State Grants to Benefit Ellington, Somers Improvement Projects

Tim Jensen
·2 min read

ELLINGTON/SOMERS, CT — Governor Ned Lamont announced Monday he has approved more than $11 million in state funding for grants through the Small Town Economic Assistance Program, or STEAP Grant program, including funding for projects in both Ellington and Somers. The local grants are among 94 going to "small towns" across Connecticut for various infrastructure.

Ellington's grant is for $116,765 for engineering and construction costs associated with Veterans Memorial Park. This will be matched by $13,700 from the town.

In Somers, $71,000 in state funding has been approved to install a permanent generator at the town hall. This will be matched by $2,500 from the town.

It is the first time since 2016 that the state has awarded STEAP funding. Lamont said 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 coronavirus pandemic.

For the 2020 round of funding, Lamont implemented a special coronavirus provision to assist towns with expenditures related to their ongoing response to the pandemic, including new construction, expansion, renovation or replacement of existing facilities.

"Our small towns have been hit hard by COVID-19 and are in need of our help to fund these projects," 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."

State Sen. Saud Anwar, whose district includes Ellington, said in a written statement, "With these important projects soon to be underway, our local parks and resources will be significantly bolstered. This new funding will benefit our communities by supporting local outdoor usage and spreading more efficient information in times of emergencies. I am thankful Governor Lamont had the foresight to recognize the importance of these projects and that the state will support them."

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This article originally appeared on the Ellington-Somers Patch