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Westport Seeks Grant To Spruce Up Downtown

WESTPORT, Conn. – Pedestrians in downtown Westport could soon have more sidewalks to use if the town receives a nearly $500,000 state grant.

Town officials are seeking to install new sidewalks as well as improve streetscapes in and around downtown with help from the Main Street Investment Fund . This state program offers grants of up to $500,000 to towns that have fewer than 30,000 residents or are eligible for Connecticut's Small Town Economic Assistance Program. The grants are to be used for projects that enhance a town's commercial center.

Westport Public Works Director Stephen Edwards and Lou Gagliano, chairman of the Westport Downtown 2020 Committee, are submitting the application and are requesting $497,595. According to the application, the grant money would be used to:

? Install 6,215 linear feet of new sidewalk and repair existing sidewalks.

? Add granite curbing on Main Street from Post Road East to Elm Street, and from Elm Street to Avery Place.

? Install decorative, energy efficient light poles on Main Street.

? Add tree grates on Main Street.

The new sidewalks would be built along the south sides of Myrtle Avenue and Elm Street, in front of Veterans Green on Main Street, on Post Road West and Imperial Avenue.

A portion of existing sidewalk along Main Street from Kings Highway North to Canal Street would also be rebuilt.

“If we got the entire pot of gold, this is what we’d go with,” Edwards told the Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body, at a meeting Tuesday night.

However, if Westport were to receive less money than requested, which Edwards said he expects, the downtown sidewalk projects would take priority, he said.

The RTM gave Edwards and Gagliano the green light to submit the grant application during its meeting Tuesday night. Applications are due by Sept. 28.

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