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Town to Seek $700,000 Grant for Water St. Improvements

Milford is seeking a $700,000 Community Development Block Grant to help reconstruct a portion Water St. Jane Bigda photo

The town's Community Development office plans to file a $700,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application with the state this month to fund road and sidewalk improvements on Water St. from Prospect St. (Rt. 140) to Lee St., as well as continue funding for housing rehabilitation in its low- to moderate-income target area.

Melissa Alves Tomas, acting Community Development Director, met with the Board of Selectmen on January 27 to obtain its approval for a revised Community Development Strategy document – necessary for the grant application – and to gain its approval for the two projects in the grant application. Selectmen gave their unanimous approval on both requests.

If this CDBG grant request is approved, it would allow the town to tie-in work done with past CDBG-funded projects in the Prospect Heights and Bancroft Park areas, Tomas said. In addition, the town contributed work when the traffic signal was installed last year at the Prospect /Water Streets intersection, Highway Surveyor Scott Crisafulli said.

When asked by Selectman Brian Murray what the town's role in the project would be, Tomas responded that Town Engineer Vonnie Reis contributes her expertise and the Highway Department would act as the project supervisor. "They're basically the supervisor on the job," she said. Tomas explained that the town engineer and Highway Department performed the same role during previous infrastructure improvement projects. Crisafulli noted his department is involved in the project design and permitting phases of projects and has a full-time inspector monitoring all roadway, sidewalk, curbing and drainage improvements.

Crisafulli noted that completing infrastructure improvement to the complete length of Water St. would cost more than his annual road repair budget, but using CDBG funds allows him to do parts of the road.

Murray and Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis asked that two minor updates on current projects – protecting open space with conservation restrictions and restoring Milford Pond – be added into the Community Development Strategy before it is submitted to the state with the CDBG application.

The town should hear back sometime in June or July whether it has won the grant, Tomas said.


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