Backed By Lamont, City Wins $22 Million To Demolish Shut Power Plant And Smokestack

Bridgeport smokestack
Decommissioned Bridgeport power plant.

Several months ago, Governor Ned Lamont threw down a challenge to city officials: how about submitting a proposal to clean up that power plant mess and convert it into a tax generator?

Unclear how long this will take, but maybe within the next year or two, the hulking decommissioned power plant featuring the candy-striped smokestack will be razed, removing a horrid view of the city’s South End skyline.

The Connecticut Community Investment Fund whose members include State Senator Marilyn Moore and State Rep. Antonio Felipe approved $22 million on Tuesday to clear the former power plant which is located in Felipe’s district.

News release from Mayor’s Office:

Today, the State of Connecticut Community Investment Fund (“CIF”) 2030 Board approved the City of Bridgeport’s full request of $22 million for the demolition and abatement of the decommissioned PSEG Harbor Station coal plant. This is by far the largest CIF grant that has been awarded to date.

In January, Mayor Ganim convened a working group of federal, state and local officials to work with PSEG on a plan for the future of the decommissioned plant. After several months of conversation with these stakeholders, the Ganim Administration put together a CIF proposal to secure state financial support for the abatement and demolition of the former coal plant structure, with the goal of preparing the site for further remediation and development.

As part of the city’s master plan of development, the site is no longer zoned for industrial uses. Instead, both city and state officials anticipate that the site is prime for future mixed-use development, including housing and commercial retail that will complement the other developments around Bridgeport Harbor including Steelpointe, the Amphitheater, and the Arena. MetroCOG is currently undergoing a study including multiple stakeholders to evaluate different potential uses of the site.

Governor Lamont and his administration have been especially supportive of efforts to abate and demolish the old PSEG coal plant, believing that future development of the site will spur economic development in Bridgeport and the region. Collectively, the Lamont Administration, the Ganim Administration, and Bridgeport’s legislative delegation have promoted this project as one which closely aligns with the CIF’s goals of funding economic development projects that will foster transformational change in underserved communities in our state.

“I want to thank Governor Lamont and the Bridgeport legislative delegation for their strong support of this effort,” said Mayor Ganim. “Economic development in and around Bridgeport Harbor remains one of my administration’s top priorities. This CIF funding will not only address a major environmental justice issue in our city, but help prepare Bridgeport’s waterfront for transformational economic development.”

“I am proud to have used my vote on CIF to support the district and make this huge investment in the economic future of Bridgeport,” said State Representative Antonio Felipe. The purpose of the Community Investment Fund is to make critical investments and bring positive change to our most underserved communities. Today is a big win for my constituents in the South End who have been negatively impacted by the coal plant for many decades.”

“I want to thank the CIF Board and the Governor for their investment in addressing the environmental challenges that our cities face,” stated Council President Aidee Nieves. “Under the leadership of Mayor Ganim, we are already addressing the environmental issues at Remington Arms. I am excited to see that we are moving forward with demolishing the coal plant, which will change the landscape and skyline around Bridgeport Harbor and bring new businesses to Bridgeport.”



    1. Let me in Coach!

      Considering how long ago since my participation on Steel Point as a City Councilman 1995-2001, I’ll be dead by the time the 33 acreage development is completed.

      The beauty of development on the Coasts of El Salvador as well as other areas is that very little demolition is required. The worst thing that can happen is uncovering a lost ancient city and gaving to change the plans to preserve and incorporate it into the development plans. Imagine finding the lost temple of king Speedy.

  1. This one comes as a real shocker. That’s a significant amount with no plan in place for one city. I hear the play is to make PSEG an offer and take site control but I caution that absolves PSEG from it’s duty to pay for the decommission and transfers the responsibility to city tax payers. We would also lose about a $1 Million in taxes annually until it can be repurposed. I’m stunned and baffled outside of the fact that the governor willed this into existence. This is not in the spirit of how those funds should be used.

    Don’t get me wrong , that 33 acre site is possibly more pivotal to the economic growth of this city than Steelpointe Project. A lot is at stake. But this smells of the State making a play to take over our deep water port through the CT Port authority.

    The fact that this got approved by a legislative body without the planning and reuse study even beginning which was supposed to give an approximate cost breakdown to decommission is worrisome. MetroCog and the City have been sitting on $400,000 to author that plan and the city administration put a halt on it in hopes of getting this CIF grant to control the site to then steer the planning study to lord knows what use. I estimate $110-$125 Million to decommission. So this amount doesn’t even scratch the surface.

    I’m puzzled and many of my economic development colleagues around the state contacted me equally puzzled. All I can say is I’m #TeamBridgeport, but I Cant tell you how this makes sense and why would we take PSEG off the hook after polluting our air for over 60 years and profiting from its environmental injustices. We let them profit Millions in its $1.9 Billion sale of the new gas plant just last year without earmarking dollars towards the decommissioning of this hulking mess.

    Why would we let PSEG off the hook? Lenny ask the mayor or Tom Gaudett that question who seems to be making more mayoral decisions this past year that Ganim/Shamus combined.

    1. Kelvin, I agree on the economic value, Perhaps that is why it’s so fierce these days in Port’s elections, Wild dogs all over the place. a “lot at stake” I am not talking about Trump steaks either, How did we get here people #Statesidetaxpayerfunding? 🙂

      Won’t bass PSEG for keeping the lights and the creature comforts the people have become accustomed to? 🙂 However, they, the city, and the state did devalue the prime land by allowing them to build the gas plant. It should’ve been placed by the Resco plant on the South Side, Centralizing the industrial shit. Sad.

      On the bright side Kelvin while this stack will be gone, regardless of the price The Port will forever have its fond memories. Marry Christmas Port. Christ is rooting for you. 🤣


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