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Issues: Waterbury on the move... 

***PLEASE VIEW THE 2019 State of the City Presentation***

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 O’Leary Administration Highlights 

“Together we have made great progress in Waterbury, but there is much morework to be done.”- Mayor Neil M. O’Leary

Economic Development Snapshot

  • New Businesses Opened: 89
  • New Businesses Under Construction: 9
  • Business Expansions Completed: 19
  • Total Jobs Created By New Business: 2,485
  • Total Jobs Created by Business Expansions: 292
  • Total Jobs Projected from New & Under Construction: 3,340
  • Total Net Taxable Grand List Growth (Past 5 years): $312 million
  • Approximate Increase in Property Tax Revenue (Past 5 years): $14.4 million
  • Unemployment has dropped from 14.3% in 2011 to 5.7 % in May of 2019

Fiscal Prudence

  • The O’Leary administration has limited annual budget increases to an average of 1.15% over the last eight years. 
  • The City switched their insurer from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Cigna saving the city $10,000,000 over 5 years. (2013-2018)
  • Over the last 6 years, the City of Waterbury has realized an annual savings of $640,000 by contracting Covanta in 2013
  • A “Medicare Enrollment Initiative” was developed to leverage Medicare as the primary payer to reduce costs for the City. $14.8 million in savings was realized by the city between July 1,2016 –December 31, 2017 

 

Waterbury’s Bond Ratings and Outlook

  • Kroll Bond Rating Agency upgraded the City’s rating from “A-” to AA- highlighting the City’s trend of positive operations, strong management team, high tax collection rates and role as a regional medical center.  
  • Fitch Ratings has upgraded the City’s rating from “A-” to “AA-” highlighting the City’s adequate expenditure flexibility and solid reserve levels.  Fitch believes these strengths will position the City to withstand challenges associated with periodic economic declines. 
  • Standard & Poor’shas upgraded the City’s rating from “A-“ to “AA-“
  • Waterbury’s current ratings stands above Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport

Active Projects Taking Place in Waterbury

  • Anamet –demolition, debris removal, remediation, and construction
  • Risdon –subsurface demolition, debris removal, remediation
  • Brass City Harvest Food Hub– remediation and construction
  • East Main Street Streetscape –streetscape and underground utility project
  • Train Station –parking lot construction
  • Naugatuck-Waterbury Industrial Park project– roadway & utility construction
  • North End Landfill Solar Farm 
  • Municipal Stadium Restroom & Locker Rooms 
  • Library Park –renovation and construction 
  • 130 Freight Street –demolition, debris removal, and remediation
  • 313 Mill Street –construction of a park and baseball field
  • M.A. Green Clock –refurbishment of this historic item
  • 36 North Main Street 
  • 909 Bank Street –future community park
  • King Industries -construction of Buildings #2 and #3 to be completed by fall 2019
  • Hoffman BMW -construction of new dealership on Schrafts Drive, 25,000 square feet facility, 35 employees sales and service
  • Holiday Inn Express -construction on Chase Parkway of 93 guest rooms
  • 1243 West Main Street -completion of 15-two bed apartments and 2-one bed market rate apartments
  • Mattatuck Museum -$8 Million expansion and renovation
  • Rose Hill –YMCA expansion
  • Modelcraft Company -manufacturing facility at 1212 South Main Street, renovate facility and create 8 new manufacturing jobs
  • Family & Children Aid -$1.5 Million expansion and renovation of Holmes Avenue facility

 

Approach to Brownfields

  • During Mayor O’Leary’s administration, the City of Waterbury has secured over $40 million in state and federal funding for brownfield cleanup
  • Current Project Sites:
    • 313 Mill Street- Nova Dye & Print ($2 million in DECD funding)
    • 698 South Main Street- Anamet ($623,548 in DECD funding to purchase property, $2,091,000 in DECD funding made available to City for demolition and environmental study)
    • 2100 South Main Street- Risdon ($135,240 in DECD funding to conduct environmental studies at the site), ($1,000,000 in DECD funding to demo)  
    • 37 Bristol Street- Bristol-Babcock Mill ($200,000 in DECD funding to assess the site)

 

Historic Award of TIGER Grant and a Re-envisioned Freight Street Corridor 

  • In April of 2014, the O’Leary administration submitted a TIGER GRANT application
  • In September 2014, the city was notified that they would be awarded $14.4 million. 
  • Phase 1: Freight Street Improvements are complete
    • This included construction of a new roadway, bike and pedestrian paths, new lighting, updated utilities and a “Green bio-swale drainage system.” 
    • Something to note about all of the utilities is that they were created with an eye towards future investment. New construction will easily be able to tap into the existing utilities. 

