With $30 million in road improvement money released by the State Bond Commission on Jan. 29 as part of Connecticut’s Town Aid Road program, Wilton will soon receive the second half of a $315,938 grant.
Announced by Gov. Dannel Malloy on Feb. 1, this is the second $30-million installment of $60 million in Special Tax Obligation bonds previously approved for the current fiscal year.
The state Town Aid Road grant program, introduced in 1931 during the Great Depression, provides funding to Connecticut’s 169 municipalities for transportation improvement purposes.
Typically, municipalities receive 50% of their Town Aid Road grants in July and 50% in January. Wilton got half of the grant — which requires no local match — in July 2015, and is expecting to get the rest on Feb. 11 or 12, according to First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice.
“In Connecticut, we are in the middle of a critical conversation on what we need to do to build a best-in-class transportation system that provides residents and businesses with real solutions for problems that the state can no longer put off,” Malloy said in a press release.
“Providing our towns and cities with increased funding for local transportation projects is an important part of these efforts.”
According to Malloy’s press release, Connecticut municipalities can use Town Aid Road funding for a variety of purposes, including construction and maintenance of highways and bridges, snow removal, the trimming and removing of trees, the installation of traffic signs and signals, and providing and operating essential public transportation services and related facilities.
“Wilton has always used that grant for road paving, and that is the expectation going forward,” Vanderslice told The Bulletin. Indeed, the Department of Public Works’ fiscal year 2016 budget included $315,846 in “Town Aid Road” monies for expenditure by the highway subdepartment on “pavement management.”
Amounts granted are based upon local population and road miles. The five cities that received funds in excess of $1 million were Connecticut’s five most populated — Bridgeport, which got $1.3 million, New Haven, Hartford and Stamford, each of which got $1.2 million, and Waterbury, which got $1.07 million.
An allocation of $68.9 million was also approved at Friday’s meeting of the Bond Commission to cover the costs associated with resurfacing state roadways this year.
The road paving program will begin in earnest on April 1 — the traditional start of Connecticut’s construction season. “This year, it is anticipated that at least 250 two-lane miles of roads throughout the state will be repaved,” the press release said.