Gov. Dannel P. Malloy stopped at the Berlin Town Hall Thursday to announce a $259,000 grant for a street revitalization project as well as similar investments in 13 other towns.
The grants, which amount to no more than $500,000 for each project, are being paid for through the state’s Main Street Investment Fund. The projects are in various stages of development and many are aimed at efforts like street and sidewalk improvements.
In Berlin, a $259,270 grant will go to help fund an initiative aimed at improving pedestrian safety in the area surrounding the town’s train station.
At a noon press conference the governor was flanked by Berlin Mayor Adam Salina, a Democrat who served on Malloy’s transition team when he took office in 2010, as well as House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, and Sen. Terry Gerratana, D-New Britain.
Malloy, who has not said whether he intends to seek re-election next year, dismissed the idea that the announcement resembled early campaigning. The governor said his re-election plans were a subject he did not want to discuss until “as late as possible.”
“I take pride in what we’re doing. This happened to be close to Hartford so it was easy for me to get here. But also it’s a spectacular piece of work that’s being done here,” he said. “Don’t read too much into it.”
Malloy repeated that he feels the state has failed in recent years to adequately invest in its communities and infrastructure. He said he would like people to understand that the state has been “making real progress” by investing in communities, something he said helps to create jobs.
“I’ve never hidden the fact that I think that an appropriate role of government is to stimulate the economy. Appropriate investment—that’s very different than simply distributing money for the purposes of distributing money,” he said.
Salina lauded Malloy’s revitalization efforts. He said Berlin’s project to revitalize its Main Street and Farmington Avenue area had been “limping along” for the last decade. But he credited the town’s partnership with Malloy and his Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein for helping to “jump start” the project.
“It’s taken a long time but we’ve gotten more traction over the last two and a half years that’s why I’m privileged to be standing here with the commissioner and the governor because it’s money that’s going to be going to a great cause,” Salina said.
In addition to Berlin, Malloy announced grants for the towns of Ansonia, Burlington, Canaan, Canton, Colchester, Cornwall, Essex, Fairfield, Griswold, Killingly, Mansfield, New Canaan, and Westport.