Members of Ridgefield's Economic & Community Development Commission (ECDC) met with Connecticut state officials in Hartford on November 19th. On the agenda for ECDC commissioners John Devine, Geoffrey Morris and Amanda Duff was discussion of H.B. 6939, the "cultural districts" bill originally proposed by State Rep. John Frey which will allow municipalities to create designated cultural districts to create awareness and promote economic development; grant opportunities for Ridgefield organizations and businesses at both the state and national level; ways to increase Ridgefield's presence among state tourism initiatives, including those carried out by CT Visit; and more.
The engaging discussion included Liz Shapiro, director of arts, preservation & museums for the Connecticut Department of Economic Development; Mary Dunne, state historic preservation officer and Certified Local Government & Grants Coordinator; and Randy Fiveash, director of tourism, State of Connecticut. The meeting had many wonderful outcomes. The ECDC looks forward to working closely with the state on the implementation of the cultural district bill. The commission will continue to work with the Connecticut Office of Tourism to ensure Ridgefield maintains a steady presence in state tourism efforts and will work with local organizations on the application process for additional state and federal funding programs.
The Ridgefield ECDC is a commission of seven volunteers who are all Ridgefield residents and are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The ECDC's mission is to strengthen the economic environment for existing businesses, attract new businesses and visitors, and improve the quality of life for the entire community. The ECDC meets monthly at Town Hall, often on the first Monday of the month, and the public is welcome to attend all meetings.
Pictured left to right: Geoffrey Morris, Liz Shapiro, Mary Dunne, John Devine, Randy Fiveash, Amanda Duff