May 30, 2002

State Senator Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, said today that under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP), five towns in northeastern Connecticut would be receiving funding for capital improvements. According to Sen. Guglielmo, over $2 million in funding has been allocated to municipalities for economic development projects. These projects include improvements to public safety facilities, parks and recreation facilities, public works structures and senior housing developments.

“Not to take anything away from the big cities, but small towns in Connecticut have needs too,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “The funding for these projects has a direct effect on each community. Utility enhancements, fire stations and programs for seniors can be difficult for smaller municipalities to afford, but these projects are critical for the well being of each community, so this is a worthwhile investment of state funds and great news for these small towns.”

The following are the list of towns and the funding they will receive through the STEAP grant initiative:

* Ashford – $500,000 for the Replacement of the Town Volunteer Fire Department’s main station house.

* Chaplin – $500,000 for the construction of a new firehouse.

* Pomfret – $20,000 for a new playground

* Tolland – $485,000 for water utility enhancements to Tolland Business Park.

* Willington – $500,000 for the Senior Center.

According to Sen. Guglielmo, final approval of the STEAP grants will come at tomorrow’s meeting of the State Bond Commission. The STEAP grant initiative, which is was established in 2001 by the legislature, is overseen by Governor John G. Rowland and provides over $20 million annually to small towns to fund economic development and improvement programs.

“These grants have been made possible through the leadership of Governor Rowland. What cannot be lost in the allocations is the fact that even in these times of economic uncertainty, the state maintains its commitment to our small towns.”