Sen. Linares Applauds State Funding for Clinton, Deep River, Westbrook [Middletown Press]

August 5, 2013

Article as it appeared in the Middletown Press

Deep River getting STEAP grant for Plattwood Park

HARTFORD >> Seventeen small towns throughout Connecticut, including Deep River, are being awarded grants under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program to be utilized for certain capital improvement projects, such as road maintenance, public works upgrades, public safety improvements and other municipal service projects.

The towns announced Thursday also include Bethel, Canaan, Canterbury, Clinton, Colebrook, Darien, Ellington, Glastonbury, Litchfield, Montville, North Canaan, Salisbury, Seymour, Sherman, Wallingford and Westbrook, according to a statement from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Deep River is getting $400,000 for improvements to Plattwood Park, the town’s major recreation center. The project includes an ADA-compliant pavilion, bathrooms and associated facilities; ADA-compliant recreation areas for the handicapped; sports fields and a walking trail.

“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of STEAP grants to our town,” Deep River First Selectman Richard Smith said. “The funding enhances our quality of life — not only for the residents of Deep River, but for visitors from out of town who will continue to be welcome to share our park.” Out-of-town guests are drawn here not just for swimming and picnics, but they also come to shop and are an important component of the burgeoning retail sector’s continuing growth, Smith said.
“The project itself will maintain and create employment, while the purchase of materials will benefit not only the local economy, but will strengthen the economic foundation of our entire state,” he said.

Plattwood Park has provided Deep River residents with exceptional recreational opportunities, including basketball, skateboarding, fishing and other outdoor activities, state Sen. Art Linares said.

“This funding will allow for numerous improvements to the park’s infrastructure, including a pavilion, bathrooms, ADA-compliant recreation areas, a sports field and a walking trail,” he said. “Once completed, our community will benefit from this new and significant resource.”

STEAP grants give us the opportunity to invest in quality of life improvements in small towns across the state, Malloy said.

“Projects like road and bridge enhancements and improvements to public spaces and historic places make our small towns better places to live and work,” Malloy said. “These STEAP grants will assist small towns in completing important capital projects that otherwise may never get financed.”

Today’s announcements are the second round of this year’s STEAP grants – a previous round of grants was announced last month.
“These grants are an important and effective way for the state to help our small towns improve so many aspects of their communities,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said. “As towns face enormous pressure to limit spending in their municipal budgets, these funds are critical to upgrade both infrastructure and quality of life for their residents.”

Clinton is getting $500,000 for streetscape improvements including sidewalks, signage, lighting, landscaping for the downtown business district area, and the burial of some utility lines. The project will benefit 25 local businesses by making the area, which has not been upgraded in three decades, more attractive and pedestrian friendly.

Westbrook is getting $500,000 for phase II of the Town Center Enhancement Project, which includes the design and construction of a municipal parking lot and relocating Knothe Road. This is the final phase of the project and is a part of a comprehensive plan to enhance the economic and social value of the town center by creating a compact, walkable, transit-oriented village center.