Bethel Delegation Applauds $430,000 Grant for Streetscape Improvements

May 19, 2014

BETHEL – The Bethel Delegation today announced that Bethel will be awarded a $430,000 grant to be utilized for sidewalk construction under the state’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP).

The grant will fund installation and repair of sidewalks for various town streets, including new pedestrian and handicapped pathways to the Downtown Business District as well as the Bethel Metro-North Station.

“As we seek to drive economic development and improve quality of life in Bethel, it’s important to keep our infrastructure safe, usable and aesthetically appealing,” Rep. Scribner (R-107) said. “The downtown area, including the town’s heavily relied upon train station, is the cornerstone of our town’s livelihood and these much needed upgrades will meaningfully enhance our community. This grant is great news for Bethel residents, and I’m proud to have played a role in securing it.”

“Bethel’s Business District is the heart of our local economy and helps boost the value of our town. Improving the safety and walkability of the downtown area is a great investment in our community, and enhances our town’s profile as a destination for business and recreation,” Rep. Carter (R-2) said. “Infrastructure improvements like these are a worthy use of state funds, and I’m pleased these tax dollars are coming back to Bethel.”

“Making Bethel’s downtown area accessible to all is our shared goal,” Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-24) said. “Improvements to these sidewalks will help downtown businesses while making local streets safer and easier to travel.”

“This money will enable much needed upgrades our commuters have been clamoring for,” Sen. Boucher (R-26) said. “Having a safe and accessible sidewalk is one of those quality of life issues that can really make a difference in the lives of those who choose to commute or do business down town.”

The lawmakers persistently lobbied the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management for months, including multiple written requests, in order to push for the grant’s approval. Only 27 towns across Connecticut were selected to receive the competitively sought after funds.

STEAP grants are designed to fund economic development, community conservation and quality of life projects for localities that are ineligible to receive Urban Action bonds. The grants are appropriated on a rolling basis to municipal applicants by the Bond Commission’s Office of Policy and Management.