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Bond Commission Invests In Bear Exhibit

by | Jun 21, 2013 11:53am
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Town News, Bridgeport, State Budget, State Capitol

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Spectacled bear at a zoo in Venezuela

The state Bond Commission approved nearly $249 million in borrowing Friday both in general obligation bonds and revenue bonds for dozens of projects including $2.5 million for a new Andean bear exhibit at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.

Asked about the state’s investment in the exhibit for the endangered species, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the state is assisting a zoo that “has proven itself an attractive draw in one of our distressed municipalities.” He said the state wants to work with the zoo to improve it and its ability to draw visitors to the state.

The zoo gets about 250,000 visitors per year and is home to more than 305 animals and 110 different species. Gregg Dancho, the zoo director was unable to be reached for comment on the new exhibit, but the Connecticut Post reported earlier this week that the exhibit is expected to be completed in 2015.

The zoo was just one of the cultural investments the state Bond Commission targeted for funding Friday.

There also was $4 million in funding that went to the New Britain Museum of American Art to assist with the construction of a 12,000-square-foot addition, $2 million for alterations and renovations to the Shubert Theater in New Haven, and $2 million for renovations and energy efficiency upgrades to the Bushnell Center of Performing Arts in Hartford.

The state Bond Commission also approved $424,227 for the City of New Haven to finance street calming measures to improve pedestrian safety on Whalley Avenue.

Malloy touted the $7.3 million being made in three new Advanced Manufacturing Centers at community colleges across Connecticut. The money will be used to improve facilities and equipment at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, and Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson.

There was also a $1.7 million loan made to assist Wallingford-based Z-Medica, which makes and distributes sterile traumatic wound products that rapidly stop high volume blood loss. It currently has 46 employees and expects to add 25 more over the next five years with the additional assistance from the state.

“Supporting the expansion and growth of the state’s small businesses is part of our strategy to create jobs. This is a company that is manufacturing cutting-edge technologies and products that are saving lives,” Malloy said.

Larry Hicks, president and CEO of Z-Medica, said the money will help the company’s vision come into immediate focus.

“We’re happy to be here. Connecticut is home to some of the world’s best life-sciences’ products,” Hicks said. “The reception and spirit in which we’ve had this discussion with the state of Connecticut has been incredible.”

The news of these investments come the same week as Connecticut was visited by governor’s from Texas and South Dakota, who were looking to poach Connecticut companies.

Malloy said the gubernatorial visits were not unusual.

“I compete for jobs every single day,” Malloy said. “I built an economy in Connecticut that’s supportive of job growth. We can celebrate, as I stand here today, the creation of 36,700 private sector jobs since I became governor.”

All 41 items on the Bond Commission agenda passed unanimously.

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(3) Archived Comments

posted by: Noteworthy | June 21, 2013  4:24pm

The Bond Commission also approved $30 million to buy a parking garage from the City of Hartford - a structure that was valued at $9 million.

Investing in bears? Please.

Repeat after me: “I’ve created 36,700 jobs. I’ve created 36,700 jobs…” Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is higher than the national average and has only come as people participating in the work force have dropped out. “I’ve created 36,700 new jobs.”

posted by: Lawrence | June 22, 2013  3:47pm

Oh, Noteworthy. It is so, so incredibly easy….

Here’s a recent press release from one of your “fiscally conservative” Republican state senators.. the same one who introduced a bill this year to repeal all the tax increases from last year…. $1.6 billion… without ever saying (or being asked by right-wing radio hosts) where he’d cut an equal amount of state spending.

But that’s how you ‘fiscally conservative’ Republicans roll, right?? All talk, no walk.

Anyway, enjoy!!

Sen. Art Linares, Rep. Tom Vicino Welcome $$ for New Skating Rink in Clinton

April 19, 2013

Sen. Art Linares and Rep. Tom Vicino today welcomed the news that the town of Clinton will receive a $200,000 state grant to begin the planning process for a new skating rink in town. The funding will go toward environmental site characterization and geotechnical engineering assistance to determine the remediation and feasibility of converting a nine-acre portion of the former town landfill into a two-rink skating facility.

“This grant represents a big step forward for the town,” Sen. Linares said. “The goal is to make this section of town a gathering place for families and for people of all ages. We are now closer to that goal.”

“Converting the former landfill and bringing it back to productive use will strengthen our local economy and improve our quality of life,” Rep. Vicino said. “As Selectman last year and as Chairman of the Economic Development Commission in Clinton, I am very pleased to see this funding approved. The town will benefit from the additional shopping, restaurant business and $94,000 in annual property taxes from the rink.”

Sen Linares and Rep. Vicino said, “We thank Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for approving this state assistance and for recognizing the lasting positive impact it will have on Clinton.”

“1st Selectman Willie Fritz was instrumental in getting this project identified and for moving it forward,” said Tom Vicino.

Sen. Linares may be reached at 800 842-1421 and Rep. Vicino may be reached at 800 842-1423.

posted by: OutOfOutrage | June 24, 2013  12:26pm


Hard to believe that after spending tens of millions on “Still Revolutionary” that we still need bears to draw people in.  Hey, if a few bears bring in a few people, maybe a lot of bears would bring in a lot of people.  We should give out huge state grants to the first 5 zoos that can bring 200 bears to the state within the next 10yrs.  That ought to do it!