(Norwalk Hour) Wilton receives $500K grant for train station walkway

July 28, 2014

Article as it appeared in the Norwalk Hour

WILTON — The Board of Selectmen, at its regular meeting Monday night, unanimously approved the Wilton Train Station Pedestrian Walkway Small Town Economic Assistance Program Grant agreement.

The town of Wilton was advised Tuesday morning by the Connecticut Office of Policy Management Department that Wilton has been successful in obtaining a STEAP grant award for $500,000 for the Wilton Station Pedestrian Walkway Project.

“We are obviously delighted, having initially applied for a similar grant in 2007,” First Selectman Bill Brennan said at Monday night’s meeting at Town Hall.

“Persistence has paid off, as the STEAP grant was the fourth time we applied for funding of this important transportation and economic development grant. Two earlier (Department of Transportation) Transportation Oriented Development grant applications were unsuccessful with state funds going primarily to more urban areas in each case.”

Brennan said he believes the money will benefit all train riders in town for years to come.

“Today’s success will be a great benefit to rail transit users, as convenient access to the station and village center will now become a reality,” Brennan said. “Wilton Common residents will also have a convenient way to safely walk to the village center. So there will be many winners when this pedestrian walkway project is completed.”

Brennan called the successful application for the grant a true team effort.
“I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of the citizens of Wilton to the many individuals who played an important teamwork role in securing this significant award to our community,” Brennan said. “Town departments contributed by developing the detailed plans and costs involved to support a credible application, especially Bob Nerney, director, planning and land use management, who articulately and skillfully rewrote each application submission. Wilton’s state legislators — state Sen. Toni, Boucher and state Rep. Gail Lavielle —fought and negotiated for equitable consideration of Wilton’s most recent application; a supporting letter was also able to be obtained from Congressman Jim Hines, as well as from officials from the Wilton Commons senior residence.

Collectively, all this effort paid off with a successful STEAP grant award today. As indicated earlier, I am very delighted and appreciative. Wilton works well together, which makes good things happen to our wonderful community.”