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MAYOR BRONIN STATEMENT ON STATE SENATE PASSAGE OF S.B. 528

MAYOR BRONIN STATEMENT ON STATE SENATE PASSAGE OF S.B. 528

HARTFORD, CONN (May 5, 2018) –  This evening, Mayor Luke Bronin released the statement below after the bipartisan passage of S.B. 528. 

“Over the past two years, we have worked to face a massive fiscal crisis honestly, transparently, and directly,” said Mayor Bronin. “We have made deep cuts, our labor unions have stepped up in big ways, our business community has committed to Hartford’s future, and we have embraced the ongoing and intense scrutiny of the Municipal Accountability Review Board.

“Along with those steps at the local level, the assistance agreement between the city and the State makes it possible to put our city on more stable footing, as we work toward the long-term goal of true sustainability and strength.  

“Hartford’s fiscal crisis developed over decades, and it is rooted in the fact that Hartford is a city built on the tax base of a suburb.  It will take many years of discipline, growth, and continued partnership to achieve sustainable fiscal strength for our Capital City.  

“Last week, the Municipal Accountability Review Board voted overwhelmingly to approve our five year stability plan, and I’m deeply grateful to the legislators of both parties who voted tonight to support that five year plan.  Over the next five years, our budgets remain very tough and very tight, and if dramatic reductions were to be fully implemented after five years, it’s unlikely that Hartford would be able to sustain those cuts.  

“That said, I fully understand and respect legislators’ desire to revisit the agreement after five years, and my commitment is that we will continue to work hard to earn the confidence of our the legislature and the state as a whole as we move our Capital City in the right direction. 

“I’m particularly grateful to Hartford’s Senators John Fonfara and Doug McCrory, and to Senate leadership for their work in finding  a reasonable resolution, and for recognizing that stability is vitally necessary for growth.”

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MAYOR BRONIN, COMMUNITY MEMBERS KICK OFF HOMESTEAD DEMOLITION

MAYOR BRONIN, COMMUNITY MEMBERS KICK OFF HOMESTEAD DEMOLITION

HARTFORD, CONN (May 3, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin and community members kicked off the demolition of three prominent large, vacant, and blighted industrial properties on Homestead Avenue covering 3.5 acres, an essential step toward redeveloping them for productive use.  The oldest building is approximately 100 years old and hasn’t been in use since the end of the last century.  All of the properties need significant environmental remediation before they can be repurposed.  The remediation and demolition costs are covered by a $200,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant and a $2 million State Department of Economic and Community Development grant.

“We’re tackling blighted properties big and small, and this is a really big one,” said Mayor Bronin. “These buildings have been vacant and blighted for decades, and they’re on a very important avenue in Hartford. Our goal isn’t just to take these blighted buildings down, our goal is to clear the way for new development that brings jobs back to Homestead and the Upper Albany corridor, and we’re going to keep working hard to do that.”

“Properties that have been vacant for decades cause blight, drain local resources, and negatively impact our unified efforts to improve communities and grow jobs for area residents,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “By making smart investments to renew properties such as the one here on Homestead Avenue, we can add value to our neighborhoods, spur growth, and increase private investments.  I am glad that the state could partner with Mayor Bronin and the City of Hartford on redeveloping this area that has been in need for so long.”

“These properties have been an eyesore for residents and visitors traveling through the City of Hartford for far too long,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L. H. Thames.  “I applaud the efforts of the city and our partners for aggressively pursuing demolition and paving the way for redevelopment of these parcels.  This is a tremendous opportunity to activate a main artery in the adjacent neighborhoods of Asylum Hill, Clay Arsenal, and Upper Albany.”

The property at 367 Homestead Avenue, built in the early twentieth century, was the site of the Philbrick-Booth & Spencer Company, which operated as a metal factory until 1999.

The current building at 393 Homestead Avenue was constructed in 1930 by what was then known as Empire Hartford, a company that produced glassware.  Later, the space was used by several companies in the automobile industry.  From 1990 to 1999, Philbrick-Booth & Spencer used the property as a storage facility for equipment and waste.

The third property at 424 Homestead Avenue, built in the 1940’s, was a sales and service center for Clayton Motors until 1972.  It also served as a repair shop for Earl Scheib Paint & Body.  Most recently, the building briefly served as the home of Hartford Modern School of Welding, and then became a vocational school for auto repair.

The City has identified more than a dozen environmental hazards at 367 and 393 Homestead Avenue, including contaminated building materials and soil, and groundwater contaminated with petroleum compounds and metals.  Based on its history, 424 Homestead Avenue is likely to have similar environmental hazards. 

Going forward, the City plans to abate PCBs and asbestos from all three parcels, remove abandoned oil tanks from 393 and 424 Homestead Avenue, complete demolition of all the structures, and complete basic site restoration in preparation for future redevelopment.

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MAYOR BRONIN RESPONDS TO STATE REPUBLICAN BUDGET

MAYOR BRONIN RESPONDS TO STATE REPUBLICAN BUDGET

HARTFORD, CONN (April 20, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin responded to the budget plan released by Republicans at the State Capitol.

“Along with deep cuts, dramatic labor concessions, and a contribution from our biggest companies, the assistance agreement reached with the State makes it possible for the city of Hartford to be solvent and stable in the near-term, as we work toward longer-term sustainability and growth,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Last fall, I sent a letter to legislative leaders saying that there were only two responsible paths to fiscal stability – bankruptcy, or a new long-term partnership with the State.  I also said that the worst, most irresponsible thing we could possibly do is to keep the city afloat for two years without building a long-term solution – because while the bankruptcy of the Capital City would be bad for Connecticut, keeping the Capital City in permanent crisis would be worse.  There should be no confusion about the fact that, if the State were to roll back the assistance included in last year’s budget, Hartford would be back in the same position of insolvency and crisis.  This should not be a partisan issue.  You cannot run a city with the tax base of a suburb, and we will not grow Connecticut without building stable, strong cities.  You cannot talk about wanting to keep young people in Connecticut, wanting to attract jobs and investment, wanting to promote economic growth, and at the same time propose budgets that would devastate your largest job center and your Capital City – right at the moment when it’s beginning to experience a revitalization.” 

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