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State awards nearly $99M in economic development grants

More than two dozen projects in 20 different cities and towns are set to split a total of $98,522,165 in grants from the Community Investment Fund’s (CIF) second round on Thursday. 

The money was approved by the State Bond Commission Thursday morning following recommendations from the program’s board. The CIF was established in 2022 and is expected to offer $875 million in grant funding over the following five years.

The projects approved in this round are aimed at making a variety of improvements to municipal buildings, roadways, and other structures in an effort to support “historically underserved communities.” Recipients include the cities themselves as well as community organizations.

“With today’s approval of the second round of CIF grants, our vision to bolster infrastructure and programs to make Connecticut’s cities vibrant and healthy communities is taking another step forward,” Speaker of the House Matt Ritter (D-Hartford), and co-chair of the CIF board, said in a statement. “It is wonderful to see municipalities put together strong applications that have local community buy-in and can serve as a catalyst for change in these cities and towns.”

Among the cities receiving the largest funds are New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Norwich, Manchester, and Hartford. 

In New Haven, the Long Wharf Responsible Growth Plan will receive more than $12 million in grant money to revitalize Long Wharf Park. The updates will include “public site furniture, lighting, playground, bike paths, outdoor fitness, upgraded walkways and Food Truck pavilion.”

Other large dollar grants include $8 million for infrastructure updates to convert a five-acre parking lot on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Norwalk to a mixed-use complex that will include retail and housing space. A $7.2 million grant will fund final construction costs for a community center in New London, while $7.5 million will go toward funding a portion of Manchester’s Downtown Streetscape project.

Additional projects include similar park and development updates to provide housing and retail space in Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Norwich, as well as childcare centers and afterschool programs in several other towns.

A complete list of the grant recipients can be found here.

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Tricia Ennis

An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment and is always looking for new and interesting stories to tell. She believes in the power of journalism to affect change and to change minds and wants to hear from you about the stories you think about being overlooked.

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