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Bond Agenda includes Courthouse, Road Paving and Business Assistance

by Hugh McQuaid | May 28, 2014 3:33pm
(5) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Courts, Torrington

Laurie Gaboardi File Photo The State Bond Commission is expected to approve around $570 million in borrowing on Friday, including around $71 million for a new courthouse in Torrington and nearly $40 million for business assistance programs.

The biggest chunk of bonding, $300 million, will finance the state’s share of payments on local school renovation and construction projects.

The new Litchfield Judicial District Court building to be built in Torrington has been in the works at the state Judicial Branch for almost 40 years, according to a press release from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office.

Construction on the new building will be begin in July. Court functions in the Lichfield district are currently housed in four separate buildings.

“Though it’s taken more than a generation, I’m proud that we could move this project forward and begin the necessary work of building a twenty-first century courthouse,” Malloy said in a statement. “By consolidating operations into one facility, we can save taxpayers time and make operations more efficient.”

The new 174,000-square-foot building will include eight courtrooms and 384 parking spaces, according to the press release. The Lichfield District’s civil, criminal, family and juvenile court services will be contained in the new facility. The total cost of the project will be more than $80 million.

Meanwhile, the state is releasing about $39.5 million to the Economic and Community Development Department to pay out in business assistance programs.

The commission will authorize the department to pay $10 million to the Lee Company in Westbrook, $6.5 million to Cartus Corporation in Danbury, $6 million to NBC Sports in Stamford, $5 million to Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Stamford, $1.25 million to A-1 Machining Company in New Britain, and $750,000 to Neeltran Inc. in New Milford.

Each company has agreed to different job creation obligations as part of an agreement with the state to be eligible for the funding. Both NBC and Starwood have previously received state assistance.

DECD will receive an additional $10 million to continue funding the state’s Small Business Express Program, which gives grants and low-interest loans to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The program was created during a special session on jobs in 2011 when the legislature authorized $100 million for small businesses.

The Bond Commission is expected to release more than $7 million to the Emergency Services and Public Protection Department. The agency, which houses the State Police, will use the money to fund the first phase of a $19.5 million project to replace and upgrade its radio communication systems.

The $7 million will pay to replace dispatch equipment at state police troops and headquarters as well as purchasing more than 200 mobile radios and other communication upgrades.

The panel is also expected to authorize $10 million in borrowing to reimburse municipalities for projects like improving or repaving roadways.

Other projects include $2.5 million to continuing financing a state program to remove asbestos and other hazardous materials from buildings owned by the state, and more than $5 million to finance repairs and improvements to state-owned dams in the towns of Lebanon and Haddam.

The Bond Commission will also release more than $9.2 million to Malloy’s Office of Policy and Management to help bankroll a host of small, local projects in towns including Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Torrington, Middletown, Burlington, Guilford, Hartford, Falls River, Branford, Danbury, Plainville, Southington, and Stratford.

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(5) Comments

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | May 28, 2014  7:13pm

Funny, my state senator Scott Frantz, who is on the bonding commission, still hasn’t answered my query, sent in mid-February, about why we financed short term technology for SBAC implementation (things like iPads and Chromebooks, which will be long obsolete before we pay for them) with construction bonds. Yet he is allegedly a big proponent of debt reduction and fiscal responsibility?

posted by: shinningstars122 | May 29, 2014  6:16am

shinningstars122

@SarahDarerLittman bring back the abacus!
They will last for decades.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | May 29, 2014  7:01am

Yeah yeah very funny. I’m not criticizing the purchase of tech, but how it was financed.  If you know anything about finance,or have ever managed the finances of a business (I have an MBA in Finance and was the Finance Director of a business) you know that financing short term tech with long term debt isn’t good practice. Why pay interest on something that is going to be obsolete before you’ve even paid for it? And my other point was my state senator’s hypocrisy - and that he didn’t even have the courage to respond to a constituent who wrote asking about that hypocrisy.

posted by: art vandelay | May 29, 2014  7:59am

art vandelay

It’s Christmas in May. Santa and his elves are busy filling the sleigh with lots of goodies.  Another half billion added to the ever growing deficit with six million going to NBC!  Really.  Will the insanity end? Certainly not next November. Most of the elves will be back in the workshop.  The chief elves in the Senate & House unfortunately will run un-opposed except for one who will be WELL rewarded.  Even Santa might be back in his sleigh for another four years unless the Santa in Chief picks him for an assistant.

posted by: dano860 | May 29, 2014  8:38am

A new Courthouse? They need to consolidated, eliminate a good portion of the waste that is presently going on and reconsider this debacle.
Bonding the business base of our State is nothing more than payola. We used to be the manufacturing epicenter of the U.S. but now we don’t even qualify to be one of the areas identified by Barry as such:

President Barack Obama has made an effort to boost U.S. manufacturing. Nearly 650,000 such jobs have been created in the past five years, the White House said.

The regions were chosen from more than 70 that applied, and are:

— Southwest Alabama, led by the University of South Alabama.

— Southern California, led by the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development.

— Northwest Georgia, led by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.

— The Chicago metro region, led by the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development.

— South Kansas, led by Wichita State University.

— Greater Portland region in Maine, led by the Greater Portland Council of Governments.

— Southeastern Michigan, led by the Wayne County Economic Development Growth Engine.

— The New York Finger Lakes region, led by the City of Rochester.

— Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region, led by the City of Cincinnati.

— The Tennessee Valley, led by the University of Tennessee.

— The Washington Puget Sound region, led by the Puget Sound Regional Council.

— The Milwaukee 7 Region, led by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee. (AP 5/28/14)