HARTFORD, CT — The State Bond Commission will meet Wednesday for the first time this year to approve $190.5 million in general obligation bonds for a variety of projects including millions in long-awaited municipal funds.
The agenda includes $106 million in general obligation bonds and $30 million in special tax obligation bonds for Town Aid Road and other municipal grants to help municipalities with highway and bridge construction.
“Towns are responsible for maintaining more than 17,000 miles of road, four times as many miles as the state,” Elizabeth Gara, executive director of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, has said. “Well-maintained roads are critical to the safety of residents and the economic vitality of our communities.”
About $76 million of the $106 million in municipal funding will be distributed to cities and towns partially based on the amount of tax-exempt manufacturing machinery and equipment in each town, and partially based on each town’s property and income wealth.
Municipalities have been waiting for these funds since last summer when Gov. Ned Lamont was trying to negotiate a transportation package that included highway tolls as a way to pay for some of it. Lamont was unwilling to approve a bond package until there was a vote on the transportation package, but he abandoned his hope of getting his transportation plan passed in mid-February.
One of the last things the General Assembly did before leaving the building on March 11 was to approve a bond package that authorizes the state to put $1.9 billion on the state credit card.
Lamont borrowed about $1.25 billion during his first year in office.
The bond package the commission is expected to approve Wednesday also includes more than $2 million for the Judicial Branch to assess and improve security around six of its urban courthouses. The funding was requested following a bloody quadruple shooting that took place on the steps of a Bridgeport courthouse in January.
There’s also $146,000 to reimburse the Norwich Police Department for the purchasing of body worn cameras.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is also expected to receive $500,000 to finance minor capital improvements at various state parks and wildlife management areas.
There’s $6.6 million to raise a 4,000-foot stretch of First Avenue and Beach Street from Monahan Place, in West Haven, near the wastewater treatment plant, to Morse Avenue, near the former Chick’s Drive-in restaurant. There’s $1.4 million for Hartford Public Library to relocate the Park Branch to the former Lyric Theater site on Park Street.
The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. and it will be broadcast on CT-N.