BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH)-- Governor Malloy opened the state check book Thursday to help more than a dozen Connecticut communities make their town centers look more welcoming. It's designed to encourage more pedestrian traffic and small town business.
Like many smaller communities in Connecticut, the center of Berlin has seen better days the street-scape looks a little worn down.
The economic development director there says they're making progress purchasing a vacant furniture store and warehouse to be torn down for a new police station. There's a plan to rehab the old train station and give the main street nearby a real facelift.
"The plan is to do a set of street-scape improvements with landscaping, traffic calming, some bump outs that get traffic to slow down, crosswalk improvements to make it more safer, more inviting for pedestrians," said James Mahoney, Economic Development Director. "Encourage more business, help the people, the business that are here."
The town also plans to offer help to the existing businesses in fixing up the look of their buildings.
Amanda Somerset's family has owned the Dairy Queen in the center of town for more than thirty years.
"It sounds like a great idea, I think it'll clean up the town, the streets and be a nice walking town, nice and safe," said Somerset.
Wednesday, the Governor came to town to announce that the state will give Berlin a quarter of a million dollars to help pay for the improvements and he announced that many more smaller communities with similar plans will also get similar grants.
Joining Berlin in the grant program will be several other towns across the state, including; Ansonia, Colchester, Essex, Fairfield and Griswold, fourteen in all.
"We want to put lands back into development, we want to clean up blighted properties, we want to address the needs of smaller communities, as well as larger communities. We want to get that money spent," said Gov. Dannel Malloy, (D) Connecticut.
And the total amount of money the Governor wants to spend on all these small town projects is about $5 million.
You can get the full list of towns getting these grants by clicking
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