Town of Stafford Economic Development with Utility Expansion Project

DyMar working with the town of Stafford. Gets OK at Stafford town meeting for utility expansion project.

It’s a huge step towards opening up some economic development

Not a single “nay” vote was uttered at a meeting Wednesday during which residents voted unanimously to appropriate 1.9 million for the first phase of a utility expansion project that would improve economic development.

About 175 people turned out to show their support for the project at the community center at 3 Buckley Highway.

The project will bring water, sewer and natural gas lines to the stretch of Route 190from Dunkin Donuts to Chelle’s Diner. The Utility expansion also will extend to the industrial park on Middle River Drive, and to a new road that will be created within the construction of Woodland Springs,, a new subdivision housing project behind Big Y.

This project which is in line with state initiatives to switch to cleaner sources of energy, is part of a larger project that will be carried out in phases.

in the next one to two months, the town will take bids from contractors and finalize design engineering. The project is expected to begin in late September to early October, and the construction will take one and a half to two months to complete, according to First Selectman Richard Shuck.

The first phase of the project will be financed by a combination of federal grants and bonds, including a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program, or Steap, grant that the town received in March from the State Housing Department. The grant will provide Woodland Springs, the first phase of the new subsidized housing development being constructed to replace the badly out-of-date Avery Park complex, the water and sewer lines that the complex requires.

Town officials and engineering consultants have emphasized that the ultimate cost of the project to taxpayers is negligible, especially in consideration of its benefit. Between the recovery of funds through signups as well as the increased attractiveness of the area to new businesses, town officials say the project essentially will end up paying for itself.

DyMar Southbury, Connecticut

Mark Lancor, engineering consultant with DyMar of Southbury, said he had been working with the town for the past year…”In terms of trying to advance the town’s…utility and economic intiatives to propel Stafford into the next millennium, so to speak”.

As He explained the project to residents, Lancor commended what he described as Stafford’s “vision to move forward on such a vital component of economic expansion”. The project, he said, would make natural gas, water and sewer lines available for businesses and residences.

“Infrastructure is extremely important, and you need all the parts”, he said. “Any part that is missing actually deters from any attractive businesses, and that means the lack of economic expansion”.

A packet that was handed out at the meeting outlined the details, location and benefits of the project, including cheaper energy costs and becoming more attractive to businesses that would increase the town’s grand list and create jobs.

Presentation at Stafford Town Meeting

Among the entities that stand to benefit from the project are American Woolen, TTM Technologies, 3M Purification, Big Y Supermarkets and Johnson Memorial Medical Center. Preliminary calculations showed that the project would result in the lowering of operating costs to the tune of $3 million.

TTM Technologies has said that the utility expansion would prompt them to expand their facility and create 50 jobs. This showcases the type of benefit the project is designed to attract for economic development..

Carl Frattini, systems expansion director at Eversource Energy says, the company is working with the town on the project and is prepared to invest about $8 million dollars in the larger project.

Shuck said that though the first phase of the project is relatively small in terms of infrastructure projects, it is a big project for the town in terms of change and benefits.