I want to express my appreciation to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his administration for his support in the award of a $5 million bond request to continue ongoing clean up and remediation efforts at the Preston Riverwalk property (the former Norwich State Hospital). This was truly a team effort. Special recognition needs to be given to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Ron Angelo from the Department of Economic and Community Development, and Karen Buffkin from the Office of Policy and Management, for their efforts. State Sen. Andrew Maynard and First Selectman Bob Congdon were also instrumental in helping achieve this goal.
I particularly want to acknowledge the fine work of the Preston Redevelopment Agency under the leadership of Sean Nugent. As a group of volunteers they have demonstrated a commendable commitment and dedication. Jim Bell of the PRA and Kathy Warzecha, Preston town planner, have done an exemplary job in securing funding for the cleanup. There is much work left to be done, but the award of $5 million is a substantial achievement. We are now in a much better position to attract private equity resources in getting this site developed for the benefit of the entire region and to create needed jobs in Southeastern Connecticut.