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.