Senator Kelly Pledges Support for Point Stratford Redevelopment

March 6, 2014

Hartford – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) will testify at a public hearing tomorrow in support of legislation establishing the Point Stratford Infrastructure Improvement District. Creating this special tax district would enable Stratford to begin a large-scale redevelopment project around the Stratford Army Engine Plant brownfield located on the banks of the Housatonic River.

“This is the first step in launching an expansive project to breathe life into the community, create new jobs and provide much needed tax revenue for the people of Stratford,” said Senator Kelly.

The General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 7 at 11:00 am in the Legislative Office Building room 2B to discuss Raised Bill No. 5368 An Act Establishing the Point Stratford Infrastructure Improvement District within the Town of Stratford.

Senator Kevin Kelly joined the Stratford Delegation in requesting that the Planning and Development Committee raise this bill to create a special taxing district in Stratford. The bipartisan Stratford Delegation includes Sen. Kelly, Sen. Andres Ayala, Jr. (D-23), Rep. Terry Backer (D-121), Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-120) and Rep. Lawrence Miller (R-122).

If the bill is signed into law by the General Assembly, a special tax district would be established to give Stratford access to significant financing for infrastructure development. The tax district would include 78.32 total acres in southern Stratford, inclusive of the dormant Stratford Army Engine Plant.

Currently, the Army Engine Plant is a contaminated, inoperative brownfield. The renewal plans include decontaminating the plant and transforming the area into mixed use space with both commercial and residential development.

“We envision restaurants, shops, offices and new homes that will rejuvenate a transformed waterfront,” said Senator Kelly. “The project will support significant economic development.

“Redeveloping this area will also pave a road towards job relief for our local families. Connecticut has had negative job growth over the past 25 years. Today there are 23,500 fewer residents employed than there were in January 2011. In addition to the statewide job problem, Sikorsky recently announced a layoff of over 600 workers, with a majority of those employees being from Connecticut. These numbers are daunting, but solutions are in sight,” said Senator Kelly.

The tax district legislation is based on previous special acts which authorized the creation of improvement districts in Stamford, Bridgeport, Windsor, Southington and East Hartford.

“Once we address this first hurdle, I look forward to a comprehensive planning and vetting process during which experts in all fields will be encouraged to share their input and help guide us in respectful and smart redevelopment,” said Senator Kelly. “The people of Stratford have waited a very long time to move forward with this plan, and we are all dedicated to making sure the project is done right.”