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1/30/2015 - Mayor O'Leary to Host Forum on Future Vision for Downtown Waterbury


Downtown stakeholders and city residents will have an opportunity next week to provide input on the future vision for the city, to assess what is great about downtown Waterbury and what could be better.

Mayor Neil M. O’Leary is inviting the public to join him for a presentation and hands-on work session at the Palace Theater, 100 East Main St., on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

The public forum will give an overview of highlighted projects underway and in the planning stages, and identify strategies to create a citywide vision for a successful downtown while laying the groundwork for a comprehensive downtown plan.

City officials are working in a collaborative effort with Sasaki Associates - a Watertown, MA urban design and planning firm commissioned by the Naugatuck Valley Development Corporation.

Building on a careful analysis of Waterbury's strengths - its buildings, infrastructure, economy, and cultural assets - Sasaki will be proposing a visionary plan for downtown that is both feasible and practical.

The plan will be broken down into a prioritized phasing strategy - informed by qualitative and quantitative performance measures - that describes early action recommendations along with medium-term and longer term efforts.

Concrete implementation strategies will accompany each recommendation. The plan and its implementation aim to evolve downtown Waterbury into a more functional, attractive and vibrant local and regional destination.

Last summer, the state of Connecticut announced a $19 million investment package for economic development and infrastructure projects. Waterbury also received a $14.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence (WATER) project that will reconstruct and expand the local streets, provide a broad array of pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements and improve connections to transit.

 These initiatives will build on the momentum of the city’s revitalization in the last several years.

Waterbury is proactively planning ahead for the future reinvestment in its downtown area by working closely with residents, business owners, neighborhood groups and numerous organizations to help shape a plan. The public forum is an opportunity for the community to refine the vision for a successful downtown Waterbury.