Gov. Dannel Malloy came to Ansonia Wednesday (July 31) to announce the city will receive a $400,000 federal grant to fund rehab work at 12 low- or moderate-income households.
The announcement capped off what Mayor James Della Volpe called “a pretty good month” — on July 11 Ansonia got word it will receive nearly $500,000 to spruce up the West Main Street area.
The governor said during a press conference at City Hall that the grant announced Wednesday will make more affordable housing available to members of the work force and seniors by providing money for things like health and safety improvements and energy efficiency upgrades.
Projects include things like lead testing and abatement, window and door replacement, and electrical and plumbing improvements.
Click the play button on the video to see Malloy announcing the grant.
Della Volpe said about 75 people have applied to be part of the program.
After the press conference, the mayor said residents looking for money to make improvements will be interviewed by officials during a review process before any money is awarded.
“We want to make sure they’re in need,” he said. “That’s what this is about.”
“First of all, we make sure they pay their taxes, (and) that they’re low- or moderate-income homeowners,” Della Volpe said, adding that they’ll try to award money to “as many houses as possible.”
The mayor said anyone interested in taking part should contact the Carol Forcier, the community development specialist in the Economic Development office at City Hall.
Click here to view the Economic Development section of the city’s website.
The $400,000 Ansonia will receive is part of a total of $11,850,000 in federal Small Cities Grants announced Wednesday to 26 Connecticut municipalities.
Click here to read a press release on the grants from Malloy’s office.
Along with other grants, the governor said the state is “demonstrating its commitment will continue to Ansonia and other cities and towns across Connecticut.”
“Not only will these grants create immediate jobs, but they will also strengthen our cities and towns in the longterm, building neighborhoods where people can raise a family and support a thriving downtown commercial center,” Malloy said.
State Sen. Joe Crisco and State Rep. Linda Gentile were also on hand to laud the city’s receipt of the money, and said it would give much-needed help to the city’s residents.
Malloy said that there’s still plenty of work yet to be done in terms of economic development, “until everybody who wants a job has a job.”
Not everyone in the audience was thrilled with the governor’s visit.
David Cassetti, the Republican party’s nominee to run against Della Volpe in November, said Wednesday’s press conference was “strictly political.”
“The people of Ansonia aren’t stupid,” Cassetti said after the press conference. “They’ll see what happens in November.”
In an e-mail to the Valley Indy, Patrick Henri, the chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said Malloy visited Ansonia Wednesday just to give Della Volpe’s campaign a boost.
Both Cassetti and Malloy said credit for the grant should be given to the Economic Development Commission, of which Cassetti is a member.
During his remarks during the press conference, Della Volpe credited, among others, Cassetti and Vinnie Scarlata, the chairman of the Economic Development Commission, for their work on the grant.
Asked during the press conference to respond, Malloy said he didn’t even know Della Volpe was up for re-election.
Article continues after the video.
That said, “I think anybody would be crazy not to vote for him,” the governor added. “You can be as cynical as you want, I assure you it wasn’t on my mind.”
Gentile also pointed out that the timeline for the city to apply for and receive the grant was a long process.
“I liked my answer better,” Malloy joked.
After the meeting, Della Volpe said he’s proud of his long friendship with Malloy, who he pointed out comes to the city often.