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Westport Receives State Grant For Downtown Improvements

New and improved sidewalks, energy efficient lighting and tree grates are coming to downtown Westport.
New and improved sidewalks, energy efficient lighting and tree grates are coming to downtown Westport. Photo Credit: File/Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. – Sidewalk improvements are some of the upgrades to be made in downtown Westport thanks to a $497,595 state grant the town was awarded.

Westport was one of 14 towns in the state to receive a grant as part of the Main Street Investment Fund , Gov. Dannel Malloy announced this week. The program is designed to help towns develop or improve their commercial districts, help small businesses attract customers and improve pedestrian safety and livability in town centers. Nearly $5 million was awarded statewide in the grant package.

“Main Street Investment grants play an important role in strengthening economic development initiatives on the local level,” Malloy said in a statement. “This program is unique in that it builds a working partnership between state government and the smaller communities that are striving to strengthen their commercial centers and attract additional business.

“I applaud the leadership in Westport for their focus on creating accessible and livable downtowns.”

Westport will use its share of the funding to improve the downtown’s street infrastructure and enhance pedestrian sidewalk access from residential neighborhoods into the center of downtown.  Specifically, the money will go toward sidewalk refurbishments, the installation of new sidewalks, improved energy efficient lighting, curbing, guardrails and tree grates.

The grant was sought after by the Westport Downtown 2020 Committee Chairman Lou Gagliano, with help from Public Works Department Director Steve Edwards and Westport state Rep.Jonathan Steinberg.

Steinberg, former chairman of the Downtown Planning Subcommittee of the Town Plan Implementation Committee – which led to the creation of the Downtown 2020 Committee – said he was happy to help the Downtown 2020 Committee secure the grant.

“For many years, Westport has been exploring downtown improvements,” Steinberg said in a statement. “This grant will facilitate the pursuit of an ambitious program to enhance our downtown while preserving its historic and aesthetic character.”

Other towns in Fairfield County that received a grant were Fairfield and New Canaan.

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