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West Hartford receives $2 million grant

Governor Malloy today announced that five projects in towns and cities across Connecticut will receive approximately $8.5 million in funding under the second phase of the 2017 Responsible Growth and Transit Oriented Development Grants – a competitive grant program that supports transit-oriented development and responsible growth in the state and is targeted at boosting economic activity and creating jobs.

West Hartford was awarded $2,000,000to construct complete streets infrastructure improvements along New Park Avenue from New Britain Avenue to Oakwood Avenue, consistent with the recommendations of the 2017 New Park Avenue Transit Area Complete Streets Study. Improvements include a road diet with center turn lane, landscaped medians and protected bike lanes, new street trees, lighting, wayfinding signage and other amenities, and a pocket park at the gateway to the Trout Brook Trail.

“We are excited that West Hartford was one of five communities to receive this funding,” said Mayor Shari Cantor.

“The timing is perfect because we just had a ribbon cutting at 616 New Park Avenue which is a good example of how an investment can transform an area and entice new businesses and residents to put roots there. This grant will be the catalyst for new development and will bring vitality to the New Park corridor,” she continued.

“We are thrilled with the opportunities that this grant will bring and we thank Governor Malloy for his support,” said Mayor Cantor.

West Hartford’s match will consist of $949,800 to be funded from in-kind services for survey, design, and public outreach, as well as utilization of capital projects fund monies.

Town Manager Matthew Hart said, “I would like to commend our staff team for their excellent work with preparing this application, and thank the Town Council for their support.”

The grants come under the second round of state’s Responsible Growth and Transit-Oriented Development Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and relies on a combination of funding from the Responsible Growth Incentive Fund and the Transit-Oriented Development and Pre-development Fund.

“Transportation isn’t just about cars, trains, and buses – it’s about building vibrant communities and continuing to make Connecticut a more attractive place to live, visit, and do business,” Governor Malloy said. “Today’s grant awards will build upon the smart, targeted investments we have made in recent years, which have already lead to significant growth in transit-oriented development across the state.”

“These projects are essential to moving Connecticut’s economy forward,” OPM Secretary Ben Barnes said. “Our state’s recovery requires a first-class transportation system with strong business growth at the local level and these grants will help foster that ascension in the communities we call home. The jobs created by these projects and the infrastructure enhancements will not only benefit us in the short-term, but for generations to come.”

In April 2017, OPM released a request for applications for the grant program, and the State Bond Commission approved a total of $15 million to be used – comprised of $5 million from the Responsible Growth Incentive Fund and $10 million from the Transit-Oriented Development and Pre-development Fund. Following that, OPM – with input from other state agencies – reviewed, rated, and ranked each of the proposals. The first round of grants were released in December 2017 and totaled $4.5 million.