Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury and Hartford all face mounting debt, pension and OPEB liabilities, coupled with high taxes, high rates of poverty and declining services, according to a forth-coming study entitled Connecticut's Broken Cities. However, Stamford remains the one major Connecticut city that does not qualify as a “distressed municipality.”
Faced with mounting retiree healthcare costs, Connecticut towns are making changes to get out of the healthcare business altogether. Matt Gallagan, town manager of South Windsor, said they no longer provide health benefits for retirees. Instead retirees can purchase a health plan through the town. South Windsor is one of several towns and cities that have moved away from providing long-term health benefits for their retirees.
It typically takes a couple of years to get a dog park up and running, but Maria believes that barring any unforeseen challenges the Weston dog park will be ready in 2017, about a year after the project launched – an ambitious timeframe she attributes to the helpfulness of local town officials. “I believe they want the park,” Maria said, adding that she understands the dog park is one more thing on their already-busy plates.
One of nominees for the Yankee Institute’s 2016 Unsung Hero Award, Alex worked with a fellow Wilton resident to form “Sensible Wilton” in the summer of 2014. Sensible Wilton’s goal was to stop a renovation of the Miller-Driscoll school that started as a $3 million facelift but ballooned into a $50 million teardown and reconstruction project.
The city of Danbury has been experiencing a renaissance in the past few years, which has the city moving in the opposite direction as the rest of the state. Although Connecticut has been experiencing a net loss of population, Danbury has increased its population by 8 percent since 2000; while Connecticut’s credit rating has decreased, Danbury recently earned a AAA rating; Connecticut’s state employee pension system is among the most underfunded in the nation, while Danbury’s is nearly fully funded into the foreseeable future.
The Securities and Exchange Commission censured the town of Fairfield last month for failing to file timely financial reports and disclose that information in their bond offering documents. Fairfield told investors that it had only been late on its 2009 and 2010 reports. According to the SEC, “this was materially misleading because Respondent filed its fiscal 2006, 2007, and 2008 audited financial statements by 1,384, 1,017, and 652 days late, respectively.” The SEC goes on to say that the Town of Fairfield “knew or should have known that this statement was untrue.”