The category awards were presented during lunch on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019.
Topical Category: Innovation in Security and Public Safety
Fairfield Fire Department House of Worship
Emergency and Fire Safety Planning
It was unfortunate events that took place in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and at Notre Dame in France that prompted the creation of the House of Worship Emergency and Fire Safety Planning (HOW), but the Fairfield Fire Department took that important step to learn and find ways to reduce the likelihood of emergencies in their houses of worship. They instituted planning sessions for senior leadership, pre-fire planning at those facilities, delivered CPR, AED, and Stop the Bleed programs for staff and volunteers, and a salvage plan to recover and preserve the important artifacts and relics at these houses of worship. The Fairfield Fire Department has taken these plans and shared them with Fire Chiefs and departments across the state to help others jumpstart their own HOW programs.
General Entry Award: Population Category 1 (20,000 and Under)
Town of Brookfield
Re-Invisioning Our Downtown
Many of our towns and cities want to rejuvenate their downtowns without losing the charm that has been built up over decades, or even centuries. Brookfield developed a revitalization plan that addressed the need for downtown development while preserving the history. It included retail; one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, and a complete streetscape project. This became the cornerstone of the Brookfield Plan of Conservation and Development, and through zoning regulations they have added roadway modifications, sidewalks, bike paths, public parking and other amenities completely revitalizing their downtown. This plan shows that you don’t have to sacrifice charm to revitalize your downtown centers.
General Entry Award: Population Category 2 (20,001 to 40,000)
Town of Westport
The Westport Center for Senior Activities Enhancement Project
In 2016, The Town of Westport was told that its senior population was set to grow by 37% by 2020. This increased the town’s demand for places where the senior population could remain active and socialize. This past January, the town opened the new Westport Center for Senior Activities that included a fitness center double the original size, an additional art room, two flexible activity rooms, an emergency shelter and space and facilities for first responders, a Grab N’ Go Café, increased parking and building enhancements. This project saw collaboration from nearly every department in Westport, and has improved the quality of life for everyone that uses it, from the seniors to the volunteers participating in the numerous intergenerational programs.
General Entry Award: Population Category 3 (40,001 and Over)
City of Hartford, Hartford Public Library
Providing Access to Rich Historical Public Documents
Hartford, like Brookfield, recognized the importance of history. The City embarked on an ambitious project to transfer its early records to the Hartford History Center in the Hartford Public Library, in order to more safely store them and to make them more accessible than ever. These records have the effect of enriching the history and showing sweeping changes. One example that illuminated this history is Holdridge Primus, an African American man whose home value was assessed at $2000 in 1872, this information was found out by cross referencing census data against city data and would not have been possible without this project. It is a model of collaboration between the library and city clerk’s office, and by working together they have shown us the real value of connecting the past to the present.