Shelton receives $240K in CT grants for downtown projects

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — The city’s downtown revitalization received a financial boost from the state of Connecticut. 

Shelton has received two Small Town Economic Assistance Program, or STEAP, grants totaling $240,000 — with $120,000 going toward the extension of the Housatonic Riverwalk on Canal Street and $120,000 toward creation of Shelton Canal Lock Park. 

These grants were among more than $31.8 million given to cities and towns throughout the state. 

“Both of these activities will enhance the city’s ongoing efforts to revitalize Canal Street,” said Mayor Mark Lauretti, who praised Gov. Ned Lamont and his staff for their continued support of the city. 

State Rep. Jason Perillo said these grants are one more step toward the redevelopment of the downtown. 

“I congratulate (Lauretti’s) office for this success," said Perillo. "There is more work to be done and I’ll be working with Rep. Ben McGorty and Sen. Kevin Kelly in the months and years ahead to make things happen for downtown businesses and residents.” 

The $120,000 in state funding for the walking path along the Housatonic River will be matched by $25,000 from the city. 

The $120,000 in state funding approved for the restoration of the Shelton Canal will be matched by $30,000 from the city. This money will be applied toward creation of the Shelton Canal Lock Park. 

"This is great news for Shelton," added Kelly, who represents Shelton, among other towns. “These projects will support historic preservation of our community, environmental restoration, and the creation of open space." 

Lauretti called the Riverwalk an integral element of downtown’s rebirth. The Riverwalk will, once complete, be nearly a mile from the southern tip of Veterans Memorial Park north along the Housatonic River to the Shelton Canal Lock. 

Lauretti said this grant will allow the city to construct a 220-linear-foot section behind 223 Canal St., which will be home to River Breeze, a 64-apartment development. 

The second grant will cover the city’s costs for hiring an engineering firm to complete the study necessary to establish a new public open space at the northern end of Canal Street. 

“The concept will support the historic preservation of Shelton’s last remaining canal lock, the environmental restoration of the Shelton canal and the development of public open spaces which will support passive and active recreational opportunities,” Lauretti added. 

Since 1996, the state of Connecticut and the city has invested more than $21 million into Shelton’s Brownfields Remediation Program. 

“The results have been transformative as Shelton has revitalized a once blighted and decayed industrial zone,” Lauretti said. 

As a result of these public investments, according to Lauretti, the city has been successful in leveraging nearly $110 million in private investments leading to the construction of more than 600 residential units and the creation of dozens of new business opportunities downtown. 

"I am grateful that the city of Shelton will be able to bolster its development and revitalization with the help of these grants,” said McGorty. 

The STEAP grants are awarded through a state program managed by the Office of Policy and Management that delivers grants to small towns for economic development, community conservation, and quality-of-life capital projects.