'Plan Bridgeport' seeks public input on city's future

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BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport leaders are asking for the public's help in shaping what the city will look like a decade from now.

Mayor Joe Ganim has launched "Plan Bridgeport," a 10-year master plan that the city is creating. The state requires all cities to submit one.

For the rest of the summer, planners want to hear what the public thinks about everything from major development projects on the waterfront to downtown apartments and nightlife to neighborhood parks and libraries.

City leaders admit that until now, redeveloping Bridgeport has been a challenge because they didn't have a clear plan.

"We have to have clear vision," says Lynn Haig, the city's planning director. "I'm not sure that we've had clear vision on how we want to grow, what we want to be, in the future."

Some people tell News 12 that they won't move to Bridgeport for reasons that include crime, schools and high taxes.

"Those projects we're talking about build tax base growth," says Mayor Ganim. "So if PSEG pays us $10 million more in taxes, it helps to stabilize and maybe even reduce taxes for residential homeowners."

The city does have lower rents, however, which leaders think gives them an edge over places like Stamford, which has seen considerable gentrification and a skyrocketing cost of living.

The city is holding neighborhood Plan Bridgeport meetings all summer. People can also give their input on Twitter and Facebook.

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