$300,000 for Newtown’s Fairfield Hills Project

May 28, 2008

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the town of Newtown will receive a $300,000 state grant to help plan and build the Fairfield Hills economic development project.

The funds are being awarded through the Connecticut Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP). STEAP provides financial assistance for projects that encourage economic development and preserve the character of the state’s less-populated towns.

Newtown will combine the grant with $500,000 raised through a municipal bond issue to cover the $800,000 project cost.

“I am very much looking forward to the transformation of the former Fairfield Hills Hospital property and the economic growth it is expected to bring,” Governor Rell said. “Local leaders are doing their best to move ahead with this project in a way that will reap the maximum benefits for residents without drastically changing community life.”

“I have always felt conservation and environmental issues are among the most important matters we consider as a Legislature,” said state Representative Julia Wasserman (R-106). “I am proud of the thoughtful and conscientious way both the state and the community are approaching the project, including the priority placed on preserving a large portion of the property as open space. It is a wonderful legacy for Newtown – an economic boost and an environmental success story at the same time.”

State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R-112) added: “The Fairfield Hills project can make a world of difference for Newtown and I am very pleased with this new funding. It is further proof of our commitment to the principles of ‘smart growth’ and should add to the excitement about the town’s plans for the future.”

“With the STEAP grants, we can not only promote the job growth and business growth our state needs and deserves, we can do it in a way that is sensitive to the community and respectful of our taxpayers,” said state Senator John McKinney (R-28). “These are wise investments and should bring handsome returns.”

More than $19.7 million in STEAP funds for 72 towns were proposed for approval on the Bond Commission agenda Friday. The funds will enable 83 projects across the state to move forward.