New Milford receives grant to revitalize riverfront
NEW MILFORD — The riverfront from downtown to Century Brass could soon be revitalized with the creation of a master plan.
The plan will be paid for with a $170,000 grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development. “We’re very excited about it,” Mayor Pete Bass said.
New Milford is one of six recipients for this round of a combined $1 million in brownfield grants that will allow the localities and groups to revitalize and remediate blighted areas to put them back into productive use.
Ansonia received $200,000 to develop a plan for the Ansonia Brass Company site downtown. And the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation was awarded $200,000 to create a comprehensive implementation strategy to remediate and redevelop the Bridgeport Brass Project Area.
Also receiving the grant money was the town of Naugatuck, which was awarded $200,000 for the planning and development of the inland Port of Naugatuck; the town of Thompson, which received a $170,000 grant to plan studies and predevelopment work needed to complete pending redevelopment and revitalization of River Mill and the Belding-Corticelli Mills; and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments received a $60,000 grant to study potential remediation and redevelopment of three brownfield parcels in Thomaston including the former Plume and Atwood facility.
New Milford’s plan for the riverfront revitalization will look at how to remediate some brownfield sites along the Housatonic River, including the former Century Brass, Helen Marx field and the land where the Public Works Department is located.
Bass said this will restore public access to the river and help with economic development within walking distance of downtown. It will also attract more businesses.
“It’s kind of a catalyst,” he said.
The town will now work with residents, businesses and other organizations to determine what should be included in the plan.
The program was created in 2015. It encourages communities to consider neighborhoods, downtowns, waterfront districts, or other sections with multiple blighted properties and develop strategies to assess, clean up, and reuse the parcels for business, housing, and public amenities that will generate jobs and revenues and revitalize the entire area.
“Blighted properties are an eyesore in neighborhoods and drive down property values,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a press release. “By making investments in these scarred, abandoned, and otherwise unusable parcels of land, we can attract many more times that amount back in private investments while also making communities more attractive to business and job growth.”
Since 2011, the state has invested $225.6 million in 170 brownfield projects located in 72 municipalities across the state. For every $1 of state investment in a brownfield project, $11.41 has been or will be invested by non-state partners, according to the state.