     

  • Phase 2 and 3, Jackson and Meadow Streets: 
    • Construction has started, with substantial completion occurring around December of 2020. 
  • Jackson Street
    • Reconstruction and extension, of this dead end road, from Bank Street, across Freight Street through to West Main Street which will create a new north-south connection in the Downtown. 
  • Meadow Street
    • Road improvements run the full length of Meadow, they include new pavement, bike paths and updated pedestrian crossings at Meadow and Grand Streets by the Father McGivney Island. 

Waterbury Next and the Revitalization of Downtown Waterbury

  • In July 2014, at the request of Mayor O’Leary, the State of Connecticut awarded $12.2 million in state grant money to the City of Waterbury for the “Waterbury NEXT” strategy. 

     

    • Phase I

 

  • City Green improvements(Completed June 2017)
    • City’s Bus Pulse Point moved off of the green
  • The Brown Building
    • Green Hub Development completed renovating the 75,000 square foot historic Brown Building and the first group of students moved in August 2017
  • Howland Hughes Building
    • The largest building in Waterbury’s Historic Downtown (110,000 sq. ft.) was purchased by Green Hub Development in mid-April and Post University will lease the space. 
    • Post University has moved their center for online graduate classes, administrative offices, and Information Technology (IT) Center to Waterbury’s downtown. 
    • Their Online Education Hub now occupies four floors in the Howland Hughes Building.
    • The Online division represents the educational service needs of students from 142 countries. 
    • Post has placed 400 employees downtown, providing an expanded customer base for local businesses.
  • Anamet
    •  The purchase of Anamet took place on April 28th2017 in the amount of $623,548 (Waterbury NEXT funds). 
  • Prospect Street Garage
    • Demolished in 2015 and ready to build on
  • Starbucks-opened in Fall of 2017
  • Silas Bronson Library
    • $812,000 renovation of entrance (Completed May 2018)
  • SNET buildingdemolished in May of 2014

     

     

  • Phase II
    • In September, at Mayor O’Leary’s request, the State Bond Commission approved $15.5 million in grants to the City of Waterbury. This funding will be utilized to: 
      • Renovate 36 North Main Street, also known as Odd Fellows Hall - $10 million 
        • Six-story, 40,000 square foot building listed on the National Register of Historic Places 
        • Located on the Waterbury Green, and backs up to the UConn Waterbury campus 

           

      • Repair the streetscape on East Main Street- $4 million commitment  
        • Replace the water main that is 100 years old
        • Patch the sewer line 
        • Replace catch basins 
        • New pavement, printed cross walks, benches, waste and recycle bins
        • Increased lighting 

           

      • Knock Down 130 Freight Street- $1.5 million commitment
        • The former Waterbury Brass Corporation, which opened in 1845, and Anaconda American Brass site 
        • Redevelopment would repurpose 15 acres of currently unusable land on Freight Street
  • UConn Waterbury: A Center for Excellence in Allied Health Sciences 
    • Mayor O’Leary worked with the Office of Governor Lamont and the University of Connecticut Board of Directors to add a Bachelors program in Allied Health Sciences to the Waterbury Campus
  • With the development of the Allied Health Science degree program Waterbury students will be able to earn their degree in one of the nation’s fastest-growing career field’s right here in the city. 
  • This addition will align curriculum and course offerings with the needs of surrounding industry in an effort to better promote and enhance the local workforce. 

Housing and Neighborhood Development 

  • 128 blighted building demolished since 2012; 9 buildings were demolished in 2018
  • The Nuisance Enforcement Team (NET) was established in 2012, and has met every Tuesday to discuss quality of life concerns and solutions.  
  • Hired a Community Development Planner to work with neighborhood groups on developing plans for the reuse or demolition of abandoned and blighted properties 

A Strong Voice for Waterbury across the region and state

  • Currently serving as:
    • President of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
      • This was the first time in the organizations history that a member was elected to serve two terms
    • Chairman of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
      • Has served in this capacity since January 1st, 2015
    • Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR)
 

waterbury why be here

 

 

 



Approved by Neil M. O'Leary. Paid for by O'Leary 2019, Tracy DiGiovancarlo, Treasurer