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Tag: Dedicated Management

CMSC Webinar Recap: DOT & Downtown – An Update On CT’s Complete Streets & Other Programs

CMSC Webinar

Webinar Summary

Kimberly Lesay, Bureau Chief of Policy & Planning at the Connecticut Department of Transportation, provides a detailed overview of the latest updates to several federal and local DOT programs including Complete Streets, Community Connectivity Grant Program (CCGP), Transportation Rural Improvement Program (TRIP), and many more. Watch the recording and review the resources to learn more about funding opportunities for your downtown transportation projects!

Presentation Highlights

  • CTDOT’s Complete Streets Policy & Directive

    As of August 2023, Complete Streets has three new controlling design criteria:

    • Pedestrian facilities–includes sidewalks, shared use paths, or side paths on both sides of the roadway.
    • Bicycle facilities–includes paved outside shoulders, bike lanes, separated bike paths, or shared use paths on both sides of the roadway.
    • Transit provisions–includes crosswalks, shelters, benches, and other ways to make existing or proposed transit stops more accessible.

    Regarding Complete Streets project applications, CTDOT:

    • is the project proponent/ administers the project
    • is responsible for providing project funding (state or federally aid)
    • controls the affected infrastructure (State Highway)

    Design Exceptions: Design Exceptions may only be granted by the Chief Engineer, with reporting requirements to the Commissioner.

  • Overview of Discretionary Federal Grant Opportunities

    The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) reauthorizes federal surface transportation programs for FY 2022 – FY 2026. Unlike the 2008 Recovery Act, IIJA is long-term, continuous investment in transportation infrastructure, not a “Shovel Ready” stimulus program. In Connecticut, there are $5.38 billion in formula-based funding over five years – a $1.62 billion increase over FAST Act. IIJA provides for over $100 billion in competitive grant opportunities between FY 2022 and FY 2026.

  • Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A)

    IIJA authorizes $6 billion over 5 years in Safe Streets grants. Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) is open to MPOs and Local Governments, not State DOTs.

    The grant program supports Vision Zero planning efforts, as well as capital projects to improve safety for all users.

    Eligible Activities:

    • Develop or update a comprehensive safety action plan
    • Conduct Planning Design and development activities in support of an Action Plan
    • Carry out projects ID’in an Action Plan
    • Demonstration Activities (Quick-Builds)

    Amendments to the latest SS4A Notice of Funding Opportunity:

    • Upwardly revises the amount available to implement projects and strategies from $580 million to $780 million.
    • Clarifies that funding awards to applicants submitted after each deadline is contingent on remaining funds. Funds are available on a rolling “first-come, first-serve” basis.
    • Waives up to $200,000 in non-Federal match for applications from certain U.S. territories.
    • Removes the option for unsuccessful Implementation Grant applicants to apply for a Planning and Demonstration Grant. Implementation Grant applicants are encouraged to bundle requests for supplemental planning and demonstration activities into their Implementation Grant application.
    • Changes the deadline for technical questions to April 24 to answer any questions related to the amendment. Application deadlines remain the same.

      New SS4A application resources:

    • CTDOT Programs

    • Success Stories

      In partnership with Smart Growth America, the cities of Waterbury, Bristol, and Middletown of along with NVCOG and RiverCOG, completed the 2022-2023 Complete Streets Academy that included workshops, planning and building temporary street safety demonstration projects.

      View 2022-2023 Complete Streets Academy final report here.


    View the Recording


    About Our Presenter

    Kimberly Lesay, Bureau Chief of Policy & Planning at the Connecticut Department of Transportation



    Contact Info

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    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Fighting Blight with TIF

    Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Fighting Blight with TIF

    Presentation Summary

    Tax Increment Financing (TIF) uses new/incremental real property tax revenue generated from new development and increased value to repay costs of the project or improvements to the TIF District.

    In this presentation, Michael Andreana, Attorney, Pullman & Comley, will discuss the ways that TIF revenues can be used to fight blight, requirements for establishing a TIF district, and the basic components of a Master TIF District Plan.

    Presentation Highlights


    What is Tax Increment Financing?


