is 
adopted.

 Table 4--Planning Region Names, Legal/Statistical Area Description, and
           Federal Information Processing Series (FIPS) Codes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            FIPS state-
                          Name                              county code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capitol Planning Region.................................           09017
Greater Bridgeport Planning Region......................           09019
Lower Connecticut River Valley Planning Region..........           09021
Naugatuck Valley Planning Region........................           09023
Northeastern Connecticut Planning Region................           09025
Northwest Hills Planning Region.........................           09027
South Central Connecticut Planning Region...............           09029
Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region................           09031
Western Connecticut Planning Region.....................           09033
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Relationship to Other Statistical Geographic Entities

    The Census Bureau accounted for the change from counties to 
planning regions when implementing the Participant Statistical Areas 
Program (PSAP) for the 2020 Census, the program in which the Census 
Bureau works with local officials to review and update block groups and 
census tracts. The planning regions were the official PSAP participants 
in Connecticut for both the 2010 and 2020 censuses, thus ensuring that 
census tracts and block groups generally aligned with city and town 
boundaries, facilitating transition to the new county equivalents. The 
Census Bureau further reviewed block group and census tract boundaries 
for the 2020 Census to ensure alignment with planning region 
boundaries. As a result, the change to county equivalents in 
Connecticut will not affect block group and census tract boundaries. 
Both types of entities will nest within planning region boundaries.
    The adoption of planning regions as county equivalents will affect 
the delineation of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas as 
well as Combined Statistical Areas by the Office of Management and 
Budget. Areas delineated based on 2020 Census and 2016-2020 ACS 5-year 
data will reflect the new county equivalents. New England City and Town 
Areas (NECTAs) and combined NECTAs are not affected by this change.

Timeline

    The Census Bureau proposes to implement adoption of the nine 
planning regions as county equivalents in 2023 and include the planning 
regions in all geospatial and statistical data products referenced to 
2023 and each year thereafter.
    Officials with the State of Connecticut's Office of Policy and 
Management contacted the Census Bureau in October 2017 regarding the 
process they should follow in order to adopt the State's nine planning 
regions as county equivalents. At that time, Census Bureau staff 
advised that officials first obtain broad data user support throughout 
the State, including from other State agencies, the State Data Center, 
as well as the planning regions. Once broad support for the change was 
achieved, a formal request addressed to the Census Bureau's Director 
was needed for the Census Bureau to take formal steps toward adoption 
of the nine planning regions as county equivalents. The State's formal 
request was received by the Census Bureau in August 2019. The State 
also submitted a letter of support from the Connecticut Data 
Collaborative/State Data Center attesting to the importance and value 
of data for planning regions to analysts, decision makers, and other 
data users throughout Connecticut as well as broad support for the 
change among data users throughout the State. In addition, members of 
Connecticut's Congressional Delegation, chairs of each of the State's 
nine COGs, and officials from the Connecticut Conference of 
Municipalities, Council of Small Towns, and the Advisory Commission on 
Intergovernmental Relations were copied on the State's letter to the 
Census Bureau. The Census Bureau held a meeting with Connecticut State 
and local government officials, state agency staff, and COG chairs in 
April 2020 to provide an update on outreach regarding the proposed 
change; meeting participants reiterated the importance of, and support 
for, adoption of the State's nine planning regions as county 
equivalents.
    The Census Bureau began outreach to other federal agencies and data 
users regarding this change in October 2019, following the State of 
Connecticut's formal request to replace its eight counties with the 
nine planning regions. The Census Bureau has held seven briefings for 
federal agency staff: one for the Interagency Council on Statistical 
Policy; two organized by the Federal Committee on Statistical 
Methodology-Geospatial Interest Group; two for Department of Housing 
and Urban Development staff, including staff managing the Community 
Development Block Grant and other funding programs; one for Bureau of 
Labor Statistics staff; and one organized by the US Department of 
Transportation attended by federal, state, and local transportation 
planners. This Notice serves as the formal process by which the Census 
Bureau is announcing the intended change and through which it will 
gather formal comments.
    Following completion of the formal period of comment associated 
with this Notice, the Census Bureau, in consultation with officials 
with the State of Connecticut, will review comments received and reach 
a final decision regarding whether to implement adoption of the nine 
planning regions as county equivalents.

                     Table 4--Timeline of Activities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Activity                               Dates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials from the State of Connecticut's Office  October 2017.
 of Policy and Management contact Census Bureau
 regarding proposed adoption of planning regions
 as county equivalents.

[[Page 80770]]

 
Office of Policy and Management staff conduct     November 2017-March
 outreach at the State-level to obtain consensus   2019.
 for change.
Formal request from the State of Connecticut to   August 2019.
 the Census Bureau's Director regarding adoption
 of planning regions as county equivalents.
Census Bureau outreach to federal agencies and    September 2019-
 other data users.                                 present.
Federal Register Notice announcing the Census     Fall 2020.
 Bureau's proposed implementation of the change
 in county equivalents.
Census Bureau, in consultation with the State of  Summer 2021.
 Connecticut, issues final decision regarding
 adoption of planning regions as county
 equivalents.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Steven D. Dillingham, Director, Bureau of the Census, approved the 
publication of this Notice in the Federal Register.

    Dated: December 9, 2020.
Sheleen Dumas,
Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information 
Officer, Commerce Department.
[FR Doc. 2020-27459 Filed 12-11-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-07-P