$500K For Main Street

If you’re not a big fan of government incentives, chances are you won’t like this.

But if you think government can help towns attract small business, promote commercial activity and add jobs by providing grants for infrastructure renovations and improvements to municipal commercial centers, you’ll want to know how Westport can get a piece of the pie.

Under Governor Malloy’s new Main Street Investment Fund, towns with populations less than 30,000 can apply for up to $500,000 for a variety of projects: building renovations, improved street lights, sidewalk construction, signage, recreational space or other renovations “deemed necessary to contribute to the economic success of the municipality.”

The program also provides financial incentives to owners of commercial private properties for expenditures that directly support and enhance a qualified project. 

The Main Street Investment Fund seems perfect for Westport — particularly for our Main Street.

Alert “06880” readers: Click “Comments” to give Westport officials some idea of the project(s) they should seek funding for.

Note to town fathers: The application deadline is September 28.

How can $500,000 in state funding help revitalize downtown Westport?

18 responses to “$500K For Main Street

  1. It seems that Saugatuck is the new Westport,
    I only wish we had Peter’s Bridge Market back.

  2. How about we apply for funds in support of the 06880 blog? Seems like Dan can contribute to “economic success of Westport through his blog!

  3. Very interesting….Downtown Committee (Lou Gagliano is chair) should look into this.

  4. Click on “Main Street Investment Fund” (in Dan’s article) and see if you really want this money. It is not a gift since you paid state taxes. The refunds are based on only 50% or 25% reimbursements of what is spent. The remaining costs are paid by you, the taxpayer. In a time when the state is in a huge deficit, do you think this is prudent? If you cannot afford it don’t do it!

    • Nick Thiemann

      Steve, has the tea party stolen your brain? Splitting the cost of double decked parking, together with proper drainage in the Baldwin lost makes sense to me.

      • Nick Thiemann

        I mean splitting the cost with the downtown merchants.

      • “This act provides grants in the amount not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) to municipalities” at the maximum reimbursement which we may not get. The double decked parking that you mention would cost millions and I am sure the Downtown Merchants are appreciative to you for spending their money. Also the town has said many times over that they would not want this type of structure. Shame on you … You know me well and you know I have nothing to do with the tea party and suggest you check your math and facts. I hope you are well…Regards

  5. Convert the Levitt Pavillion to solar power. As a priviledged town to the extreme, Westport needs to be leading the way for our societies necessary transformation in the next industrial revolution. There are far too many 3 or 4 car household without one single hybrid or electric car. When westporters get out and see the world, they’ll see thier Main Street is just fine and enhancement should be examples
    Of social and sustainable good. How about an e-charging station or an organic greenhouse.

  6. bring back all the little boutique shops that I knew growing up in Wspt in the good ole days where everybody knew your name & you knew theirs. That was the REAL Westport

  7. Double-tiered parking in the Baldwin lot. You can’t shop if you can’t park.

  8. Westport should take a pass. This is not money from the toothfairy.

    “The grant shall be used for improvements to property owned by the municipality, except the municipality may use a portion of the proceeds of the grant to provide a one-time reimbursement to owners of commercial private property for eligible expenditures that directly support and enhance an eligible project. The maximum allowable reimbursement for such eligible expenditures to the owner shall be $50,000 provided at the following rates:

    (1) expenditures equal to or less than $50,000 shall be reimbursed at a rate of 50%, and

    (2) any additional expenditures greater than $50,000 but less than or equal to $150,000 shall be reimbursed at a rate of 25%.”

  9. Everybody – Don’t be greedy. Get the details and read the fine print!

  10. The initial post was a knee jerk reaction to “free money”. Not well thought out or researched. Foolish at best.

  11. Hust what we need–our governor increasing taxes the most in the states history and now giving money away. What will make Main Street prosper is stores with the right merchandise and restaurants that people want to frequent.

    How about giving back our money so we can spend it and help Main Street.

  12. Melissa Ceriale

    I VOTE FOR SIDEWALKS! Just think what Westport would be like if kids could walk or ride bikes to school. Not to mention the savings in town funds on things like buses (especially empty ones). How about our carbon foot print on reduced SUV’s (mom’s driving their kids all over town) or even the chance to walk for things like groceries, etc? Heck, neighbors might meet more neighbors if the old-fashioned concept of walking were re-introduced out here. Westport is no longer a country town. It is a busy bedroom community. The infrastructure is long outdated to match it’s needs.

    • If the citizens wanted sidewalks, there would be sidewalks. They have revealed their preferences.

    • Me too. Would love more sidewalks…but I would guess 500k could only do a small bit. I wonder why there are no sidewalks here. Where I grew up we had sidewalks and could walk everywhere.