The driveway and parking lot of the Monroe Food Pantry's 980 Monroe Turnpike facility needs to be repaved, and a 39,105 grant through the state's Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) should help make it happen.
Monroe's delegation from Hartford, Sen. Anthony Musto, Sen. Dan Debicella and State Rep. DebraLee Hovey were instrumental is securing the funding.
"STEAP grants allow our town to invest in their communities without increasing burdens on local taxpayers," Musto said.
In light of the massive state budget deficit, Hovey believes the grant is bitter-sweet.
"While I am thrilled to bring this money to Monroe, I am not thrilled to have further debt bonded by the state," Hovey said. "The burden we are passing on to future generations is extraordinary."
Debicella was unavailable to comment by press time.
Musto announced the awarding of the grant to Monroe in a press released, which also mentioned that Trumbull will receive a $100,000 grant for signage, fencing and streetscape improvements for the Trumbull Corporate Industrial and Office Park roadway.
That town will also receive an additional $92,500 for streetscape improvements in Trumbull Center.
"These grants for Trumbull and Monroe are welcome at a time when our towns are making the most of every dollar and will allow some of these improvement projects to move forward, along with the economic and quality-of-life enhancements that they offer," Musto said.
STEAP funds are used for economic development, community conservation, historic preservation and other development projects in municipalities that are ineligible for Urban Action grants.
For the 2011 Fiscal Year, $20 million was authorized to provide STEAP grants to the 134 towns that have opted to participate in the program. STEAP funds can only be used for capital projects. The STEAP program is administered by the state Office of Policy and Management.