Winchester, CT residents to discuss economic development, fiscal health at workshop next week

Main Street/Downtown Winchester. Photo by the Town of Winchester.

Next week Smart Growth America is headed to Winchester, Connecticut to talk with residents and town officials about how the city can revitalize its downtown and attract economic growth.

“The redevelopment of Winsted has been a historic struggle,” says Winchester Town Manager Dale Martin. “Although several efforts have been taken to envision a revitalized downtown, those well-intentioned attempts failed to revitalize the commercial center as hoped. With the economic upheaval of the past several years, many of the foundations upon which those earlier studies were based have been undermined. The interest and experience of Smart Growth America presents an exciting opportunity to re-shape the future of Winsted, using principles and techniques that have been proven successful elsewhere.”

In November 2012, Winchester was one of 22 communities nationwide selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from Maine to Washington State, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.

Members of the general public are invited to join the workshop’s first day, which will be held at Whiting Mills (210 Holabird Ave, Winsted, CT) from 6-8 PM on February 20, 2013.

“Smart Growth America is committed to providing the tools and training to help community leaders keep their cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” said Roger Millar, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “Winchester is poised to overcome its economic development and fiscal challenges. They’ve already done a lot of the work, studying and analyzing what could make a difference. The next step is to act, putting smart growth and better development strategies to work for residents. Everyone who lives, works and plays in Winchester stands to benefit if the community can develop a concise strategy for moving forward.”

The is workshop is made possible through a Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, which seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Three other nonprofit organizations — Forterra, Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces — also received competitively awarded grants under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

Workshop Materials

Technical assistance