New London benefits from state funding for three projects
New London — In addition to the $15 million investment to revitalize State Pier, the state Bond Commission on Friday approved funding for two New London projects.
New London will get $167,925 for reconstruction of two basketball courts, replacement of fencing and Americans with Disability Act-compliant seating, tables and walkways at Bartlett Park, off of Broad Street.
The commission also approved $758,133 for upgrades to the city’s emergency dispatch system to move along the city’s stalled plans to create a regional dispatch center with Waterford.
The city plans to upgrade its computer-aided dispatch software and create a Regional Public Safety Answering Point between the city and Waterford.
State Rep. Chris Soto, D- New London, who worked with the city to get items onto the Bond Commission agenda, said his task was “working with my colleagues to ensure they understood why these projects are important to New London.”
One of the criteria for getting on the agenda is projects must be “shovel ready,” Mayor Michael Passero said. Both projects already have gone out to bid.
“We are working diligently to assist our taxpayers by finding opportunities and other funding sources to enhance services and repair and replace infrastructure around our dynamic city,” Passero said in a statement.
Passero praised partnerships with the governor’s office, local legislators and state agencies for providing additional resources to the city.
Scott Bates, chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority, said in a statement that Malloy’s decision to fund the improvements at the pier would be a job creator.
“These investments will benefit Connecticut families for years to come as we improve services at our ports and position them as part of the backbone of the state’s economy,” Bates said.
Sen. Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, applauded the state's efforts to enhance the maritime economy with the investment.
"I want to thank all of those involved in working together to identify the need for improvement in New London and committing to this important investment," Formica said in a statement. "The strong bipartisan support for this project demonstrates the clear value of a revitalized Connecticut State Pier. This investment will prepare this area for the potential use in the development of workers and equipment for offshore wind projects already being planned in the Northeast. It will also benefit our marine industry, shipping businesses and bring new energy to downtown New London."