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Danbury Mayor becomes emotional reflecting on 10 terms in office as he prepares to depart

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton choked up while announcing that he will be resigning his position next week to become the next Commissioner of the State Department of Revenue Services.  He made the announcement during the annual Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce State of the City address.  Boughton says he will still be living on Main Street in Danbury and the City will always be his home.  He called it an honor to serve as Mayor for the past two decades.

He recapped his 20 years in office, touting some accomplishments along the way.  Boughton says Heritage Plaza outside City Hall is a place where communities can gather for flag raising ceremonies and to honor their roots.  Danbury is the 11th most diverse city in the United States.  Two of the other items he led off with were the large flagpole at West and Main Streets and the Uncle Sam statue outside the Danbury Railway Museum.

There were a lot of years to cover, all of which included a lot of infrastructure work. Boughton cited the state of the art police station, built for the future and not just for today.  There's a newly renovated firefighter training facility used by not just Danbury but also area departments.  He promoted creation of Fire Engine 26 on the West side to cut response times, the 311 City Line Call center which handles thousands of calls a month and the new Office of Economic Development.  He notes that the ribbon will be cut soon on the new animal control facility.

On the schools front, Boughton oversaw Ellsworth Avenue School, AIS Academy and the West Side Middle School coming into existence.  Danbury High School was recently overhauled with the addition of the Freshmen Academy.  Both middle schools have recently been renovated.  The groundwork has been set for the Danbury Career Academy at the site of the former Matrix building.

Boughton also promoted new parks and playgrounds, parking garages, sidewalks being redone, a recreational trail being added along Crosby Street, over 1,000 acres of open space preserved forever, and 2 dog parks, with a third coming to downtown. 

He says the two housing complexes there, Kennedy Flats and 333 Main Street, are a big boon to businesses in CityCenter.  Boughton recently looked at his first State of the City speech where he talked about the West side sewer intercept, which was needed in order to develop the area with both commercial space and housing.  He believes that's been the key to keeping Danbury's economy going.

Boughton has cut the ribbon on over 10,000 businesses in his time as Mayor, most recently a new cancer treatment center and the Amazon distribution facility.

He noted that the MTA study has been funded, with a goal of connecting the Danbury train station to Southeast and Grand Central.  He says the thriving business environment had led to Danbury being named the Best Small City to start a business in the United States.  Danbury leads the all municipalities in the state in terms of job growth.

Boughton says the City will be closing next week on a new facility for the Women's Center of Greater Danbury on Rose Hill Avenue. The polluted brownfield site was once home to a hatting factory and donated to the Women's Center.

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Todd Schnitt

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