Municipal Excellence Awards
Each and every day, municipal officials throughout the state of Connecticut do outstanding work that promotes quality of life in our communities. Through both individual and team efforts, they make Connecticut towns and cities excellent places to live, work, and play.
CCM’s Municipal Excellence Awards recognize innovative projects and individuals that have significantly improved the quality of life for citizens, established partnerships, and built community support. The competition applauds the achievements of leaders and municipalities and encourages others to strive for excellence.
We received 86 submissions from 60 municipalities for consideration for the 2016 awards!!!! Applications for this year are now available.
Awards will once again be presented at the 2017 Convention at Foxwoods Resort, which is taking place November 28th and 29th.
2016 Award Winners back to top
The individual awards were presented on Monday, November 14th at CCM's 50th Anniversary dinner.
Richard C. Lee Innovators Award
Thomas J. Roy, P.E. – Director of Public Works
Town of Simsbury
In nominating Roy, Simsbury officials noted that the job of Public Works Director “has expanded beyond the core functions of construction, maintenance, and facility management to include communications, public safety, economic development, community building, regional cost sharing and coordination, and exploring changing technology for core functions and energy efficiency.”
Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard H. Smith – First Selectman (accepted by First Selectman Angus McDonald)
Town of Deep River
To residents new to Deep River and to an entire generation of native-born citizens, Dick Smith was as much a fixture in the community as the venerable 1893 flatiron Town Hall he occupied for so long. His words and deeds shaped the town and set its direction for more than a quarter of a century and his vision is evident across the landscape of the quaint village he loved.
In nominating Smith for the Cogen award, Deep River officials titled the application “The Renaissance of Deep River, or Smitty’s Vision Realized.” Local officials say his approach to achieving that vision was “that of a maestro, but whose orchestra consisted not of musicians, but of engineers and architects, builders and pavers.”
The category awards were presented during lunch on Tuesday, November 15th.
Creative Programs in Sustainability
City of Hartford
Powering Hartford Up
The capital city was honored for its creative programs in sustainability. The city’s comprehensive energy strategy produced several new programs in 2016 that featured a microgrid and an energy improvement district. The programs are aimed at resiliency, reducing greenhouse gases, saving taxpayer money, and improving air quality for better health outcomes.
The city leveraged a partnership that included CT DEEP for a microgrid grant; UConn law students who drafted renewable energy zoning code provisions pro bono; CT Green Bank, a private solar company; the Environmental Defense Fund; and community volunteers. The microgrid will keep several neighborhoods powered in the event of damaging storms. It cost $1.3 million, plus $2 million in a grant from the 2013 State First-in-the-Nation Microgrid Pilot Program.
Savings from the microgrid and energy improvement districts are passed down to taxpayers. Property owners benefit from streamlined zoning codes for renewable resources and subsidized solar energy.
General Entry Award:
Population Category 1 (20,000 and Under)
Town of Coventry
The Renaissance of Coventry Village
The little town that bills itself as the “Gateway to the Quiet Corner” has undergone a rebirth over the past several years and CCM judges took notice. The award-winning project is “The Renaissance of Coventry Village,” the result of enhancements to civic amenities, recreation facilities, utilities, storm water management, parking, public safety, and roads. Those improvements are helping to spur economic development that will ease the local tax burden. Residents will also have more hometown goods and services and patronize those local businesses.
Business improvements and constructions were achieved by co-investments through grant administration. There has also been a focus on brownfield redevelopment, environmental remediation, and adaptive re-use of assets to return derelict properties back to active tax rolls.
Pedestrian and vehicle safety have been enhanced with infrastructure improvements. There has been focused attention on improving recreation while protecting the environment. The town has created hiking and biking trails in the Mill Brook Greenway, preserved open space, and reconstructed the Lake Gate Outlet.
Fueled by civic pride and a community-supported plan for 26 years, the “Renaissance” reflects the unique aspects of the historic mill village. It has leveraged grants funding, municipal investments, private investments, and community engagement.
General Entry Award:
Population Category 2 (20,001 to 40,000)
Town of Rocky Hill
Innovative Special Needs Activities
The town of Rocky Hill is all inclusive when it comes to recreational sports, particularly in providing opportunities for children with special needs. This year’s award recognized the recreational programs the town has created over the years to ensure that all children can get out and play all year long.
The popular programs are run by volunteers and overseen by a Recreation Department supervisor. All are offered for children from kindergarten through 12th grade. They include:
- Sidekicks Soccer – a fall program that partners participants with members of the high school soccer team. In 2015, there were about 25 participants.
- Sea Cubs Swim Club – a winter program that pairs participants with members of the high school swim team. In 2015, there were 19 participants.
- Challenger Sports – a spring program that offers structured baseball activities while providing flexibility for the participants. About 22 youngsters participate.
- Summer Knights – a summer program that incorporates sports, parachute play, music, and movement. It averages between 15 and 20 participants.
- Miracle Field – Created by the Parks and Recreation Department, the ADA-compliant field is one of two alternative playing fields in the state. The town paid for the $800,000 project with a state grant.
General Entry Award:
Population Category 3 (40,001 and Over)
Town of Manchester
Better Manchester Magazine
Read all about it! That’s what the town of Manchester had envisioned when it created “Better Manchester Magazine.” It began in 2013 as a way to deliver news of local resources and programs of both the town and public schools. Today it is published three times a year and packaged with the seasonal catalog of the Department of Leisure, Family and Recreations.
Recent issues have featured:
- Restructuring of three town divisions into a single new department
- Capital investments in parks and schools
- National, state, and local responses to unenrolled and unemployed youth
- Early childhood community plan
- Results of the public schools’ development assets survey
The magazine is published online and in print and direct-mailed to some 28,000 households in Manchester. There are efficiencies built in as the town uses existing resources and community partnerships. All content is researched, written, edited, and designed in-house. The town maintains a small $600 freelance budget for local photographers and artists. It also leverages an agreement with artists whose work is displayed at the town’s annual art series that they will license three pieces of work at no cost for one-time use in the magazine.
The town has a printing partnership with the local newspaper that prints the magazine and catalog at no cost to the town. Annual direct mail costs have been reduced from $12,000 to $4,500 because of the town’s partnership with the public schools that splits the cost of mailing.