Over the past few months, the Town Council has discussed the development of the Swajchuk Property, which involves the relocation of Wall Field. Though the , it was unclear how much would be accomplished in phase one of construction due to funding.
The Council has said that the goal is to have sod in place by August, making the recent most likely the last to be held at Wall Field on Route 80.
The town just received a $350,000 boost in the form of a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) Grant that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced on May 8. North Branford is one of eight towns to receive funds (see below for other towns awarded and their slated projects).
The State Bond Commission allocated $20 million for 2012 STEAP grants in September 2011, with the first awards coming in December 2011. Grants are awarded to small towns across the state in part due to their impact on overall regional economic development.
“These grants represent the important partnership between our towns and state government,” said Malloy in a press release. “As we work to reinvent Connecticut, supporting local projects that improve centers of commerce, town facilities and schools will make us a stronger, more competitive state, all while improving the quality of life for residents.”
Relocating Wall Field became necessary with the . Senator Ed Meyer (D, Guilford) and (R-North Branford) sought and supported the grant. Both Meyer and Candelora were recently at Wall Field for North Branford Little League’s Opening Day ceremonies.
“For years kids in North Branford have enjoyed playing baseball at old Wall Field and now, thanks to this grant, that tradition will continue at a new location,” Meyer said. “I am grateful to Gov. Malloy for recognizing the importance of this project and I look forward to children in my district having a new and improved ball field.”
Candelora said that the STEAP grant allows the new complex to have functional restroom facilities and concession areas, as the current Wall Field does.
“I want to thank Governor Malloy for recognizing this important need created by the Route 80 reconstruction by providing this grant and continuing to make the a priority,” said Candelora.
Town Manager reported that, with this STEAP grant, there is now more than $1,000,000 of state funding earmarked for this project.
“We’re very appreciative of the work done by Representative Candelora to secure these funds,” said Branigan. “There’s definitely a need and these monies will be put to good use.”
Mayor Anthony Candelora is also excited about the added funds, which he says “are such a wonderful boost to the project.”
STEAP Grant Recipients and Projects
- Fairfield: $100,000 to construct beach access for people with disabilities.
- East Windsor: $50,000 to replace sidewalks at Broad Brook Elementary School
- North Branford: $350,000 to relocate a little league field.
- North Haven: $50,000 to design and construct a new playground at Montowese Elementary School.
- Somers: $85,000 to pave the town hall parking lot.
- Thompson: $65,000 to construct a social services building.
- Westport: $300,000 for the Saugatuck Congregate Housing.
- Willington: $400,000 to reconstruct Turnpike Road and make drainage improvements.