Transit Funding, Cannabis Business Loans, Manufacturing on State Bond Commission Agenda

The State Bonds Commission will review millions of dollars in economic development efforts at its Thursday meeting, including money for highways and bridges; public transport infrastructure; low-interest loans for cannabis entrepreneurs and manufacturing apprenticeship programs.

The largest item is more than $212 million in special tax bonds set aside for transportation projects, including road repairs, bridge improvement and rehabilitation works, and utility facilities and equipment. bus and railway.

Governor Ned Lamont has often spoken about expanding and improving public rail options in the state, which remains heavily dependent on automobiles, and reducing the time it takes to commute between Connecticut and New York. As a result, $103.6 million of the $212 million would likely go to the Office of Public Transportation.

More than $120 million would be used to promote economic and community development projects in various municipalities through the state’s “Challenge Grant” program, which aims to improve quality of life and convenience, particularly in communities in difficulty.

Proposed recipients include Hartford (neighbourhood and Pope Park improvements); Mansfield (improvements to City Hall); Cheshire (cleaning and remediation of former Ball & Socket Manufacturing Co.); the Naugatuck YMCA (infrastructure updates); Middletown (redevelopment of 545 Main Street into a mixed-use space); and the Palace Theater in Stamford (replacing seats, carpeting and lighting).

The Ministry of Economic and Community Development would receive $10 million to provide low-interest loans to social equity applicants seeking to start or maintain a cannabis establishment. Distribution of funds would be granted based on applications submitted to the Social Equity Council.

A total of $3 million is set aside as a grant to the Connecticut Center for Advanced Manufacturing in East Hartford, for use in apprenticeship programs and the Manufacturing Innovation Fund, which provides job training, matching funds and other resources to encourage growth in local manufacturing.

Other items on the agenda include money to replace the Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown, maintaining the state’s clean water program, and upgrading roads, utility buildings, and more. emergency, senior centers, schools, sewers, libraries and facilities housing state agencies.

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