June 3, 2004

State Representative George Wilber (D-Colebrook) and State Senator Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen) are pleased to announce state aid totaling $200,000 has been set aside to contribute to the ongoing North Canaan Union Station restoration project.

The funding will assist in restoring the historic station, which was built in 1872, and was the oldest union station in continuous operation in the country before suffering extensive damage as a result of a tragic fire in October 2001.

The Connecticut Railroad Historic Association (CRHA), a not-for-profit charitable organization formed in 1964, recently purchased the station and has led the effort to secure the resources to complete the restoration work while also upgrading it to meet modern train station standards.

Rep. Wilber said: “With the approval of these important funds, the state of Connecticut has shown the rightful respect it has for the permanent imprint the North Canaan railroad has made on the history of our proud community. When the hard work of restoring this historic building is completed, the citizens of this great state will be able to fully appreciate the grandeur of this famous landmark in northwestern Connecticut.”

Sen. Roraback said: “I am delighted that the state will assist in recreating a building which lies at the heart of the town of North Canaan. It is appropriate that we should join the partnership of community leaders who are committed to rebuilding this historic depot. These funds will help achieve that goal.”

For the ultimate release of the $200,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant, the town of North Canaan must complete an application to the Department of Economic Development

The restoration project, which is at the heart of the ongoing economic revitalization project in North Canaan, aims to return the station as the community hub it was prior to the tragic fire. The CRHA is also working to refurbish restaurant and commercial space damaged in the fire.

State Representative George Wilber is serving his first term as state representative from the 63rd District. Rep. Wilber is a longtime farmer and former commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture. He is a member of the General Assembly’s Aging, Banks, Environment, and Planning and Development Committees.

Senator Andrew Roraback, who represents the 30th Senatorial District, serves as the Ranking Member on the Executive and Legislative Nominations, Government Administration and Elections, and Program Review and Investigations Committees. He is also a member of Commerce and Judiciary Committees.