What’s needed to make downtown Westport more attractive?
Politicians and civic leaders think new and improved sidewalks, some curbing, a few tree grates, guardrails here and there, and energy efficient lighting would help.
What will it cost?
Well, $497,595 might cover it.
That’s the amount of a state grant — designed to help towns “develop or improve their commercial districts, help small businesses attract customers and improve pedestrian safety and livability in town centers” — provided by the neatly named Main Street Investment Fund. Westport was 1 of 14 towns in Connecticut to receive the aid.
But — aesthetically improved sidewalks, curbing and tree grates aside — the grant was not universally praised.
A Westporter — and local business owner, no less — posted the news on Facebook. She added one word: “Speechless.”
Other commenters added their
$497,595 2 cents:
- “That’s like an heiress applying for & getting food stamps. Unbeleiveable.”
- “The person with the best writing skills get the grants! It is silly for Westport to take grant money, they should be embarrassed!”
- “Taking it away from what other deserving areas that applied?”
- “Oh please– Westport should’nt even have been ELIGIBLE.”
- “Good to know the state has its priorities in order!”
- “Someone should investigate how that even happened.”
Of course, Facebook is its own ecosystem. Friends tend to reinforce other friends’ views.
Perhaps there’s another person out there whose Facebook page is filled with congratulations for this grant.
Meanwhile, “06880″ wants to know: How do you feel about Westport’s half-million-dollar downtown improvement grant? Well deserved? Much needed? Kinda nice, but embarrassing? A boondoggle? Something else?
Click “Comments.” Use your full name, please — and let us know if you’ve got a dog in the downtown hunt.