The City Council approved a recommendation from the Ordinance Committee to change the name of the Bristol Development Authority to the Economic and Community Development Department.
“Since the department is not an authority or an agency and is involved with more than the development of businesses within the City, it was recommended that the name be changed to better align with other City department names,” stated Justin Malley, the city’s Economic Development Director.
“The name change to Economic and Community Development will more clearly define the changing role of the Bristol Development Authority. Having been a commissioner for over 40 years I have seen significant change in the scope and focus of the many activities of this Board. We now focus on both the business growth of Bristol and our socio economic programs that benefit the quality of life for our residents. Our grant programs have expanded to include work force development, residential housing rehabilitation, social service agencies as well as support of business expansions, relocations, new construction, and creative financing opportunities to mention just a few. Quality of life programs and creative business development tools have greatly added to the flexibility and creativity needed to continue a solid growth in attracting both new businesses and residents while supporting programs that benefit current residents and businesses," stated Howard Schmelder, Vice Chair, Bristol Development Authority
“The new name will better reflect the department’s responsibilities to create an environment that is supportive of economic development to create a vibrant economy which benefits businesses, organizations, and residents in the Bristol community,” stated Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu who asked for the change. “It also acknowledges the role the department plays with community development through the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) program and our All-Heart marketing emphasis.”
The name change will take effect at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 4:30 pm, in the First Floor Meeting Room at City Hall where the City Clerk will publish the proposed amendments to the Code of Ordinance as required by the City Charter.
History of the Bristol Development Authority
The City created the Bristol Redevelopment Agency in 1958 as the agency charged with urban renewal. In 1982 it became the Bristol Development Authority because redevelopment was completed reflecting the department’s responsibilities to sustain current development and encourage new development at that time.