On Friday, the State Bond Commission is expected to vote on more than $1.2 billion of borrowing, including the final portion of public funding for the controversial redevelopment of New London’s State Pier, and much smaller amounts for renovations of Three Rivers Community College and other projects around the region.
At a Bond Commission meeting in April where $55 million of funding was approved for the project State Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, questioned the rising cost estimates of the project, which state and Connecticut Port Authority officials denied were cost overruns.
The bond package also includes several million dollars of funding for local projects, including $759,375 to Haddam for the $1.34 million renovations to Brainerd Memorial Library, $132,000 toward replacing the roof at Deep River Elementary School, and $500,000 to build a long-planned baseball field in Killingworth.
Killingworth First Selectwoman Catherine Iino said the half-million dollars in bonding will help fund a long-planned full-size baseball diamond at Eric W. Auer Park. The town used a state grant to start what was supposed to be a two phase project to install multipurpose fields and a baseball diamond at the park in 2009, but the recession dried up funding options and the second phase was put on hold.
“When the state was looking for new projects, we had the basic plans already drawn up for this,” Iino said.
Another $1.7 million will go to New London for the abatement and demolition of the former Thames River Apartment Complex. The city received $2 million in bond funds for the project in 2019.
$770,000 is earmarked for Madison to replace a seawall at Garvan Point beach. Other projects include funding for additional security cameras at state prisons – including $182,711 to the York Correctional Center in East Lyme, and $260,671 to the Corrigan/Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville.
Three Rivers Community College in Norwich is set to receive $4.78 million for renovations to the campus student center and library – the second phase of a project the school started in 2017 when it received nearly $1 million in bond funding for alterations to its tutoring center and to design the improvements for the student center and library.
Keith Epstein, vice president for facilities and infrastructure planning at Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, said the planned renovations include roof replacements and masonry work, and renovating the first and second floors of the library. The library renovations are intended to create a more functional space for teaching and learning support spaces, and adding computer pods and gathering spaces to bring the building in line with the school’s current needs, he said.
“These are wonderful improvements to support the students’ academic needs,” he said.