State Bond Commission Gets Ready To Approve $722.3M In Borrowing
Restoring the stained glass skylights at the state Capitol is just one of the many items on Friday’s state Bond Commission agenda.
An estimated 304 stained glass panels were removed from the 5th floor skylights on the east and west side of the state Capitol in June. The panels were crated and are ready to be shipped for restoration. The total cost of restoring the skylights, which began falling down in 2008, is about $800,000.
There’s another $3.15 million on the Bond Commission agenda to help restore the skylight and repair the William A. O’Neill Armory’s roof. That project also will receive about $1.15 million in federal funds.
However, those projects are some of the least expensive on the $722.3 million agenda.
There’s $474.6 million for a variety of transportation projects, which will be paid for with special obligation bonds.
“The scope of work will depend upon the project’s design and final costs will be based upon bids received,” according to the agenda. “However, the Department of Transportation is requesting the flexibility to revise or modify projects, if required, within specific subsections of the Act.”
There’s another $30 million that will be used to help municipalities fund their road repaving programs. It’s the first of two installments for the program. Another $5.4 million will be used to help purchase highway and bridge renewal equipment like dump trucks, loaders, backhoes, snow removal equipment, and specialized bridge maintenance equipment.
There also is $15 million for the Small Business Express program. None of the businesses receiving the loans are detailed in the agenda, but the Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner is supposed to report to the General Assembly every six months about which businesses received funding.
About $17.4 million will be used to assist eight inter-district magnet schools with capital startup and expansion as required by the Sheff v. O’Neill settlement.
The Mark Twain House and Museum is expected to receive $2.2 million for a variety of projects, including drainage improvements and parking lot repairs. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House and library will receive $650,000 for for interior restoration and a fire suppression system.
Another $3 million will be used by the Department of Housing to set up a low-interest loan program for homeowners and businesses in coastal flood areas to help them flood-proof and wind-proof their homes or businesses. Loans of up to $300,000 will be provided for a term of 15 years with no principal or interest for one year, according to state officials.
There’s another $1 million for the dredging of the Mystic River auxiliary channel, which will improve access to one of the marinas.
Goodwin College in East Hartford could receive $3.75 million to help it equip its manufacturing, dental hygiene, and ophthalmic programs.
The Bond Commission also will look to help New Haven by paying for the surprise environmental contamination the city found when it was cleaning up Bowen Field. The state plans to give the city $4.8 million to help rid the parcel of the PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls) found in the caulk joints of the bleachers and in the paint on the exterior of the locker room.
There is another $1.5 million that will be used to construct a new golf learning center, a nature learning center, and other improvements in Norwalk. Earlier this month, House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, who has been critical of the state’s borrowing, praised Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s decision to put the item on the agenda.
The state Bond Commission is scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.