HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has approved more than $11 million in state funding for grants through the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) that will be awarded to 94 small towns across Connecticut for various infrastructure improvement projects. This is the first time since 2016 that the state has awarded STEAP funding.
The governor said that he reinstated the program in an effort to support Connecticut’s municipalities while implementing projects that will give a boost to the economy and help in their response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For this round of funding, he implemented a special COVID-19 provision to support towns with expenditures related to their ongoing response to the pandemic, including for new construction, expansion, renovation, or replacement of existing facilities.
Some of the approved projects include items such as the construction of a pavilion to hold outdoor municipal meetings, breathing units for firefighters as part of their response to COVID-19, and HVAC improvements related to the pandemic, among other items.
“Our small towns have been hit hard by COVID-19 and are in need of our help to fund these projects,” Governor Lamont said. “Simply put, some of our small towns need to modernize their infrastructure so that we can support efforts to grow the economy but lack the property tax base they need to fully fund these projects on their own. The state can and should do what we can to help with these costs as these small towns drive tourism, honor our deep and celebrated history, and provide us with family-friendly getaways that are part of the New England experience.”
STEAP grants are coordinated by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, and grants are administered by the appropriate state agencies depending on the specific project involved. Under state law, STEAP grants can only be used for capital projects. A project is considered to be a capital project if it is new construction, expansion, renovation, or replacement for an existing facility or facilities. Project costs can include the cost of land, design, engineering, architectural planning, and contract services needed to complete the project. Towns selected for an award are required to execute a contract with the state agency assigned to administer their grant before they incur any project-related expenditures.
NOTE: this is NOT the complete release.