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenter

    Michael J. Andreana

    , Attorney at Pullman & Comley LLC

    Contact Info

    Website:

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    CMSC Webinar Recap: Funding Main Street Management – 3 Models

    CMSC Webinar

    Webinar Summary

    Sustainable funding for a main street management program is critical to achieve incremental progress in your downtown district. In this webinar, we’ll be covering three models to fund a main street management program: Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and tax incremental financing (TIF) districts.

    Our three presenters will give a short overview of each type’s general structure and pros and cons to consider.

    Presentation Highlights


    Funding Model Comparisons

    Click here to find a comparison of the different funding model types. 


    View the Recording



    About Our Presenters

    • Jennifer E. Goldman

      Jennifer E Goldman LLC

    • Sandra Russo-Driska

      Coordinator of Middletown Downtown Business District

    • Michael J. Andreana

      , Attorney at Pullman & Comley LLC

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    CMSC Webinar: CT Humanities Grant Funding for Main Street Projects

    CMSC Webinar

    CT Humanities Grant Funding for Main Street Projects

    Webinar Summary

    Are you looking for support for your public humanities projects on Main Street? Has your community started thinking how it will participate in the commemorations, celebrations, and reflections of the United States’ 250th anniversary? 

    In this webinar, the CT Humanities Grant Team provides an overview of the grants they offer, what types of projects are eligible, the application process, as well as other resources available for our nation’s 250th anniversary.

    What are the humanities?

    “The humanities are fields of learning that help us understand and appreciate human history, culture, values, and beliefs.”

    Initiatives that CT Humanities fund must fit into the definition of humanities. A initiative that is just focused on art without an opportunity for reflection, dialogue, or some sort of engagement would not qualify. A good example of a Main Street project that CT Humanities has funded is the Wethersfield Heritage Walk Expansion.


    View the Recording


    Other Resources

    About CT Humanities

    Founded in 1974, Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources.

    Contact Info

    The first step to applying to CT Humanities for the first time is to email the grants team at grants@cthumanities.org to discuss your project. This is a required step.

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    Jennifer E Goldman LLC

    Jennifer E Goldman LLC

    The Gold Standard in Nonprofit Consulting

    Jenn helps nonprofit leaders learn new tools, set and achieve new goals, determine stronger methods of sustainability, and direct their organization onto a mission-driven path to success. She also helps facilitate difficult discussions between board members and staff, evaluate programs and events for effectiveness, and can help identify possible funding sources.

    Services

    Services include: Management consulting for strategic transformation. Mainly nonprofit organizations, especially Main Street programs and communities.

    Visit their website

    Contact

    Jennifer E. Goldman, President
    435 Lakeside Boulevard West
    Waterbury, CT 06708
    540.454.6511
    Jennifer@Resonance.us

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    CMSC Webinar – Constructing Downtown: Storrs Center 20 Year Update

    CMSC Webinar

    Constructing Downtown: Storrs Center 20 Year Update

    Webinar Summary

    Twenty-four years ago, the Town of Mansfield and UCONN had a vision to create a vibrant, walkable, mixed-use downtown. Today, Storrs Center is home to 60 businesses, 1300 residents, and boasts civic space and multi-use buildings. So what’s next?

    In this webinar, Cynthia van Zelm, Mansfield Downtown Partnership Executive Director, shares share her firsthand experiences and lessons learned in downtown management.

    Presentation Highlights


    • The Three Stages of Development

      Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. has been involved in the construction of Storrs Center from the very beginning. Its role has changed to meet the needs of the project: planning, construction, and management

      Planning

      • 1999 – Mansfield Town Council forms “Town Green Committee”
      • 2001 – Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. to oversee redevelopment efforts
      • 2003 – Partnership selects master developer
      • 2003-2006 – Partnership guides Town, UConn, and master developer through approval process
      • 2007 – Design guidelines approved

      Construction

      • 2011 – Construction Begins
      • 2012 – First building of Phase 1A Storrs Center opens
      • 2017 – Construction of “Storrs Center” complete

