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Bond approvals include Rocky Neck road repair, air flow at Lyman Allyn

By Johanna Somers

Publication: The Day

Published March 29. 2014 4:00AM
Commission allocates $445 million across state

Hartford - The State Bond Commission approved funding for a local museum and a state park on Friday.

As part of a $5.76 million bond package to fund road improvements, Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic will get $795,000 worth of road repairs.

"I think that there has been a recognition for a long time that the parks are in some disrepair and need an infusion of funding to bring them up to speed, and this is a good step in that direction," said state Rep. Ed Jutila, D-East Lyme.

The funds are for resurfacing the road to the beach inside the park.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said that the roadways in many state parks and forests are showing signs of use from millions of visitors.

"In a year when we are celebrating the centennial of our state park system, it is especially important to make the investments needed to ensure that people can travel safely and conveniently into and around our parks," Malloy said.

The road improvement projects are estimated to retain and create about 120 construction-related jobs, Malloy said. The projects will begin as soon as the weather permits, he said.

Roads near the following locations are also scheduled to receive funding: Topsmead State Forest in Litchfield, Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield and Kellogg Environmental Education Center in Derby.

"These and other previous funds that have been allocated allow us to make improvements that will ensure our parks remain first-class attractions for many years to come," said Rob Klee, commissioner of the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

As part of a $7 million grant-in-aid package for urban development projects, Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London is scheduled to receive $1.5 million.

The museum's current heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is more than 21 years old and a new system is needed to control the humidity and temperature for the more than 10,000 pieces of art there.

Although the museum is relatively small, it is a very effective museum, said state Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford.

The funding will help the museum's exhibitions last even longer, she said.

"We do appreciate your recognizing the importance of this grant to protect the very important, valuable items within the museum," Stillman said.

In total, the State Bond Commission allocated $445 million for economic development and infrastructure projects.

j.somers@theday.com

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