Wishin’ For Dusty’s Voice

Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms

Don’t ya just love that little number by Dusty Springfield, one of Mayor Bill Finch’s favorite songbirds? I’ve gotta think he’s been humming a few bars, especially when you’re asking the feds for a cool $one billion in infrastructure improvements. You know what I say: why the hell not! Pile it on, baby. And pop open a bottle of your favorite bubbly. It’s New Year’s Eve. Time to wish and hope and pray and whatever it is you do over a bottle of something or another.

Are you going out tonight? Or will you do as I am, staying home because there’s too many amateurs out there. Truth be told, Ms. Mo has hospital duty so we’ll hunker down.

Meanwhile, have a happy and see all the stuff on the mayor’s New Year’s wish list below. Wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ and …

City’s Infrastructure Requests Tally $1 Billion
Congress Street Bridge, SteelPoint Top List

BRIDGEPORT, CT (December 30, 2008) – Using the broken Congress Street Bridge as a backdrop, Mayor Bill Finch today announced that Bridgeport is seeking $1 billion dollars in federal infrastructure stimulus funding. The list includes 128 projects estimated to create at least 11,375 jobs.

The requests have been sent to the Obama administration, U.S. Senators Dodd and Lieberman, U.S. Congressman-elect Jim Himes and to Governor Rell. The list focuses primarily on infrastructure work that has been stalled or neglected. The most visible of the 128 projects is the Congress Street bridge, which has been stuck in the open position for nearly 10 years awaiting funding to renovate the structure.

“This is a bold request, a big list. But rightfully so, since Bridgeport is the biggest city in the state and it has the biggest need,” said Mayor Finch. “One of the first things I did when I took office was to fund the completion of the design work for this bridge – but it’s going to take $50 million dollars to replace it, and reconnect the city’s downtown to the East Side.”

“I applaud the Mayor’s forward-looking requests that will create jobs, stimulate growth and provided much needed stimulus to Bridgeport. I am meeting with the Governor tomorrow to develop a list of stimulus priorities for Connecticut and will strongly urge her to consider the needs of Bridgeport and Southwest Connecticut at the top of this priority list,” said Congressman-elect Jim Himes, D-4.

“This is the City’s time to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use federal funds to help grow our tax base, reinvigorate our downtown, invest in technology – such as citywide broadband, make our public facilities more efficient and environmentally sound, and make major investments in public safety,” said Mayor Finch.

In addition to funding for the Congress Street bridge, highlights of the city’s list include:

Sewer separation project – estimated at $59 million and providing more than 700 jobs. Separating the sewers will enable city to avoid more costly legal action, increase capacity for development, and help cut down on pollution to Long Island Sound.

Citywide broadband – estimated at $20 million and 44 jobs. A citywide broadband will help the City lower costs for data transfer, telephone hookups, etc., increase efficiency, and potentially help the city bridge the digital divide.

SteelPoint – estimated at $58 million and nearly 700 jobs. These funds will help pay for work on the bulkhead and shoreline replacement, as well as necessary street and utility work.

Government Center – estimated at $100 million, generating 600 jobs. Currently, City offices are spread out over 7 buildings encompassing more than 600,000 square feet of old, inefficient office space. Consolidation would save the City approximately $32 million in the first year alone.

Attachment: Complete List of City of Bridgeport Infrastructure Requests



  1. Here’s our New Year’s Eve celebration, one Lennie would love: We make a big pot of sausage and peppers, salad, garlic bread, antipasto, the works, open a bottle of red and watch the re-edited Godfather epic, which puts I and II in chronological order. At midnight we hit the back deck and listen to the celebratory small arms fire from P.T.! Why watch the ball drop when you can hear the lead fly? Only in Bridgeport!

  2. *** To dream the impossible dream, to promise the unthinkable cuts, it seems that the wish list gets bigger; meanwhile all the laid-off workers in the cold have to shiver! To dream the impossible dream! *** From the old to the new, it’s still the same B/S, “Bpt. Holiday Blues”! *** Safe & Happy New Year to all & to all, “Good Night”! ***

  3. If you like Dusty Springfield, you’re a-gonna love Shelby Lynne:

    www .amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN

    prediction: OIB bloggers will rule in 2009 as world leaders come to recognize the “pillar of opinion” that IS OIB. Just like Oprah, we can make/break anyone’s career or product. 2009 will see this blog’s readership explode as its writers sway and control an increasingly large audience posing a worthy risk to magazines and newspapers.

    Pass the grog (hiccup) and HAPPY NEW YEAR to writers and lurkers alike!

  4. That’s quite a New Year’s wish list for the city … but let me add two of my own:

    In 2009, Mayor Finch gets at least half the funds he’s requested for Bridgeport’s priority investments. Let’s be realistic. Five hundred million dollars, IF WELL SPENT, could jump-start almost any struggling enterprise!

    Second, that the Mayor has the wisdom and the courage to put people with brains, integrity, judgement … and hopefully some vision … in charge of spending it!

    That last wish is just as important as the first.

  5. Personally, the Dusty Springfield I liked best was son of a preacher man. Although I didn’t recall him singing anything while his daddy was preachin’. Well, maybe that one time out in the woods …

    Happy New Year to the people who do these postie things on this Bridgeport Blog. Back to my two boots pizza and the bottle of red wine.

  6. Good Mornin’ and happy New Year to CT’s largest city … let’s hope this is a great year and our city gets back to a place where it once was and still can be. Call me crazy but I have a lot of faith in the new Prez and our mayor and I feel once the tough decisions are made the train is gonna roll on the right tracks … lead on Mayor Finch … make Bpt great again.

  7. I hope that all city employees have a better 2009 than they did in 2008. I hope that the administration gets its act together and has a better 2009 than they did in 2008.
    To the people from Public facilities that worked New Year’s Eve plowing the streets I SAY THANK YOU for another great job of cleaning the streets. To all the city employees that worked last night and are working today Thank You.

  8. *** #5-A/Normal: Dusty Springfield is a woman not a man, so that’s why you didn’t hear her singing in the woods while it was raining; it was probably Gene!!! It’s amazing what New Year’s does to people when thinking about “out with the old & in with the new”. You sort of get another opportunity to re-write the wish list from last New Year’s, with corrected changes of course. However with this city’s admin. it’s like trying to make the spots on a leopard disappear! Wishful thinking I know, but wish in #1 hand & shit in the other & see which one appears first? “Reality”, Taxes & Death; something you don’t have to wish for! ***

  9. Nice to be on OIB in ’09. Heck, it’s a lot better than being OIBK in ’09. It appears that the sounds of gunshots that Bob Fredericks was looking forward to hear did reach his ears in ’09.

    A young man was reported to be the OnlyInBridgeportKilled in ’09 (so far) after getting shot in his vehicle. He is also the OICTK as being the first and only murder in Connecticut in ’09.

    The best part of ’09 is that I don’t have to count the years anymore after it’s gone.

  10. Note to President-elect Obama, Congress, Governors, Mayors and anyone else involved–I hope this infrastructure program doesn’t become one big pork-barrel spending spree. I hope that all of our leaders have the sense to invest in the rebuilding of our transportation infrastructure and other key infrastructure projects that promote the long-term economic vitality of our nation, states, cities and towns while creating jobs.

    I was dismayed to see pet projects on the City list although no disrespect to the groups that need the money. I understand that other cities and towns are including everything but the kitchen sink on their lists too. I hope someone (maybe Congress, hello Jim Himes) has the sense to craft the legislation in such a way that we make good investments for our future.


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