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I agree with Alderwoman Ellis-West, my colleague from the 12th Ward, that this is a momentous occasion.  I can sort of look forward into the future, and maybe we don’t get the chance to do this often enough, but I think about this project and I think, we do this project at the Coliseum site and on the Macy’s and Malley’s sites and we go beyond it, and we transform the area going down towards the rail yards.  With the I-95 construction, we transform the way we look down at the Harbor.  I just imagine this transformation of our city -  from downtown right to the water’s edge – that’s thriving, that’s alive all times of the day and night.  It encourages the arts and good business.  It provides for people to live of all different kinds of shapes and sizes, with kids and those empty nesters and people who work in our city. Maybe I’m not as articulate as I’d like, because I really am just moved by the opportunity to get to participate in this.  I feel blessed, and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Alderwoman Castro: “I also stand to support this item that is in front of us.  It is a pleasure and an honor, being a graduate from Gateway Community College, to know that we’re bringing it downtown as the Committee of the Whole.

With all the development that is going on all around the city, I’ve always had a question in mind that all communities would have the opportunity to be part of a vibrant city, and be able to participate in the economic development of the city.  Therefore, this is a fine example of how we can do it together, and that it works for everyone.  I stand in support of the Gateway move to downtown and urge that all my colleagues will also.”

Note: Alderwoman McCormack abstained from voting on this item.

Committee of the Whole. Favorable. From the Mayor, submitting amendments to the FY 2005 Capital Budget for the Macy’s Building Demolition Project (Coliseum Portion).  

The favorable report of the Committee of the Whole recommending passage of the proposed ordinance amendment, as printed on pages 104-106 of the Journal of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Aldermen held on February 7, 2005, was read for the second time.

Alderwoman Chen:  “I just wanted to make a few comments about the overall plan, because I don’t really know at what point would be a good point to make comments about the overall plan.”

President Perez:   “That was at the last item.  The only thing you can discuss now is the demolition of the Coliseum.”

Alderwoman Chen:  “My concern with the Coliseum mainly comes from the question of who will this project benefit?  When I asked my constituents and the people in the City of New Haven what their needs are, I don’t see the convention center or a conference center really fulfilling the needs of my constituents and other people in the City of New Haven.  

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