The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford
The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, shown in January 2020. Credit: Doug Hardy / CTNewsJunkie

The state Bond Commission is slated to approve $340 million in general obligation bonds Friday, including funding for the state pier in New London, the rehabilitation of an East Hartford plaza, and a statewide shift away from polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. 

The agenda, if approved, would mean the commission has approved a total of $1.08 billion in GO bonds across two meetings, just under half of the cap of $2.38 billion for the calendar year. 

Friday’s agenda also seeks approval for the Treasurer Erick Russell to sell $875 million in special tax obligation bonds to generate revenue for infrastructure projects.  

The commission, chaired by Gov. Ned Lamont, is scheduled to vote on 36 requests, including $20 million to refund Lamont’s Time To Own program. The initiative gives low- and moderate-income homebuyers downpayment assistance in the form of a forgivable loan. 

The commission is also likely to authorize $30 for the Connecticut Port Authority for the ongoing redevelopment of the state pier to meet the requirements for an offshore windmill. 

The agenda also includes a combined $14.6 million for the Department of Economic and Community Development, including $13.6 million for various business assistance programs. 

The remaining $1 million would go to help residents who abut Yale Golf Course in New Haven whose properties have been damaged by flooding and erosion. 

That figure is not part of the $72.5 million that would fund various urban development grants through the Office of Policy and Management. 

Other development projects on the agenda include $6.5 million, through the Capital Region Development Authority, to help with the redevelopment of Founders Plaza in East Hartford. The money would pay for the demolition and abatement of buildings on and adjacent to the East River Drive parcel. 

The commission is also slated to approve $1.2 million to help the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s shift away from PFAS. 

The money would fund a study to find alternative aqueous film forming products, or AFFF, which are used to fight fires, instead of ones containing PFAS. The money would also help DEEP implement its PFAS take-back program. 

DEEP would also use the money to test public drinking water systems, and to supply bottled water and filtration systems to impacted residents. 

PFAS has a range of uses that include fire-suppressing foams, nonstick cooking pans and waterproof clothes, but studies have found the chemical does not break down easily in the environment.

The chemicals are not harmful if ingested in limited amounts, but public health officials have expressed worry that some people could still feel impacts if they’re exposed to small amounts for long periods of time. 

Friday’s agenda also includes some routine items that come before the bond commission, such as $30 million for OPM’s Local Capital Improvement Fund grant program and $40 million to the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities for deferred maintenance and upgrades. 

Additionally, the commission will vote on a combined $153.9 million for state and local roadways. Those projects will be funded by special tax obligation bonds, which are repaid by revenues from the gas tax, vehicle registrations and other transportation-related sources. 

The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Legislative Office Building.