Durham Awarded State Grant to Mitigate Flooding of Allyn Brook

July 18, 2013

State Senator Len Fasano (R-34) along with state representatives Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) and Vincent Candelora (R-86) today announced that the town of Durham has been awarded a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant from the state of Connecticut to repair and expand a culvert at Pickett Lane to mitigate flooding of the Allyn Brook. This is an especially important project to the Town of Durham because Pickett Lane is the access road serving Coginchaug Regional High School (CRHS) and the Francis Korn Elementary School. CRHS is used for the town’s emergency shelter which was activated several times in the recent past servicing hundreds of people from the towns of Durham and Middlefield.

“When Representative Candelora, Representative Kokoruda and I were first elected in November to represent the people of, we were immediately made aware of the frustration felt by residents with the state’s failure to grant funding to complete this important project,” State Senator Len Fasano (R-East Haven, North Haven, Durham, Wallingford). “We made it a priority of ours and brought it to the attention of the governor’s office. This project will move ahead thanks to the administration’s efforts – particularly the governor’s chief of staff, Mark Ojakian – and the persistent dedicated advocacy of Durham’s first selectman, Laura Francis.”

The replacement and expansion of the Pickett Lane culvert was recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after significant flooding occurred in 2008, but requests for funding made by the Town of Durham and its legislative delegation were rejected in 2011 and 2012.

This year, redistricting brought a new legislative delegation to Durham. Representative Kokoruda, who is serving her first full term in the legislature, was joined by Senator Fasano and Representative Candelora – both who serve as the second highest ranking Republicans in their respective chambers – and the grant was approved.

“This grant is a critical investment in a project that is long overdue,” State Representative Vincent Candelora (R-Durham, Guilford, North Branford, Wallingford) said. “As a new representative for the Town of Durham, I am so pleased that we were able to quickly facilitate the awarding of this grant that will improve the infrastructure and fix the persistent flooding problems on Pickett Lane.”

“This is great news for Durham. I’m delighted that the state recognizes the importance of fixing this long term problem,” State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-Durham, Madison) said.

The legislators worked with First Selectwoman Francis and the governor’s office to secure the necessary funds to allow CTDEEP and the Army Corps of Engineers to finish the project.

“I am very grateful for the support of Senator Fasano and Representatives Candelora and Kokoruda,” Durham First Selectman Laura L. Francis said. “They took the time to get to know our priorities and worked closely with the Governor’s office to get the grant approved. Our new delegation has proven that they are looking out for the best interests of the Town of Durham.”

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