DeLauro Unveils Community Project Funding Submissions
NEW HAVEN — House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) announced ten Connecticut community projects she has submitted for consideration in appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year.
As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which sets federal spending, Chair DeLauro is committed to meeting the needs of our communities in a transparent and accountable way. Under Appropriations Committee guidelines she developed, and which have been praised by experts across the political spectrum, each Representative may request funding for up to ten projects in their community for fiscal year 2022 – although only a handful may actually be funded. Projects are restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding.
“There are dedicated people and groups across Connecticut planning impactful projects that simply need funding to succeed,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “That is the motivation behind Community Project Funding, which I made part of the fiscal year 2022 appropriations process. I am thrilled to champion these ten requests that will foster community development through avenues such as support for children, resources for underserved communities, and economic development. Should they receive funds in the final spending bills, I know they will have a profound impact on the communities they serve.”
A summary of the ten projects is provided below, in alphabetical order, along with quotes from the sponsoring organizations:
City of Ansonia
- This project will provide funding for the reconstruction of an essential access bridge to the former Ansonia Copper & Brass industrial complex. This bridge would restore critical access to the 50-acre parcel, one of the largest industrially zoned parcels in the Naugatuck Valley.
“I am so grateful to Congresswoman DeLauro for recognizing the enormous significance this parcel has for Ansonia and for the entire Valley,” said Mayor of Ansonia David S. Cassetti. “Congresswoman DeLauro listened to me, promised to help with Ansonia Copper and Brass and she has delivered. At one point in time, Ansonia Copper and Brass employed almost 15,000 people and generated millions in tax revenue for the state. We want to return it to productivity and create jobs for our residents and the Valley. With Congresswoman DeLauro’s help, we are taking a major step towards that effort.”
City of Middletown
- This project will provide funding to modernize building infrastructure at R.M. Keating Historical Enterprise Park. This modernization will turn unusable, empty space into new, leasable space for small businesses and create space for entrepreneurial support programs within the community.
“I am incredibly excited and grateful for Rosa’s leadership in supporting the City of Middletown’s effort to continue renovations and improvements at the R.M. Keating Historical Enterprise Park,” said Mayor of Middletown Ben Benjamin Florsheim. “If federal funding is secured, the Keating building – already one of Connecticut’s most successful small business incubators – will finally be able to reach its full potential as an engine for job creation, a thriving mixed-use destination, and a community anchor for the North End. Rosa has always been a champion for Middletown and for the North End, and as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, her support and partnership represent a historic opportunity to move our city forward in big, meaningful ways. We can’t wait to get to work.”
City of New Haven
- This project will provide funding for the implementation of the New Haven Community Crisis Response Team. This mobile crisis team program will be integrated into the existing 911 and non-emergency dispatch system and the human services network within the region.
“Over this past year, my administration has been working tirelessly to reimagine the way that government can serve the residents of our city,” said Mayor of New Haven Justin Elicker. “Today, through partnership with our incredible Congresswoman DeLauro, I am proud to say that these new, innovative programs are likely to get the funding they need to become a reality. Creating a Community Crisis Response Team, one of the first in the nation, to integrate mental healthcare and social workers directly into our 9-1-1 dispatch will realign our approach to public safety to one focused on social services, not just on law enforcement. At the same time that we take a new approach to public safety, we also have to create more opportunities for our children. Funding for the New Haven Public Schools Manufacturing Technology program will give many of our young people the chance to get trained for good paying jobs and lifelong careers right in high school. This funding is about racial equity, both in creating opportunity and realigning the role of government to one that focuses on the well-being of every New Haven resident. Congresswoman DeLauro has been a champion for our people, and this is just the latest in a long line of her advocacy and tireless work for those who need it. I am grateful for her partnership and eager to see these programs implemented to move us closer to a city where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”
New Haven Public Schools
- This project will provide funding for New Haven Public Schools to introduce and implement a manufacturing program through a partnership with local universities and community colleges and industry leaders to fill the entry level technical positions in the manufacturing sector. The program will give students a unique opportunity to earn an industry-recognized, two-year associate’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Gateway Community College, along with their high school diploma within a six-year experience.
“New Haven Public Schools is expanding opportunities for students aspiring to work in careers in advance materials and manufacturing,” said Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools Dr. Iline P. Tracey. “The District is creating pathways to careers in these sectors by establishing specialized coursework to allow students to graduate with the equivalent of an associate's degree. Given that the manufacturing sector makes up 14% of the labor market in the greater New Haven region, the District wants to prepare students and provide them the opportunity to begin successful careers. The District is inspired by the Governor's Workforce Council report that highlights New Haven's focus on bioscience and manufacturing careers as an area for growth.”
Sterling House Community Center
- This project will provide funding for facility improvements to replace a 135-year-old tile roof, gutter system, and other deteriorating areas of the building’s exterior at the Sterling House Community Center. These improvements will support Sterling House as Stratford’s largest Food Pantry and social service agency whose programs include pre-school, afterschool, summer day camp, and many other community services.
