Source: Kevin Maloney, CCM
For Immediate Release
Kevin Maloney (203) 710-3486
Towns of Groton, Tolland, and Trumbull, and the City of Norwalk, received Municipal Excellence Awards at the 2022 CCM Convention on November 1
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) awarded the towns of Groton, Tolland, and Trumbull, and the city of Norwalk with CCM’s Seventh Annual Municipal Excellence Awards at its 2022 Annual Convention held at Mohegan Sun on November 1.
Towns and cities across the state are asked to submit projects that they have completed over the past year that they believe have significantly improved the quality of life for their residents. Judges choose one winner in a general category where all projects are considered and a special topic category unique to this year. For 2022, the topical award was for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Town of Groton was honored for innovation in diversity, equity and inclusion. Its Thrive55+ program has been focusing on supporting persons in the community with dementia and developing programs to include this group and their families in programming and community activities. Thrive55+ began Discover Connections program for persons with mild to moderate cognitive disorders. This program offers a place for those with any form of dementia to have fun, learn and be with others.
Town of Tolland was honored (for towns 20,000 in population and under) for its Grass Mat Project. Tolland has several events on the Town Green each year. Our goal was to provide accessibility for the entire Town Green. Working with citizens, business owners, Public Works, the Celebration Commission, and the Disability Commission we were able to gather ideas, and then purchase and install a product called Grass Mat. This is used by handicapped individuals, people with strollers, small kids in wagons, and others and has made it much easier to navigate around the Town Green. This has also led to discussions about other areas in the Town with accessibility needs.
Town of Trumbull was honored (for towns between 20,001 and 40,000 residents) for its Local Meals and Main Street Dollar Program. Trumbull is committed to supporting local, small businesses. They launched two initiatives and worked as a team to implement them. The Local Meals Program was funded through grants and utilized local restaurants to provide lunch and dinner meals to vulnerable residents who were Covid impacted and/or low and moderate income. The Main Street Dollars Pilot Program was funded through a grant. Three small, locally owned businesses with gift shop aspects were selected. Town residents who spent a minimum of $20 at the establishment were eligible to receive a gift certificate that could be used like cash. The business then invoiced the gift certificate amount back to the Town.
The City of Norwalk was honored (for communities over 40,000 in population) for its Tax Collection Enforcement Program. Norwalk has developed an effective program to address collection of past due municipal property taxes. The 2021 tax sale involved a series of mailings, posting, publications, and other notifications. It yielded more than $9.5 million. 247 properties were originally targeted. On the day of the sale there were only 12 properties remaining as all others had paid. The Norwalk Information Technology Department developed a website where citizens can track the progress of the sale, and potential bidders can begin to research properties by viewing photographs and downloading field cards and other information.
“For seven years we have awarded towns and cities with our Municipal Excellence Awards, but I am never surprised by the ingenuity and thoughtfulness of our municipal leaders,” said Joe DeLong, Executive Director and CEO of CCM, “And this year’s winners are no exceptions. The programs in these honored cities match our commitments to excellence, and I could not agree more with the judge’s decisions for this year’s recipients.”