Portland will get a $227,700 state grant to build a new sand and salt shed near the town's highway garage on Route 17, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced today.
During a lunchtime press conference outside Town Hall Malloy told First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield and other local officials that the funding will come from Connecticut's Small Town Economic Assistance Program (or STEAP) and is part of some $10 million earmarked in that grant program to improve emergency management in local communities.
Portland needs to build a sand and salt shed because it currently stores those materials, used on roads during winter ice and snow storms, near the town well under the Portland-Middletown bridge. The well, Bransfield said, provides water to about one-third of the town's residents.
The STEAP announcement here is one of several Malloy is making today across the state. He will appear shortly in Killingworth to unveil that town's STEAP award and then later in Madison, which also is getting grant funding. Those awards will be announced at the press conferences.
Malloy said Portland's STEAP award "may be the most impactful" of the three because it is directly related to improving public safety, both in moving the salt away from the town well and providing town highway crews better access to the sand and salt. Currently, the material is far removed from the highway garage on Route 17. The new shed will be built next to the garage.
"We're proud of that and I've been proud as governor to be a part of this," Malloy said.
This is one of several STEAP grants the town has won in the last couple of years. Other awards have and $250,000 for improvements that were made to Main Street in the last year.