A minute with the Mayor: State and federal funding a great boost for Norwich

Mayor Peter Nystrom

It is no secret that the federal and state levels of government have made unprecedented funding available to states and municipalities over the past few years. Whether it was in response to the economic challenges created by the pandemic or part of the enormous investment in our nation’s infrastructure, there are countless opportunities for funding in Hartford and Washington.

With so much money available, competition for funding is fierce. To get significant federal and state funding, any application must be both thorough and clear while being able to withstand scrutiny and analysis over the course of many months.

And so it is worth noting – if not celebrating – the success officials in Norwich have achieved in identifying, pursuing, and securing very significant funding from federal and state sources for the residents of Norwich.

Although Norwich is a medium-sized city in a small state, given the success that has been achieved through the collaboration and hard work of so many, clearly the Rose City is punching above its weight in securing this critical funding.

Consider the following three examples:

In March, the Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC) was awarded $11.4 million to support the initial infrastructure build-out at Business Park North. This work will include roadways, pedestrian and bike lanes, bus stops, stormwater management and utility installation. This investment is the next big step forward for a development that will bring new jobs, tax revenues and utility revenues to our city.

In April, Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) was awarded $10 million from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA – part of the U.S. Department of Transportation) to begin the process of modernizing up to 10 miles of natural gas mains. This important work is expected to get underway later this year and NPU has committed regular public outreach on the impact and schedule for this work over the next five years.

And in February, Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that NPU had been awarded $1.6 million in funding to support infrastructure improvements that will reduce the number of untreated sewage discharges into the Shetucket and Thames Rivers. Improving water quality in Norwich helps every community along the Thames River, which will ultimately benefit Long Island Sound for generations to come.

There is an old saying that ‘a good project sells itself.’ And that has certainly been the case in Norwich lately. We are grateful for the continued advocacy and support from Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Congressman Joe Courtney, as well as State Senator Cathy Osten and State Representatives Kevin Ryan, Derrell Wilson, and Doug Dubitsky.