Now it's time to see how the draft of New Milford's new Plan of Conservation and Development works within the region.

With the 2010 POCD draft in place for New Milford, Jonathan Chew, director of the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials, recently reviewed the region's POCD of 2009 and how it pertains to New Milford.

"The purpose of the regional plan is to give a sense of rationality to the growth of municipalities," Mr. Chew said. "It gives suggestions of what the solutions should be for each town."

New Milford ranks second only in the region to Danbury for total population. Some 36 percent of its residents stay in town to work and 73 percent of its employed residents support the regional economy.

Sustaining the area's economy is explored in the regional POCD. As a town grows, its economic base must keep pace, according to the report.

With a new sewer plant, New Milford has a "substantial advantage" in discharge capacity, giving it potential for growth, said the POCD.

As a retail center, New Milford serves smaller area towns, like Bridgewater and Sherman, making it a "secondary regional economic center."

These factors should be used in marketing the town for economic growth, Mr. Chew said, along with the town's proximity to New York City.

New Milford is just 61 miles from Manhattan's Central Park. With the completion of the so-called Super 7 Brookfield bypass, travel time was significantly cut for reaching the town and points north.

Transit-oriented development should be considered in economic and residential growth of the town, as "a lot of government programs are going to look at that" for grant funding, Mr. Chew said.

"It may not be pie in the sky to think something may be done in the future for restoration of passenger service on the Danbury-New Milford line," he added.

"However, where the station is now doesn't work for renewed train service," he opined. "A new station out by (the intersection of) Railroad Street and Boardman Terrace or on Pickett District Road might be considered."