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The recent announcement that State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-12) had helped Branford secure a $500,000 STEAP grant to fund the construction of the Company 9 firehouse for Indian Neck highlights the important, tireless and often overlooked work of our state legislators to directly impact our local communities.
As a representative to Branford’s RTM, I see firsthand the impact and benefits of these efforts on our town’s budget, and they are even more critical as the state struggles to distribute limited funding to its municipalities.
The very effective efforts of Senator Kennedy and Branford’s state representatives have resulted in significant state support of Branford, through a $313,980 increase in education funding and $570,402 in property tax relief — for a total of $806,543. Branford Director of Finance Jim Finch has pointedly acknowledged the continued support from our state delegation.
Indirect impacts on the financial health of Branford are also numerous. In May, Kennedy announced success in petitioning Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and the State Bond Commission for approval of $297,000 for improvements to the Branford River State Boat Launch (in addition to $700,000 in federal funding) for a project that will certainly drive business to the community. Also, with the support of Senator Kennedy and State Representative Sean Scanlon (D-98), Branford recently received a $125,000 competitive grant for a comprehensive master plan of the area surrounding the Branford Train Station to “encourage increased use of transit services” focusing on transit oriented growth and redevelopment to increase the town’s tax base, and create stronger linkages between the town center and the Branford Station.
Branford must re-elect Senator Kennedy to ensure the future of this highly effective support and his tireless advocacy of education and the environment!
Peter Hentschel is a 2nd District RTM representative.
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