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City Receives Award of Excellence for Downtown

May 7th, 2014

NEW BRITAIN — The city has been awarded a 2014 Connecticut Main Street Award of Excellence for Public Space by the Connecticut Main Street Center. Public Works Director Mark Moriarty called it “a very prestigious award.”

“This was a public/private partnership between the city and many other groups,” said Downtown District Director Gerry Amodio. “These groups jelled as a team to produce a wonderful plan for the future look of downtown.”

The Award of Excellence for Complete Streets Master Plan for Downtown New Britain went to the Downtown Streetscape Working Group, the city of New Britain (including the Mayor’s Office, Public Works, Planning and Parks Departments), the New Britain Downtown District, the Polonia Business District, Central Connecticut State University and its Institute of Technology & Business Development, the Capitol Region Council of Governments and the Project Consultant Team.

“This recognizes the city’s commitment to implement the plan to bring back the core part of the city,” Amodio said. “With luck, we’ll get national recognition. In terms of CTfastrak, this could give us an edge on other communities.”

Moriarty, who oversaw the master plan, called it “a major community effort. People from other cities are taking notice. For instance, the town of Greenwich called. They were interested in our head-out angle parking for their community. We also got recognition for our bike initiative. The more we’re looked at as leaders, the more favorable it will be for us to get projects funded.”

New Britain was one of six winning entries, representing initiatives and organizations from Manchester, New Britain, the Northwestern Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative, Waterbury and Seymour. All of the award recipients continue the tradition of stimulating economic development and reinvigorating Connecticut’s social centers.

“Connecticut’s downtowns provide the cornerstone for economic growth and prosperity, social opportunity and communal spirit,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “I applaud this year’s winners for the innovative way they’re creating downtowns that will meet our future needs while preserving our natural and historic assets.”

“Our members continually inspire us with how creatively they respond to the needs of their community,” said CMSC President and CEO John Simone. “They’re deeply committed to every aspect of their downtown — the businesses, public spaces, local institutions and, above all, creating a place that people really enjoy living in and visiting. We couldn’t be happier with how this year’s winners represent all we stand for in downtown revitalization.”

The Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence were created in 2003 to recognize outstanding projects, people and partnerships in community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts back to life, socially and economically.

The Connecticut Main Street Awards honor the year’s most successful and innovative efforts in Main Street revitalization in the state. Submissions were judged on criteria including innovation, replication, representation, partnerships utilized and outcomes.

The awards will be presented at the 2014 Connecticut Main Street Awards Gala on June 9 at the Roia Restaurant in downtown New Haven.

Scott Whipple can be reached at (860) 225-4601, ext. 319, or swhipple@centralctcommunications.com.

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