Letter: SEDC annual meeting shows Shelton’s continued economic growth

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

The Shelton Economic Development Commission (SEDC) held its annual meeting virtually on Jan. 11, 2022.

Before SEDC President Paul Grimmer made his annual report, the prestigious 2022 Ray Lavietes Award was presented to Janice Sheehy of Webster Bank. She was lauded for her many years of selfless giving and generous support of time and treasures to the SEDC and many other Valley not-for-profit organizations. Janice accepted the award graciously and said she was very humbled to be chosen.

She thanked the SEDC for the honor, noting there were still several past recipients of the award still on the SEDC board. She also joked that she was 5 years old when she began her professional banking career when it was revealed she had been participating in Naugatuck Valley charities and programs for more than 40 years.

The SEDC is tasked with securing financial support and coordinating DEEP and EPA cleanup efforts of properties in Shelton. Downtown Shelton was at one time a mecca for several large manufacturing behemoths that polluted the properties, grounds surrounding them, and water supplies under and around the buildings.

The buildings themselves contained materials that are now considered contaminants today and have had to also be abated. The area designated as the Shelton War Memorial Park was, at one time, the site of the Sponge Rubber Plant, the largest employer in the Valley. It was removed, capped and rehabilitated after it was fire bombed in March of 1975. More than 900 families lost their sole income in a matter of hours.

Along with the Mayor, Board of Alderman, P&Z Commission and Inland Wetlands, SEDC has successfully assisted in putting many properties back onto the tax rolls. This, along with the more than $104 million of private investment in downtown, has enormously increased our Grand List and the city receives more than an additional $4 million in revenue annually. This amount will increase each year as more and more properties are able to be rehabbed and occupied.

The success in downtown has a positive effect throughout Shelton. More restaurant venues are available, including the newly opened Pier 131. More eateries are scheduled to open shortly while the living spaces above the ground floor businesses are fully rented, adding more foot traffic to and from many businesses.

The SEDC report was a very positive one for Shelton, and even after two years of disruption by pandemic strife the SEDC has moved forward to keep projects on schedule and within budget to the betterment of the downtown area and increasing our tax rolls.

It would not be possible to accomplish the above without the many Shelton residents who volunteer their expertise and a great amount of personal time to the SEDC, our many municipal boards and commissions and Aleta Miner, Assistant to the SEDC President. Our thanks to one and all of them.

Anthony Simonetti

First Ward Alderman