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Municipal Excellence Awards

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.

Awards are presented each year at the annual Convention.

Special thanks to the 2017 & 2018 Awards Sponsor: Halloran Sage!

How to Apply - 2018 back to top

This year, CCM offers awards in the following categories:

For towns and cities:

  • Three General Entry Awards separated by population size
  • Topical Award - "Creative Use of Resources, Partnerships, and Collaborations"

For individuals:

  • The Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The Richard C. Lee Innovators Award


  • A First Place prize will be awarded to the winner in each General Entry Award category. Winners are honored at CCM’s Annual Convention in the fall and entries are featured throughout the year on CCM’s website and in CT&C magazine. Each winning project will be awarded $1,000 to be put toward its continued implementation and success.
  • A single prize of $1,000 will be awarded in the Topical Award category. Towns of all sizes will compete against each other in this category.
  • If no entries in a given category meet judging standards, or if a category has few competitive entries, judges reserve the right to withhold an award in that category.
  • Winning towns will be notified in advance of the CCM Annual Convention, which is happening October 30, 2018 at Foxwoods Resort, and will receive special recognition at the convention.

Click here to download the 2018 Award Entry Form.  Each award category is further explained in this form as well.

Deadline for submissions is August 10, 2018.

2017 Award Winners back to top

2017 Award Winners

The individual awards were presented on Tuesday, November 28th at CCM's Annual Meeting and Dinner.

Richard C. Lee Innovators Award
Mayor Neil M. O'Leary
City of Waterbury

Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award
Steven R. Werbner
Town of Tolland

2017 Municipal Legislator of the Year
Senator Gayle Slossberg
For Outstanding Accomplishments in Protecting the Interests of Local Communities

The category awards were presented during lunch on Wednesday, November 29th.

Topical Category:
Creative Programs in Sustainability
Town of Fairfield
Zero Net Energy Facility

Fairfield was honored for its creative programs in sustainability. Fairfield’s comprehensive energy strategy produced several initiatives in 2017 that focused on its Water Pollution Control Facility as a target to promote sustainability. The town is in the midst of a $3.4 million plan to dike the site with pump stations, protecting the site from the 500-year flood zone.

The town has turned to the private sector for this environmentally friendly project with the goal that Fairfield residents will pay less for electricity 20 years from now than they do today.

Lastly, the town committed to developing a microgrid. The town was successful in securing Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funds for the project. The microgrid ensures that the Water Pollution Control Facility will have power when the main grid is down.

General Entry Award:
Population Category 1 (20,000 and Under)
Town of Stonington
Citizens with Autism Safety System

The town of Stonington is being recognized for, working in conjunction with New England Geosystems, developing a map-based application that is accessible via the internet to aid first responders in searching for people with autism who have been reported missing.

Dubbed the “Citizens with Autism Safety System” or CASS, the password-protected application is an opt-in system where family members submit a form detailing their loved one’s vital information with a photo and specific conditions related to their autism. This assists first responders when the person is located by informing how the missing person communicates and warns of any specific triggers to avoid.

The application may be a key tool particularly in the area of water rescues, as many people with autism are drawn to water. The application addresses that issue when searching on the map and a half-mile radius pops up around the missing person’s last known location, identifying all water features in the area.

General Entry Award:
Population Category 2 (20,001 to 40,000)
Town of Windsor
Summer Fun Academy

The town of Windsor is being recognized for running its Summer Fun Academy. Back in 2015, school officials understood the need to find a way to save money on summer school transportation costs. Windsor recreation departments worked with school officials to develop a program incorporating summer school into a traditional summer camp.

When the program was finally launched it was an immediate success, as the school district saved a total of $65,000 in transportation costs in salaries.

100 children identified as most in need of summer school attended the program for four weeks, free of charge, courtesy of the school district; an additional 200 children benefited from the educational component – helping summer camp revenues hit an all-time high.

Overall, the town’s summer camp became more appealing to all parents, and the result was that 12 more counselors were hired to handle the increase in the number of children attending, providing much needed summer jobs for Windsor teenagers.

General Entry Award:
Population Category 3 (40,001 and Over)
Town of Manchester
Our Parks

The town of Manchester is being recognized for its Our Parks entry.

A survey in 2015 of 16,000 residents found that although Manchester got high marks for the number of recreational opportunities available throughout the town, the recreational facilities themselves were in dire need of improvements.

In response to that survey, the town was motivated to leverage state, federal, and private funding to upgrade existing facilities to meet the needs of the next generation of Manchester residents.  The campaign was spearheaded by the Recreation Department of Leisure, Family and Recreation but collaboration involved the help of many departments in town, including the Planning and Economic Development departments, the Engineering Departments, the Field Services Departments, the Department of Facility Maintenance, and the Town of Manchester GIS Department.

The changes began with the upgrading of Charter Oak Park – transforming the space from an outdated facility to a 21st century facility with updated restrooms, redesigned parking, reconstructed tennis and basketball courts, upgraded play space, music garden, public art display, and a Wi-Fi park.

But part of the campaign was also to spread the word about the good work being done at the parks – hence the launching of the “Our Parks” campaign. The Recreation Division of the Town of Manchester’s Department of Leisure, Family and Recreation came up with the promotional materials to spread the word.  The overall results is that daily park attendance has surged, tripled in fact. And groups have begun to engage with the park bringing in movie nights, public art, and other new investments.

2016 Award Winners back to top

2016 Award Winners

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

Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard H. Smith – First Selectman (accepted by First Selectman Angus McDonald)
Town of Deep River

The category awards were presented during lunch on Tuesday, November 15th.

Topical Category:
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.

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.

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.

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.