14 towns get grants for downtown projects

Griswold, Colchester and Essex were among 14 towns to be targeted for a total of nearly $5 million in statewide downtown-revitalization funding, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday.

The Main Street Investment Fund grants, administered by the state, help towns develop their commercial districts, attract small businesses and improve the livability of downtowns.

Essex, one of the wealthiest towns in the state, received the largest grant among local towns, $435,000 to create a "Village Center" intersection, install crosswalks and make other improvements. Colchester won $285,000 for its Linwood Avenue streetscape project, while Griswold got $265,000 for a sidewalk lighting project.

"This program is unique in that it builds a working partnership between state government and the smaller communities that are striving to strengthen their commercial centers and attract additional business," Malloy said in making a prepared statement during a visit Thursday to Berlin, one of the communities receiving funding.

"The Main Street Investment Fund is a vital tool that is helping communities revive commercial centers and downtown areas," state Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein said in a statement.

The Essex project targets the intersection of Main and and Summit streets in Ivoryton village, which will include the addition of stamped and colored concrete.

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman noted in a statement that Ivoryton "has become a vital economic center and has been revitalized by investment by the state, town, and community."

Colchester's streetscape project involves the addition of a concrete sidewalk and stamped concrete pathway, along with solar lighting, outdoor furniture and landscaping. Another stamped concrete section is planned in front of Cragan Library.

The Griswold funding will pay for poles, light fixtures and sidewalk resurfacing.

"The revitalization of our main street is fast becoming a reality and a much needed economic stimulus," Griswold First Selectman Philip E. Anthony said in a statement.

Other grants went to Ansonia, $483,000; Berlin, $259,270; Burlington, $377,000; Canaan, $450,000; Canton, $387,000; Cornwall, $70,000; Fairfield, $250,000; Killingly, $500,000; Mansfield, $500,000; New Canaan, $215,000, and Westport, $497,595.



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