      Management

      • 2018 – DOWNTOWN STORRS introduced for whole district
      • 2018- Today – Key management activities include: providing business support, operations (e.g. enhancing public spaces, etc.) , working with property owners, promotion and marketing of the district, and hosting community events
    • Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. Organization & Budget

      The Board of Directors is made up of:

      • 3 Town of Mansfield positions (appointed)
      • 3 UConn positions (appointed)
      • 2 Student representatives (selected)
      • 6 Elected positions (voted on by “membership” base)
      • 2 ex officio positions:
        • Mansfield Mayor
        • UConn President or designee

      Staff includes:

      • Executive Director
      • Senior Communications Manager
      • Event Coordinator
      • Administrative Assistant (part-time)

      Budget 

      Their annual budget is $405,000.

      • Town of Mansfield – $175,000
      • UConn Contribution – $175,000
      • Economic Development Service Fee – $40,000
      • “Membership” Dues – $15,000
    • Lessons Learned

      • Clear direction/everyone on same page as the mission
      • Dedicated and funded staff is key
      • Be ready to pivot
      • Bring on and mentor a staff team that meets evolving needs
      • Try not to take things personally

    View the Recording


    Additional Resources

    Professional Affiliates

    Several of the photos of Storrs Center were taken by CMSC Professional Affiliate Levin Aerial Works

    About Cynthia van Zelm

    Cynthia van Zelm, is Executive Director of Mansfield Downtown Partnership. She was involved in Downtown Storrs from its inception and now concentrates on managing and promoting the downtown and Mansfield’s economic development.

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    Hiring a Main Street Executive Action Kit

    Hiring a Main Street Executive Action Kit

    Hiring a Main Street Executive – whether for the first time or as you bring on a new leader – is an exciting time. It’s a great opportunity for the organization to reposition itself and infuse it with new life. However, without strong leadership, hiring a new Main Street Executive can be delayed or worse, the wrong person might be hired.

    To assist in achieving the best outcome, Connecticut Main Street Center developed an action kit to support downtown organizations in hiring a new leader. This action kit includes a workbook and editable templates and checklists. It will guide you step-by-step through the hiring process and provide you with estimated timeframes you can use throughout the entire process.

    Included in the Hiring Your Main Street Executive Action Kit:

    • Step-by-Step guide available as an online course or PDF
    • Action Kit Overview Checklist
    • Outgoing Executive Director Exit Survey Template
    • Community Survey Template
    • Community Focus Group Presentation Template
    • Job Description Template
    • Connecticut Job Marketing Resources
    • First Round Interview Scorecard Template
    • Second Round Interview Scorecard Template
    • Reference Check Template
    • Onboarding Checklist
    • “A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive” Video

    Purchase the Hiring a Main Street Executive Action Kit

    BUY THE ACTION KIT
     

    Interested in learning more? Check out our webinar on the 7 Steps to Successfully Hire a Main Street Executive.

    CMSC Webinar: 7 Steps to Successfully Hire a Main Street Executive

    CMSC Webinar

    7 Steps to Successfully Hire a Main Street Executive

    Webinar Summary

    Hiring a Main Street Executive – whether for the first time or as you bring on a new leader – is an exciting time. It’s a great opportunity for the organization to reposition itself and infuse it with new life. However, without strong leadership, hiring a new Main Street Executive can be delayed or worse, the wrong person might be hired.

    In this webinar, you’ll learn the steps to follow to ensure a successful search and learn about Connecticut Main Street Center’s new action kit Hiring a Main Street Executive.

    Presentation Highlights


    • The 7 Steps of hiring an Executive Director

      An organization transitioning to new leadership has an opportunity to deepen relationships with the community and strengthen the organization’s internal workings. Hiring a new Main Street Executive allows an organization to reposition itself and infuse it with new life. However, without strong Board leadership, the organization may flounder, leading to time delays in hiring the new Main Street Executive or worse, choosing the wrong person for the job.

