Meskers: $1.2 Million in State Aid On The Way to Greenwich Non Profits

The State Bonding Committee met on Tuesday and approved $1.2 million in funding directed to Greenwich, including $400,000 for the restoration of the 1896 Chimes building at Tod’s Point through the Greenwich Point Conservancy, $104,000 for body cameras for Greenwich Police, $200,000 toward the new Red Cross blood donation center, $200,000 toward Neighbor to Neighbor’s new food pantry building, and $100,000 toward the new GEMS station.

Rendering of Neighbor to Neighbor food distribution center.

Also the funds include $300,000 for renovations to the senior center on Greenwich Avenue, which according to State Rep Steve Meskers (D-150) will help advance public-private partnership fundraising for a new café and dining area, part of a multi phase renovation of the building.

On Wednesday Meskers shared the news that the bonding committee had met and announced Greenwich was awarded the funds.

He also explained the Governor’s bonding committee had initially directed the funding to the Greenwich High School secure entry vestibule project.

When they realized the error, the funds were frozen.

Then, Meskers said, after the miscommunication was clarified, this week the $1.2 million was approved for the projects.

As for the vestibule, Meskers explained that of the overall $2.7 million cost of the project, the district was participating in the application process in hopes of securing 10% to 20% of the project’s cost from the school construction fund.

The state imposed a new mandate for school building security after the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook School in Newtown in December 2012. The addition would be combined with a number of new security features. The building plan is currently under review by the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Architectural Review Committee.

Rendering of proposed secure entry vestibule at Greenwich High School.

Meskers said he was pleased about the state aid for worthy non profits in town, and was happy to be able to guide the proposal s through the process.

“I have worked closely with the office of OPM and with the Governors staff to secure this funding,” Meskers said. “My role as advocate was minor. I was the cheerleader to a remarkable group of volunteers and employees who selflessly gave of themselves to make my town a better place.”

“It’s wonderful news that this is happening just before Christmas, and that some of  the people doing the best work in town are receiving good news and good cheer,” Meskers said. “I’m happy to be their advocate, but I don’t want to take credit for the hard work and countless hours volunteers in non profits spend in making this town a better place to live.”

“Feeding the hungry, restoring the Chimes building for all the residents of Greenwich, protecting the vulnerable, helping the Red Cross with their blood donation center – these are all worthy in this critical time,” he added.