December 11, 2018

Bond Commission OKs tens of millions during Malloy's final mtg.

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
The state Bond Commission on Tuesday approved $91.6 million worth of transportation projects.
HBJ File Photo
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chaired his final Bond Commission meeting on Tuesday.

In near unanimous support, the state Bond Commission on Tuesday morning greenlit dozens of projects worth tens of millions of dollars, mainly geared toward transportation and economic-development initiatives.

The 50-minute special meeting was likely the last chaired by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is nearing the end of his two-term governorship. Gov.-elect Ned Lamont will assume Malloy's seat Jan. 9.

Malloy thanked the 10-member commission for its service during his tenure, and lauded the group's ability to unanimously agree on what he estimated was 98 percent of the borrowing requests acted on by the commission over that time.

"The state has made significant investments in its future. Its infrastructure is in far better shape than it was, although it has a long way to go, partially in the area of transportation," Malloy said during the meeting held at the state legislative office building. "Our schools are stronger, our universities are in better shape than they were, our economic-development efforts have led to more private-sector jobs than in any time in our history."

The largest approval on Tuesday was a $91.6 million request from the Connecticut Department of Transportation for various projects. That includes $78 million for improvements along Interstate 84 and more than $13.6 million for urban bikeway, pedestrian connectivity, trails and other programs.

Other borrowing requests approved included $3.7 million in funding for improvements to New London's State Pier, more than $1 million for economic-development projects in Hartford overseen by quasi-public Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) and nearly $515,000 for body cameras and storage devices for several local police departments.

The commission also approved $21.1 million, requested by the Office of Policy and Management, for urban development projects for economic development, transportation, public safety, social services and environmental protection reasons.

Also, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection will receive $13.5 million to replace and upgrade its radio communication systems. The state Department of Education will also be alloted $3.8 million for improvements to buildings and grounds, and replacement of equipment and technology, at all regional vocational-technical schools.

Hartford-based kitchen cabinet and countertop retailer Express Kitchens will receive a $3 million loan from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to purchase new equipment and for leasehold improvements to support the company's expansion. With the funding, the company said it will retain 134 jobs and create up to 226 new jobs within seven years.

Other DECD approved requests include:

  • $10 million to provide a loan to employment search giant Indeed for expansion operations in Stamford that will create 500 new jobs.
  • $6 million to help Cromwell's GKN Aerospace Services Structures expand and retain and create 263 jobs over the next six years.
  • $5 million to support grants and loans for the Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
  • $5 million for the state Department of Labor's new apprenticeship program.
  • $5 million to provide a loan to Meriden manufacturer Accel International Holding Inc. for its expansion into a second location in Cheshire. The company has agreed to retain 108 jobs and create another 115 positions over three years.
  • $2 million to provide a loan to aerospace manufacturer Habco Industries LLC for machinery and equipment purchases and expansion in Glastonbury. Hacbo will retain 55 jobs and and create 47 new positions within five years.

CRDA approved projects include:

  • $521,000 to finance housing and community development projects in Hartford, including the Downtown North redevelopment near Dunkin' Donuts Park and redeveloping two blighted buildings on Lawrence Street.
  • $275,000 to support renovations and improvements of Hartford's Connecticut Convention Center and Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
  • $300,000 to support renovations and improvements at the Hartford Regional Market.

Bond Commission member Sen. John Fonfara, a Democrat from Hartford, praised the Democratic governor's service in addition to the commission's five outgoing members: Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Melody A. Currey; Longtime State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier; Attorney General George Jepsen; Republican Sen. L. Scott Frantz; and Ben Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.

Click here to view all of the approved projects

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