Stamford Celebrates Productive Year in 2019
STAMFORD, CT – Stamford Mayor David Martin commended City staff for completing key projects and initiatives throughout 2019. Many projects completed by the City of Stamford reflect Mayor Martin’s commitment to responsible City management, planning for the future, and modernizing Stamford.
“My administration has implemented better efficiency in many City departments, ensuring City Staff can address important projects in addition to day-to-day responsibilities,” said Mayor David Martin. “The City runs better every day, and our community continues to attract more residents as our local economy grows and brings in new businesses.”
Below are some of the accomplishments made by the City of Stamford’s departments.
Efficiency optimization within the Department of Operations has ensured the continuation of vital initiatives continue and completion of key projects on-budget and on-schedule.
· Transportation, Traffic, and Parking
o Completed intersection redesign of Boxer Square on Stillwater Avenue converting the area into a community space. The majority of funding for this project came from a State of Connecticut Community Connectivity grant.
o Completed road realignment and installation of sidewalks along Oaklawn Avenue. Roughly 90 percent of this project’s funding came from a Federal Highway Administration and Connecticut Department of Transportation grant. Additionally, the City coordinated a public-private partnership to add sidewalks to Halpin Avenue, allowing residents to walk to Bulls Head.
o Implemented a citywide traffic signal synchronization — the first signal synchronization since 1991 — reducing morning commute times by 14 percent.
o Received a Stamford 2030 award from Fairfield Business Council for work completed on Boxer Square, Oaklawn Avenue and traffic signal synchronization.
o Introduced a new boot and scofflaw device resulting in the collection of $400,000 owed to the City by repeat parking offenders.
o Installed new parking meters capable of accepting credit cards in addition to cash and Parkmobile application payments.
o Completed the City’s bicycle and pedestrian plan adopted by Stamford’s Planning Board.
· Sanitation & Recycling
o Received $570k federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to replace garbage/recycling trucks.
o Implemented Simple Recycling Pink Bag residential collection of textiles, reducing overall weight of garbage collected and saving costs.
o Introduced “Pouraway” garbage containers in all public schools and the Government Center, reducing weight of garbage and costs.
o Began pilot program for composting at Katrina Mygatt Recycling Center.
· Highways Department
o Paved over 7 miles of road across all of Stamford.
o Allocated $5 million in additional paving projects for 2020 as a result of the reported surplus in fiscal year 2018-2019.
o Routinely responded to Fix It pothole repair requests, over 90 percent of requests are resolved within 7 days.
· Engineering Department
o Received an energy efficiency Stamford 2030 award from the Fairfield Business for the new Stamford Police Headquarters. The headquarters opened in June 2019.
o Completed Phase 1 of Veterans Park, with plans to open the park to the public once lightning is installed.
o Completed Holly Pond Sea Well repairs.
o Completed roof replacement/repair projects for Toquam Magnet Elementary School, Rippowam Middle School, and Scofield Magnet Middle School.
o Waterproofed Stamford High School’s courtyard.
o Supported American Disability Act compliance by adding handicap accessibility to the Government Center Lobby’s restroom.
· Land Use
o Filed first part of comprehensive overhaul of zoning regulations (known as “Omnibus Text Change”).
o Lowered federal flood insurance premiums for Stamford residents by completing FEMA’s Community Rating System.
o Eliminated walk-in limit for zoning permits.
· Cashiering and Permitting
o Recovered $250,000 in unpaid parking tickets as a result of a program launched in June. Total unpaid amount is estimated at $1 million.
o Implemented stricter enforcement of illegal dumping and illegal signage. No illegal posters have been posted in Stamford since May 2019 after Cashiering and Permitting issued sixteen warnings and collected $600 in fines.
o Completed $2.6 million upgrade of Dyke Lane Storm Water Pump Station with new electrical equipment and emergency power generator.
o S&P reaffirmed AA+ credit rating and updated outlook from “stable” to “positive. Issued $15.7 million in revenue bonds with true interest cost of 2.97% in June 2019.
Significant business and housing activity continued throughout 2019 as more companies and residents choose to move to Stamford.
· Several expansions and lease renewals, including:
o World Wrestling Entertainment’s 16.5-year lease of 677 Washington Boulevard,
o Sema4 Lab’s expansion to 333 Ludlow Street,
o Indeed’s expansion to 177 Broad Street,
o Charter Communication’s expansion to 400 Atlantic Street,
o As well as other smaller businesses opening across Stamford’s downtown and commerce-heavy neighborhoods.
· More than 700 housing units opened this year, including:
o Opening of Urby at 57 Greyrock Place,
o Affordable housing at Garden Homes at 82 Franklin Street,
o Single-family units and townhouses at 159 Colonial Road.
Stamford’s continued expansion of housing and businesses reflects its stable financials and reliable economic growth.
Public Safety, Health, and Welfare
The Department of Public Safety, Health, and Welfare oversaw significant investments throughout its department.
· In October, the City of Stamford secured a $500k federal grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for additional school security and equipment dedicated to keeping Stamford’s children safe.
· Public Safety partnered with the State of Connecticut and Metro North to address homelessness as a result of closing Stamford’s Metro North stop during late evening/early morning hours.
· Stamford’s Police Department
o Hosted a public open house for its new Police Headquarters over the summer, attracting hundreds of residents interested in learning more about the new facility and what resources are now available to officers.
o Solved all 5 homicide cases in Stamford this year and arrested four suspects while one suspects remains at-large.
o Recovered over 8 kilograms of fentanyl as the result of a federal wiretap within Stamford.
o Hired 15 new officers and promoted several officers throughout the year.
· 911 Communications
o Public Safety hired Director of 911 Communications Joseph Gaudette earlier this year, who immediately began improving standards and systems within the department.
o As of the last quarter of 2019, 90 percent of 911 calls are picked up within 10 seconds or less — well beyond the state’s minimum standard for cities’ 911 communications.
o 911 Communications began updating its software for emergency calls, implemented a texting option for 911, and continues to utilize data analysis to improve processes within the department.
· Stamford Fire Department
o Oversaw effort to deliver water to households with minimal hydrant access. Redesigned water access to incorporate new portable pool tanks that reduce traffic lane intrusion, and conducted a large-scale water shuttle drill which was touted by state officials as the best in Connecticut.
· Stamford’s Social Services Department
o Assisted 1,722 households’ insurance appeals, spend-downs, and unpaid medical bills,
o Successfully enrolled 825 households for health insurance plans,
o Assisted 1,685 seniors and disabled individuals processing renters rebate applications.
The City of Stamford is proud of the improvements made to City infrastructure and services. City staff look forward to continuing their work to attract more residents and businesses to Stamford and ensure the City continues to prosper for another year.