OPINION: Revitalizing Meriden

OPINION: Revitalizing Meriden



I have been a proud Meriden resident for 20 years. I am a married father of four, a grandfather of three wonderful boys and since 2012, I have proudly represented Area 1 on the Meriden City Council.

I believe in the vision of revitalizing our city and supporting projects that bring positive change to Meriden is my mission. In the past, the downtown district unfortunately suffered slow growth due to recurring, costly flooding and a decline of the manufacturing industry. During my tenure on the City Council, we successfully completed the award-winning Meriden Green flood control project and are now watching other former manufacturing sites come back to life. I am so proud of our innovative efforts to reduce flooding risks, while at the same time creating value to our downtown by transforming a former flood zone into a walkable entertainment and beautification space.

As the chairman of the Finance Committee, I strongly supported the approval of major private development projects in downtown Meriden. These private investments, valued at over $100 million, include 295 new housing units, new commercial locations, and new public parking spaces. Along with this effort, we are demolishing an area of distressed public housing that had long ago outlived its useful life and value. The City Council has also approved the private development of several city-owned properties, including a former hospital site at 116 Cook Avenue with plans to be transformed into a medical office space and additional market rate housing units. These private developments are not only providing additional rental inventory for Meriden’s growing workforce, but this growth also proves that public-private partnerships can and do work. Best of all, these projects will result in an expansion of our Grand List and new tax revenue for our city. These plans are creative and innovative and will be continued under Democratic leadership.

A small business owner and former Board Member of the Midstate Chamber of Commerce myself, I have had the opportunity to work and develop personal relationships with many downtown business owners. Businesses and restaurants, such as CTown, Wepa Art Bar, Shield Driving School, Banana Brazil, Nina’s Cafe, Ebenezer Restaurant, Silver City Ballroom, La Poblanita Grocery, Genesis Hair Salon and others have been key partners in our downtown revitalization plans. These businesses have taken advantage of the resources available for small businesses and the City of Meriden proudly offers assistance with such programs to help businesses flourish and be successful.

As a member of the Human Services Committee on the Meriden City Council, I will continue to strongly advocate for education, public safety, seniors, veterans, and nonprofit organizations that bring so much value to our community. Meriden is heading toward our vision of being a thriving, vibrant city that we can be proud of for many years to come. I am proud to have helped make those strides forward and I am eager to continue that important work, representing Area 1 on the Meriden City Council for the next four years.

Democratic incumbent Miguel Castro is a Meriden city councilor representing Area 1.

 


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