Malloy to make blight funding announcement in Norwich

Norwich — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will announce the release of new funding to "revitalize and redevelop" the blighted abandoned buildings in the former Shipping Street industrial district — which city leaders have long hoped to make a priority for economic development.

Malloy will hold a press conference at 11:15 a.m. today at 1 Terminal Way with Mayor Deberey Hinchey, state Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee.

Malloy's press conference will include initiatives to address blighted properties statewide.

For the past decade, Norwich officials — including Hinchey's mayoral predecessors — have brought state and federal officials to tour the Shipping Street area. The district offers scenic views of the Thames River, with the Mohegan Sun casino tower in the distance to the south.

One former mill was partially renovated for housing, but the project failed during the recession. The city hopes to relocate the downtown boat launch to Terminal Way and open the area for riverfront activities, possibly including fishing derbies, crew races and riverfront festivals. A nearby parking lot owned by the city could offer boat trailer parking.

Hinchey included relocation of the boat ramp in her set of priorities when she first met with Malloy's staff shortly after she was elected in November. City officials brought U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to the site on March 18. Hinchey also discussed the site with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., but a snowstorm during his visit forced cancellation of any city tour.

A press release announcing Malloy's visit said the governor will "make an announcement regarding the release of state funding to revitalize and redevelop abandoned and blighted properties throughout the state in an effort to grow jobs and improve quality of life."

c.bessette@theday.com

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