Bond Commission Poised To Borrow $628.4M
A new $2.8 million scoreboard and other improvements to Rentschler Field in East Hartford are among the many things the state Bond Commission is poised to approve Friday at its meeting.
Office of Policy and Management Undersecretary Gian-Carl Casa said that after 10 years the scoreboard is “showing its age.” But even more importantly, the company that made it is no longer supporting it, “so if there are major malfunctions they might not be able to be fixed,” he said.
Rentschler Field is where the University of Connecticut plays its football games. The state borrowed $91.2 million over 20 years to build the stadium during former Gov. John G. Rowland’s administration.
In total, the state Bond Commission plans on borrowing $628.4 million for state projects on Friday.
The bulk of the special revenue bonds will be used on highway improvements. The commission is poised to give the Department of Transportation’s engineers more than $349 million to fix highways, roads, and bridges. About $2 million of that will go to the bureau of aviation for grants to municipal airports, and another $143 million will go to the bureau of transportation to purchase rights-of-way for bus and rail stations. The rest, about $4.4 million, will go to the DOT’s administration to improve its facilities. Collectively, these projects will create 19,650 construction jobs, according to the Office of Policy and Management.
Another $14.2 million will be used to improve I-84 in Southington and Cheshire as well as Route 15 in Stratford and Milford. Some of that money also will be used to upgrade I-84 in Waterbury.
Leeway Inc. in New Haven will receive $3 million to help finance the expansion of its residential care home in New Haven. The project will add an additional 20 beds to the existing 40, and will increase the number of residential care beds to 30 and reduce the number of skilled nursing beds to 30.
The Hartford Economic Development Corporation will receive $2 million to implement a minority business enterprise assistance program in the northern half of the state.
“As the construction industry recovers, it is important that we have programs and funding in place that ensure minority contractors have opportunities to bid and win contracts and play a more active role in the state’s economic resurgence,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a press release.
By Connecticut law, 25 percent of funding allocated for public building projects, highway construction, and the purchase of goods and services must go to small businesses, and of that 6.25 percent must go to minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, or disadvantaged businesses with a net worth less than $750,000. The $2 million will help businesses obtain surety bonds for capital construction. It will also create a revolving loan fund to assist minority contractors with working capital while they await payment during construction.
Another $2 million will go to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to provide a grant that helps finance a “Lead Abatement for Medical Primary Prevention” program.
The commission also plans to borrow $233,000 to replace the roof at Troop D in Danielson, Troop I in Bethany, and Troop L in Litchfield.
More than $1.3 million will be used to finance a second phase of dredging along parts of the Housatonic River south of the Route 1 bridge. The plan is to remove 70,000 cubic yards of sandy material from the shoaled areas.
New Britain will receive $500,000 to plan its downtown redevelopment. Another $9.65 million will be used to finance a new administration, storage, and maintenance facility for the Windham Regional Transit District.
The commission also will be looking to help businesses in the state by doling out some low interest loans to three companies that have promised to create jobs.
New Oak Credit Services in Danbury is looking to create 50 new jobs within a year and then will increase that up to 100 within three years in exchange for a $3 million, low-interest loan that will be forgiven if it meets its employment goals.
Alstom Power Inc. in Windsor will receive a $3.5 million loan to add 30 jobs and keep 1,028 jobs, according to the commission’s agenda. The company would receive the loan at 1 percent interest for 10 years, with interest paid for five years only. About $2 million would be forgiven if the company keeps its workers an additional year and the final $1 million is forgiven if the 30 jobs are created.
The commission also will give $2.5 million to Flanagan Brothers in Glastonbury. The second-generation jet engine and ground turbine component manufacturer plans to add 20 jobs and maintain its current staff of 88. The loan would be at a 2 percent interest rate for 10 years, and $1.25 million would be forgiven if the company keeps 88 jobs for a year and creates 30 jobs within two years.
The commission also will approve the $5 million to help farmers struggling to recover from damaging weather events this year.
“Impacted farmers may receive assistance for repairs to damaged property and equipment, replanting or planting new crops, replacement of lost feed for livestock and related activities required to recover from the storms, deemed appropriate by the Commissioner of Agriculture,” according to the agenda.
The commission meets at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building. Click here to read the agenda.