      CMSC has broken down the process of hiring a Main Street Executive into seven steps:

      1. Assemble a Search Committee
      2. Send an Exit Survey
      3. Understand the Role
      4. Write the Job Description
      5. Advertise the Position
      6. Interviewing
      7. Orientation and Onboarding
    • About the Action Kit

      To assist in achieving the best outcome, Connecticut Main Street Center developed an action kit to support organizations in hiring a new leader. This action kit includes a workbook and editable templates and checklists. It will guide you step-by-step through the hiring process and provide you with estimated timeframes you can use throughout the entire process.

      Included in the Hiring Your Main Street Executive Action Kit:

      • Step-by-Step guide available as an online course or PDF
      • Action Kit Overview Checklist
      • Outgoing Executive Director Exit Survey Template
      • Community Survey Template
      • Community Focus Group Presentation Template
      • Job Description Template
      • Connecticut Job Marketing Resources
      • First Round Interview Scorecard Template
      • Second Round Interview Scorecard Template
      • Reference Check Template
      • Onboarding Checklist
      • “A Day in the Life of a Main Street Executive” Video

    View the Recording


    About Kristen Lopez

    Kristen M. Lopez is Connecticut Main Street Center’s Education & Training Director. With over 11 years of experience in economic development from various roles and industries across the United States, she has always worked with adults to achieve their goals through education. Kristen is an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer alum, a StartingBloc Fellow, and Next City Vanguard Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Messiah University.

    Get the Action Kit!

    To get your Hiring Your Main Street Executive Action Kit, email: Judith@ctmainstreet.or

    • $17 for CMSC Members
    • $47 for non-members

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    CMSC Webinar: Main Street Management 101

    CMSC Webinar

    Main Street Management 101

    Webinar Summary

    Creating and maintaining a vibrant Main Street is a commitment. It does not happen overnight and requires consistent attention and management. There are many moving parts – stakeholders with different agendas, external market and economic factors out of your control, and limited resources. The good news is there is model that has been replicated across the country for decades to help guide your initiatives and priorities.

    This webinar gives you a high-level overview of the Main Street Management Four Point Approach and ideas on how you can start implementing the approach into your Main Street.


    Presentation Highlights

    • Origins of the Four Points of Main Street Management

      In the late 1970s the National Trust for Historic Preservation developed a pilot program designed to address the neglect and demolition of historic downtowns. They discovered that downtowns had lost their value in these four distinct areas: economic value, physical value, social value, and civic value. This loss of value was attributed to land use policy, the rise of autos, and suburban sprawl.

      This Main Street Approach was developed to address the restoration of these values simultaneously by providing a framework to guide revitalization efforts.

      Every community and commercial district are different, with its own distinctive assets and sense of place, but the Main Street Approach provides a practical, adaptable framework for downtown transformation that is tailored to local conditions.

      The four points of Main Street management are:

      • Organization
      • Economic Vitality
      • Design
      • Promotion
    • Organization

      Goal – Restore civic value through:

      • Building leadership and strong organizational capacity
      • Ensuring broad community engagement
      • Forging partnerships across sectors

      Aspects of Organization

      • Community Stakeholder Support:
        • Are community stakeholders in consensus on the vision for the downtown?
        • Is the municipality actively supporting Main Street through resource allocation?
        • Resource: Spotlight on Main in Torrington
      • Public Safety
        • Is public safety involved as a revitalization partner?
      • Board of Directors or Advisory Board
        • Is there an active, diverse Board of Directors?
      • Strategic Planning and Work Plan
        • Is a work plan regularly updated to align with a current strategic plan for Main Street?
      • Funding
        • Are there multiple revenue streams to support Main Street revitalization?
      • Financial Management
        • Are financial management best practices followed?
      • Administration
        • Is there full-time, paid dedicated staff person to Main Street?
      • Volunteers
        • Is there a volunteer management strategy in place?
      • Demonstrating Impact
        • Are accomplishments regularly communicated to stakeholders?
      • Messaging and Outreach
        • Are multiple communication channels consistently used to update stakeholders and promote activity?
    • Economic Vitality

      Goal – Restore economic value through:

      • Build a diverse economic base
      • Catalyze smart new investment
      • Cultivate a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem

