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Our mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities.
Happy Holidays to All
It's hard to believe yet another year is drawing to a close. We'd like to take this time to thank you for your continued support of CMSC and all of Connecticut's downtowns, and we hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends. We look forward to working with you for a fruitful 2017!

There's been a lot of activity at CMSC recently. Here's a quick recap of the latest news and activities:
  • CMSC President & CEO John Simone announced his retirement, effective August 2017. Read the announcement  
  • CMSC Board member Shelly Saczynski was awarded the 2016 Kenneth L. Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS). The award is presented to an individual "whose career has greatly contributed to the advancement of the Connecticut economy." Click for more.
  • Shelly is also retiring from her post at UIL, where she has served since 2001. She will continue to serve on the CMSC Board during her retirement, and while we wish her the best on her new endeavors, we're delighted she will continue to support CMSC as a valued member of the Board. Read about Shelly's accomplishments.
  • Photo Credit: Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.
    CMSC's Susan Westa was part of a team recognized with a CT Chapter of the American Planning Association (CCAPA) Award for the
    Eastern Highlands Health District for its Plan For Health web toolkit.
  • CMSC's interns, Lydia Chen and Paris Hanon-Bogosh concluded their work with a final presentation of their research to CMSC staff. We wish them the best of luck in their Spring semester and a relaxing winter break!
  • CMSC is showcasing our member communities with a photo exhibit at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) throughout the month of December. Legislators and visitors will be treated to 125 feet of beautiful photos showcasing our downtowns as they walk along the concourse between the Capitol and LOB.
Windsor Locks Approves CT's First TIF District
In mid-November, Windsor Locks became the first municipality in the State to approve establishing a Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF District), taking advantage of the 2015 law, which is designed to help municipalities revitalize their downtown commercial areas. In general, TIFs allows municipalities to take advantage of future monies for present purposes.

The Windsor Locks TIF District will encompass the abandoned Montgomery Mill building on Main Street. Plans were recently approved for Boston-based developers Beacon Communities to invest $64 million to convert the building into 164 upscale one and two bedroom apartments, and cited the TIF District as contributing to their confidence in the development.

Click here to learn more about Windsor Locks' TIF District & Master Plan.
Historic Tax Credits Reach Cap
Those seeking Historic Tax Credits should be advised that the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program has reached the annual cap of $31.7 million with which to make tax credit reservations for the remainder of the current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2017). The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has prepared a plan to move the program forward. Click for more information.  
Re-Mains of the Day  
Mansfield Downtown Partnership Seeks Marketing Consultant
The Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. is seeking to obtain the services of a qualified Consultant who will work with staff, the Partnership Board of Directors, and key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive positioning and marketing plan for both Downtown Storrs and the Mansfield Downtown Partnership organization.  See the full Request for Qualifications

Save the Date for CMSC Main Street Overview Webinar - Mark your calendar for January 18th, when CMSC's Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker hosts a webinar introducing the CT Main Street Program and the Main Street Approach to Downtown Revitalization. Whether you're new to Main Street or just need a refresher, this webinar will provide you with valuable information on the Main Street program.

▪ National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express Announce Partners in Preservation - Partners in Preservation: Main Streets for 2017 is a new Partners in Preservation campaign building on Main Street America's decades of success in partnering to advance community-based preservation across the country. While the rules of the campaign are still being finalized, American Express will be providing $2 million in funding for preservation projects in 20 main streets across the country, and there will be a public voting process to determine which main streets receive the funding. The project will launch Fall 2017.

CT Council for Philanthropy Offering Free Program - The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is presenting  Being Grounded in Philanthropy, a free program geared towards Connecticut state and municipal elected officials and their staff, state agencies and economic development professionals. The program will teach participants about how philanthropy works with the public sector.

Creative Placemaking Guide Available - The National Endowment for the Arts has published How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA's creative placemaking program. It's intended to be a primer for those interested in bringing the arts to the community development table as a tool - along with housing, transportation, public health and other sectors - to advance revitalization efforts.  
Spotlight on 2016 Awards of Excellence
2016 Award of Excellence for Events & Programming,  
Holiday Window Display Competition, Downtown Waterbury   
to Main Street Waterbury
Main Street Waterbury's goal was to harness the spirit of the holiday season and foster an environment of cheer and friendly competition among shop owners in the Main Street district.  

The harsh wind and cold of winter can serve as a bleak backdrop to the brick and concrete buildings that populate downtown. But by encouraging store owners to decorate their front windows with holiday scenes and displays, Main Street Waterbury's program helps transform downtown into a cluster of streets that look like they belong in a Norman Rockwell painting, creating a sense of community among the merchants and a cheerful respite for holiday shoppers.

Connecticut Main Street Center