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December 15, 2023

State Bond Commission OKs hundreds-of-millions of dollars for brownfields, development and more

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED The agenda for the State Bond Commission's meeting on Friday includes $1.4 million for repairs to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, such as security upgrades, smoke detection repairs and more. 

The State Bond Commission, meeting Friday, approved hundreds-of-millions of dollars to aid housing initiatives, clean brownfields, upgrade cultural facilities and support private development projects. 

Housing is a big focus of Friday’s session, with the Department of Housing in-line for $59 million to be used for grants for development projects and housing programs. Another $35 million was approved for first-time homebuyer assistance. 

The state’s Time to Own program offers downpayment assistance for low-to-moderate income homebuyers, and has received more than $100 million in state support since its 2022 creation by Gov. Ned Lamont. 

The commission approved $35 million for the state’s brownfield remediation fund. The program has been a key component in the teardown and redevelopment of abandoned and polluted industrial sites that would otherwise continue to rot away without attention due to the extreme expense of remediation. 

Another $5 million was approved for grants to upgrade security at nonprofits deemed at heightened risk of a terrorist attack, hate crimes or violent acts. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program has provided grants to 237 organizations, including 129 places of worship, since its creation by Lamont in 2021.

AdvanceCT is up for $800,000 to support its business recruitment efforts. 
Friday’s agenda also included funding for various cultural, nonprofit and private development projects, some of which include: 

  • $1.4 million for repairs of the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, including security upgrades, smoke detection repairs and more. 
  • $5 million for a new University of Connecticut research center at Hartford’s XL Center arena. 
  • $6.8 million for environmental investigation and cleanup at New Haven Science Park’s Tract A. 
  • Reallocation of $2.5 million previously approved for a Hartford affordable housing project into funding for Capital Region Development Authority loans to two Hartford projects, including Simon Konover’s planned conversion of office and commercial space at 45 Pratt St. in Hartford into 37 apartments, which is slated for a $1.1 million loan. The remaining $1.4 million will be used for a loan to help Carbone’s Ristorante reestablish itself in a former movie theater building in Hartford’s Front Street District. 
  • $5 million for a grant to New Haven for a housing development under the Mill River Municipal Development Plan.
  • $300,000 for a grant to Newtown’s Everwonder Children’s Museum for relocation and expansion. 
  • $475,000 for a grant to redevelop a sculpture garden at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield.
  • $900,000 for a grant to complete Phase 2 of the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center. 
  • $2 million for a grant to New Canaan for renovations to its Playhouse Theater.
  • $100,000 for a grant to the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach in Southington to help provide care for underserved and uninsured individuals.

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