“We are honored and grateful for Congresswoman DeLauro’s dedication to Sterling House Community Center,” said Executive Director of the Sterling House Community Center Amanda Meeson. “It has been an incredible year of determination, resilience, and heart as we worked together to serve the urgent needs of our community. Throughout it all Sterling House has been able to provide high-quality affordable childcare, fight childhood food insecurity, provide food and basic needs to seniors and those in need, and act as a positive inspiration to our community. With the restoration and renovation of the failing exterior shell of our beloved 135-year-old home, we will ensure this Sterling House stands proudly to welcome and serve new generations and to increase our capacity and deepen our impact in this great community.”
St. Martin de Porres Academy
- This project will provide funding for recreational facilities renewal at St. Martin de Porres Academy. These recreational facilities include building a safer basketball court away from the parking lot where there are some potential safety issues and building a field suitable for students to play various sports including soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey. This development will strengthen the overall Hill neighborhood section of New Haven and contribute to the health, development, and well-being of students at St. Martin de Porres Academy.
“I was thrilled the learn the news that St. Martin’s Renewal Project was selected as one of Congresswoman DeLauro’s ten submissions to the Appropriations Committee for possible funding,” said President of Saint Martin de Porres Academy Allison Rivera. “The purpose of the project is to benefit our students and to significantly upgrade this section of the Hill neighborhood in New Haven. A new basketball court and athletic field will greatly add to the school’s ability to serve its students, as studies show how much children benefit socially and academically from learning through positive play and time outside. It is clear that Congresswoman DeLauro understands the need and benefits that this investment will have for our students and the community.”
Town of Branford
- This project will provide funding for the full reconstruction of the East Industrial Road in Branford, from Leetes Island Road to the southbound Interstate 95 exit ramps (0.35 miles). Regionally, this project is vital to economic development and growth and will serve the towns of Branford, Guilford, North Branford, and beyond. The full reconstruction will provide access to a large supermarket, numerous restaurants, retailers, breweries and vineyards, the local YMCA, farms, medical facilities, manufacturing and biotech facilities, distribution hubs, hotels, local shellfish processing facilities, public trails, and the Stony Creek Quarry featuring their distinctive pink granite.
“The Town of Branford is grateful to have the East Industrial Road Reconstruction Project considered for Community Project Funding,” said Branford First Selectman James B. Cosgrove. “East Industrial Road serves as the main access road from Interstate 95 to a significant multi-town region that is ripe for development and redevelopment. The project will address the need for vehicular and pedestrian safety, as well as provide improved infrastructure to facilitate economic growth.”
Town of Durham
- The project will provide funding for the expansion of public water to supply clean drinking water to a contaminated area via an interlocal agreement between the Town of Durham and the City of Middletown. For decades, properties in the center of Durham were polluted by toxic chemicals requiring filtering and monitoring. By providing clean, safe, and reliable drinking water, this project will protect the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors within the region.
“I am grateful for the assistance of Congresswoman DeLauro and the federal government in working to provide clean drinking water to the residents of Durham,” said Durham First Selectman Laura L. Francis. “This project is also a prime example of intermunicipal cooperation and commitment to the health and safety of our residents.”
Town of North Branford
- This project will provide funding for an updated, state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center for the Town of North Branford, which currently operates with outdated and vintage 1970’s technology. These new resources will translate into greater capabilities, better response and recovery coordination, and a more resilient community.
“I am excited to learn the news that the Town of North Branford is one of the communities being considered for community project funding,” said Chief of the North Branford Police Department Kevin Halloran. “It seems that we are receiving an increased number of severe weather alerts. Most recently, North Branford suffered extensive damage during storm ISAIAS. Our current EOC is antiquated with vintage technology. During the storm, we lost all communications including public safety radio, telephone, cellular, and the loss of 911 for approximately 48 hours which created an extremely dangerous condition for our first responders. Our vision is to use the EOC for community functions, such as community education and partnerships as well as a state of the art first responder training facility and provide a space for mental health and addiction counselors to provide further services to the community, when not activated for disasters and or public health emergencies. North Branford is also home to Lake Gaillard which provides water for more than 500,000 customers of the Regional Water Authority in New Haven County. To have the tools and the space to effectively manage natural or manmade disasters is essential in North Branford.”
Wallingford Housing Authority
- This project will provide funding for the interior and exterior renovation of 2 Wharton Brook Drive, including kitchen and bathroom replacements, flooring, windows, and heating/cooling units as well as exterior components including roof, siding, entry/exit doors, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant entrances and walkways, and revitalization improvements. These improvements will further build a sustainable and prosperous community where residents enjoy a clean, safe, and comfortable living environment.
“This community project funding will provide much need resources to create new affordable housing units as well as much need community space to support resident activities and stabilize the neighborhood,” said Executive Director of the Wallingford Housing Authority Kelly McDermott. “After observing the property fall into further disrepair, the housing authority believes this project will ultimately promote community revitalization through the creation of much needed affordable housing in Wallingford.”
Additional information on Community Project Funding and the ten projects selected by DeLauro, as well copies of required financial disclosures, is available here.
Additional information on Chair DeLauro’s reforms governing Community Project Funding is available here.