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$400,000 Coming to Fairfield Hills

Newtown receives funds from the Small Town Economic Assistance Program

Newtown will receive a $400,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant from the state to fund infrastructure improvements on its Fairfield Hills Campus.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by state and local leaders, announced Friday Newtown would receive the grant to pay for streetscape, parking lot, lighting and other related improvements during a press conference outside the town municipal center.

“We as a state need to do a better job when we turn state properties over to the local towns,” Malloy said, explaining why Newtown was selected as one of the communities around the state to receive a STEAP grant.

Drawing on experience in his former role as mayor of Stamford, the governor said he scrutinized the many applications from towns for the grants and realized Newtown deserved to have one to assist in its development of the Fairfield Hills property.

The town acquired the property from the state after the mental hospital, which had occupied it, closed a number of years ago.

State Representative Debra Lee Hovey, R-Monroe and Newtown, said, “Fairfield Hills is a tremendous asset to the community. But its development is a burden to taxpayers. The state has to help.”

First Selectman Pat Llodra credited Hovey and the other leaders representing the town, including State Senator John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and State Rep. Chris Lyddy, D-Newtown, with helping procure the grant.

“In the five years we’ve been developing the campus, we have taken down five buildings and invested $11 million to rehab a building to create the town municipal center,” Llodra said. “The grant will help us keep this momentum going.”

“The future of Newtown is tied to what happens at the Fairfield Hills Campus,” McKinney said.

Lyddy credited the governor for learning about Newtown’s needs and thanked him for his leadership in the grant selection process.

The town’s economic development director, Liz Stocker, “deserves our appreciation for successfully applying to the state for the grant,”  Llodra said.

Patriot Northeast December 31, 2011 at 07:55 PM
That is absolutely fantastic. The state of Connecticut steals even more money from the taxpayers and sends it down the Fairfield Hills pit. What next?
Bruce Walczak TheNewtownRooster.com December 31, 2011 at 10:13 PM
It is great to receive money from the state, but let us also remember that this is tax dollars we are spending, OUR tax dollars. We have spent a great deal at Fairfield Hills, a great deal more than the $11 million suggested by the First Selectman. In fact our town officials still refuse to tell us how much we have spend in tax dollars, grants, public works efforts and of course interest on our bonding. We understand that buildings need to be taken down, but have the taxpayers also said lets put in additional lighting, sidewalks and parking for unused buildings? Would the taxpayer prefer we solicit grants for other things in town such as renovating the Edmond Town Hall? How does spending these dollars fit into the recommendations of the Fairfield Hills review commission? It is great to get these funds, but I hope we are spending them wisely. Lots of questions, not so much information!
Po Murray January 08, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Dear Joel Thompson or Hoa, Do you know the status of the other FFH grant that was associated with Kevin's Community Center? Is this same grant diverted for a different use on FFH?
Hoa Nguyen January 08, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Not really sure what the status of that grant is but it's been known for months that Kevin's wasn't going to relocate to Fairfield. In fact, that news was reported in June: http://newtown.patch.com/articles/kevins-is-out-of-fairfield-hills-others-may-come As far as I know, that grant is in limbo at the moment.
Mary Ann Jacob January 08, 2012 at 09:12 PM
There is no way to "divert" grant money. You either use it for what it was intended or lose it. But putting it out there in that way does serve to discredit, as anything to do with Ffld Hills must be bad, right? This is a separate grant written before the town knew KCC would not be moving there meant to supplement the original with improvements in the same area. I believe it will provide some paving, as well as lighting in the area....

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