      Aspects of Economic Vitality

      • District Knowledge & Data
        • Have you documented your Main Street assets?
      • Historic Preservation
        • Is there a historic preservation ethos?
      • Housing
        • Does your zoning support the development of housing downtown?
      • Vacant Storefronts and Lots
      • Property Owner Engagement
        • Are your property owners regularly engaged?
      • Attracting Development
        • Do you have a “one-stop-shop” approach for developers and other Main Street investors?
      • Small Business Support & Ecosystem
        • How are your small businesses supported?
      • Recruiting Business
        • Do you have a strategic plan to recruit businesses based on needs and wants of the community?
    • Design

      Goal – Restore physical value through:

      • Creating an inviting, inclusive atmosphere
      • Celebrating historic and unique character
      • Fostering accessible, people-centered public spaces

      Aspects of Design

      • Building façades/Historic Preservation
        • What is the condition of your building façades?
      • Bike Lanes & Public Transit
        • How can people travel to and get around in your Main Street?
      • Sidewalks & Crosswalks
        • What is the condition and uses of your sidewalks?
      • Green Spaces
        • Are your green spaces appropriately maintained?
      • Parking
        • Are you promoting your parking options?
      • Public Art
        • Is public art used to activate Main Street?
      • Lighting
      • Graffiti & Litter Removal
        • How is Main Street kept clean?
      • Signage
        • Is your downtown signage easy to read and in good condition?
      • Window Displays
        • Do your downtown businesses have attractive window displays?
    • Promotion

      Goal – Restore social value through:

      • Marketing district’s defining assets
      • Communicating unique features through storytelling
      • Supporting buy-local experience

      Aspects of Promotion

      • Attitudes and Perceptions
      • Branding and Positioning
        • Do you have consistent, strategic branding that uniquely positions your community?
      • Retail Promotions
        • Do you host or facilitate activities that highlight goods and services offered by your downtown businesses?
      • Special Events
        • Do you host strategic special events to draw in large crowds and visitors?

    View the Recording


    Other Resources

    About Presenter Kristen Lopez

    Kristen M. Lopez is Connecticut Main Street Center’s Education & Training Director. With over 11 years of experience in economic development from various roles and industries across the United States, she has always worked with adults to achieve their goals through education. Kristen is an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer alum, a StartingBloc Fellow, and Next City Vanguard Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Messiah University.

    Contact Info

    Connect with Kristen via email or phone.

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    CMSC Webinar: All About the CT Communities Challenge Grant

    CMSC Webinar

    All About the CT Communities Challenge Grant

    Webinar Summary

    DECD’s competitive CT Communities Challenge Grant Program funds multiple projects in an effort to improve communities’ livability, vibrancy, convenience, and equity, while creating new jobs in the process. DECD’s goal is to allocate up to 50% of the funds to eligible and competitive projects in distressed municipalities and create approximately 3,000 new jobs.

    In this webinar, we cover the ins -and-outs of the CT Communities Challenge Grant including:

    • Eligible uses for the funds
    • Tips for crafting a strong application
    • Application timeline & important milestone dates
    • Previous Community Challenge recipients

    This is Round 3 (the final round) of CT Communities Challenge. DECD has approximately $20 million to award in this round with a deadline of May 3, 2023 at 3:00pm.

    Presentation Highlights

    Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) can provide its members with the following assistance:


    • Pre-Application

      Recipients of these awards have projects that are “shovel ready”, so the community engagement component should be well on its way prior to application. CMSC can help with engagement strategies and tactics to make sure your downtown stakeholders have informed your application – and that the community is a true partner in the development of the project and the application.

    • Public Space Strategies

      CT Communities Challenge focuses on mixed-use, mixed-income development and the State of CT is particularly committed to investing in residential development. CMSC can help a community think through how the vertical development projects are complemented by vibrant, lively, and equitable public spaces. This is a great opportunity to bring CMSC field services staff in to help think through public space strategies.


    View the Recording


    About the Speakers

    • Allison Pincus

      Senior Economic Development Advisor, DECD

    • Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker

      Community Development Specialist, DECD

       

    Contact

    Email questions to CTCommunitiesChallenge@ct.gov

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    P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337