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Bond Commission Poised To Borrow $628.4M

by Christine Stuart | Jul 25, 2013 3:58pm
(13) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Economics, Environment, Town News, East Hartford, Mansfield-Storrs, Jobs, State Budget

Courtesy of the CTVisit.com website

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.


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(13) Comments

posted by: Salmo | July 25, 2013  8:02pm

$2.8 Million for a new scoreboard at the Rent?!!? Why don’t they start having sell out crowds first?

posted by: Fisherman | July 25, 2013  8:30pm

Waste, waste, and more waste.
A new $2.8 million scoreboard, when some people can’t pay their mortgage, water or heating bills?

Is this administration C-R-A-Z-Y ?

posted by: dano860 | July 25, 2013  10:33pm

“$143 million will go to the bureau of transportation to purchase rights-of-way for bus and rail stations.”
Is this for the Busway to nowhere? They are going to buy more train stations? The biggest problem I see with all of these transportation gimmicks is the lack of parking at the stops.
Oh ya, $2.8 M gets you a scoreboard that only records when the home team scores. Guaranteed win every home game!

posted by: ASTANVET | July 26, 2013  9:14am

You would think the good people of CT would tire of the tax and spend antics up in Hartford… I guess it is easier to try to get your piece of pork rather than do the hard work to change the system.  Highest gas tax in the nation and we can’t fix the roads with the transportation budget?  Do you mean to tell me that they spent that money to buy votes?? naaaaaa… couldn’t happen.  I like that some money is going to ‘minority businesses’...as if my parents small business is in some kind of better shape than a minority business down the street… NICE!  way to play to the base right??  Half a million to New Britain to ‘redevelop’ down town - ummm… wouldn’t it be a business that would re-develop the area if they thought they could recoup the investment of THEIR capital?  Everyone lining up for their piece… Same old tune… all this and we’re broke as a state… great job Gov!  and great job CGA!!

posted by: Janster57 | July 26, 2013  11:08am

Wow. Detroit owes less on it’s pensions that we do. Can’t help but wonder where “Avoid certain financial ruin” places on the wish list. “Hartford- Where money goes to die”

posted by: JAM | July 26, 2013  11:20am

This is nothing more than the continued taxpayer subsidy of Uconn Football. The “Rent” has never generated sufficient income to pay the debt service.
Why not raise ticket prices to support the expenses? That way all those Uconn fans would have the satisfaction of paying their fair share.

posted by: CTResidentForLife | July 26, 2013  1:23pm

I hope this is an April Fools joke.  Oh wait, I forgot I live in Connecticut!  We don’t do a single thing that makes sense, so maybe it is actually April 1st today.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 26, 2013  2:16pm

To solve the problem of the cost of the score board, I’m sure the answer will be to hire an NFL coach like Norv Turner to turn the program around making him the new highest paid state employee - just like Calhoon (we had to have calhoon right) it was all to generate interest in UCONN was it not?  where did all those athletic dollars go that the basketball program allegedly brings to the state?  pay for the score board?? How stupid are we?

posted by: art vandelay | July 26, 2013  8:27pm

art vandelay

I agree with ASTANVET 100%.  Why are state taxpayers footing the bill for stadium improvements when the athletic department brings in millions.  All improvements to Gampel and Rentschler should come directly from the Athletic Department.

posted by: RJEastHartford | July 27, 2013  12:12pm

Seems most people disagree with this spending, exactly, why subsidize UCONN football and it’s “new” brand.
Yet when listening to popular radio hosts in the AM and afternoon, who always have a problem with state spending, I never hear a peep about spending on UCONN sports and all its ancillary expenses.
There is not enough transparency at UCONN when it comes to most anything, including financials.
Tuition used to be very affordable for a great education, now it is about the amenities.
When the UCONN Foundation calls…it goes right to voicemail!

posted by: Reasonable | July 27, 2013  8:10pm

A lot of complaints about this massive borrowing by a state already in fiscal trouble due to prior bonded over-spending.
The people don’t like it—but Malloy keeps spending—as the voters gave him permission by electing him and he continues with his coatly folly.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 29, 2013  8:16am

UCONN is our flagship state university - it by nature of being a public university means it is subsidized.  That being said, there needs to be much more public oversight over the direction and expenditure of public funds from UCONN.  Back in the UCONN 2000 initiative where they spent over a billion dollars to reinvent UCONN to a pedestrian campus (eliminate parking spaces) based on a vision of the president at the time - he has long since moved on, but the decades of bonding are still with us.  Serious oversight should be given to their hiring and retention and promotion practices as that system has produced several layers of ‘administrators’ and ‘managers’ that are not directly involved in the educational process.  A quick scan of those administrative salaries provides a window into their poor decision making and loose grips on the public funds.  They operate in their own world, with little to no accountability.  So long as they win basketball games no one in the public seems to care about the flood of public money going out the window and the annual tuition increases for our citizens.

posted by: Reasonable | July 29, 2013  10:26am

ASTANVET:  You told the truth.
Taxpayors have been sold out by an uncontrolled ploy of winning athletic championships—which adds to our spiralling state deficit spending.