Bond Commission approves projects worth $795 M
In what might be Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s last meeting presiding over the State Bond Commission, the Democrat-dominated panel approved about $795 million in capital projects, from brownfield cleanups, to school safety and open space acquisition, along with millions for local projects around Connecticut.
Included was $60 million to design and build a new 1,000-space parking garage near the Stamford train station, taking the place of a since-abandoned plan for a larger-scale public-private development.
“We have a crisis in terms of timing for the removal of the old garage,” said James Redeker, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, adding that the project is about one-tenth finished. “We have a lot of work to get it to final design. This is literally between the railroad and (Interstate)-95, in a very very tight spot. It’s a very very challenging place to construct.”
“We’ll continue to own the property that this current garage is on, which is just steps from the station,” Malloy told the commission. The project includes a pedestrian connection to the garage; and the demolition of the existing garage, and a new 500,000-square-foot building, under construction to become the new home of Charter Communications.
The panel also approved $200 million in school construction funding and $10 million for the state’s competitive-grant program to reimburse towns and cities for hardening security systems around and in public schools, including security cameras and the installation of metal detectors.
“Since taking office I have always maintained that if we want to compete for jobs and economic opportunities we need to invest in building communities where people want to live and businesses want to grow,” Malloy said after the commission meeting. “It’s a holistic approach to job creation and economic development. It’s about housing. It’s about transportation, it’s about education, and many other strengths that makes Connecticut a great place.”
Malloy said the panel’s meeting will be its last until at least the Nov. 6 election and possibly his last before leaving office in January. “Investing in our communities is a core component of forward-thinking economic-development efforts,” he said.
The commission also approved:
$12 million for Metro-North stations to install new fiber-optic systems for better public address systems; and LED display signs, and security cameras.
$10 million for the reconstruction of the New Haven Public Works facility.
$10 million for brownfield remediation projects in the state.
$10 million for the creation of affordable housing units.
$8.8 million extend four more years of support for Aer Lingus to continue cross-Atlantic flights from Bradley International Airport.
$5.5 million for the purchase of a parcel in the Yale West section of Orange.
$5.5 million for the Crescent Crossing project in Bridgeport, replacing the former Marina Village.
$5 million, on top of $15 million previously allocated for Synchrony Bank in Stamford.
$5 million to the Stamford-based Gartner, Inc. market-research firm, to expand its headquarters in the South End, retaining 1,385 jobs and creating 400 new jobs.
$5 million for open space acquisition; plus $5 million for the statewide asbestos-removal program.
$5 million to upgrade the electric, heating and safety systems in the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk.
$4.3 million for Bridgeport projects, including $1.2 million to cap the Seaside Park landfill; $1.5 million for exterior renovations to historic McLevy Hall; and $1.6 million to demolish the long-broken Pleasure Beach Bridge.
$4 million for preliminary improvements to Interstate-95 between Exit 19 in Fairfield and Exit 27A in Bridgeport.
$3 million for the Greater Danbury Community Health Center.
$2.3 million for the repair and replacement of sidewalks in New Haven.
$1.5 million to dredge a channel adjacent to Cove Island Park in Stamford.
$1 million to rehabilitate the historic Curtiss Hanger off of Main Street in Stratford, at the Sikorsky Memorial Airport.
$1 million to replace the roof of the historic Warner Theater in Torrington, through the Northwestern Connecticut Association for the Arts.
$650,000 for the Stratfield Village Business District in Fairfield.
$650,000 to Operation Hope, Inc. for the acquisition and renovation of four affordable housing units on Durrell Drive in Fairfield.
$500,000 for the Common Ground Charter High School, so the New Haven-based school can repay debts.
$370,000 to repair to repair the historic reproduction of the Amistad slave ship.