Bridgeport’s Bonanza: $241 Million Poised In Direct Aid From Federal Stimulus Package

Tucked into the stimulus relief bill signed by President Biden is something leaders from cities and towns across America have jawboned their congressional representatives for help. Now many of them are gleaming following a year of dystopian despair.

Bridgeport is projected to receive roughly $241 million in direct aid that can be leveraged for education, infrastructure, public safety and more.

Congressman Jim Himes is expected to release specific details next week at a news conference with Bridgeport officials.

The municipal relief package is broken down into three key pieces: local aid $85 million; county reallocation $28 million and education $127 million. In total roughly $241 million for the state’s largest city.

The county allocation represents Bridgeport’s Fairfield County population portion from the U.S. House Budget Committee divided among Connecticut’s eight counties.

Municipalities are expected to receive the money prior to the local budget year starting July 1. That means city bean counters can factor in the loot in areas most needed during the upcoming budget cycle. The money is designed to hold the line on taxes while dishing out additional dollars in areas lanced by the health emergency as well as addressing infrastructure concerns and economic development projects.

Mayor Joe Ganim is about three weeks away from submitting his spending plan to the City Council. It will be referred to the Budget & Appropriations Committee co-chaired by Scott Burns and Ernie Newton.

Some of this money will be a no-brainer: education, public safety, health care. Other spending pieces will require some priorities and imagination. For instance, will it be directed to the long-languishing Congress Street Bridge? Other infrastructure projects such as upgrades to the city’s archaic sewage treatment system? What about the boarded-up theaters Downtown? A new Bassick High School is scheduled for construction on the campus of the University of Bridgeport. These federal dollars can help finance the difference between the state and city allocation.

Flood control projects? Paging Rooster River victims.

The moolah will be parceled out over a couple of years.

The dialogue between the executive and legislative branch should be engrossing in how the money will be spent. They all have their pet projects.

The upcoming allocation is separate from an ambitious federal infrastructure bill Biden is proposing to Congress.

See below the payout grid for Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District.



  1. All the more reason not to stick $4MIllion into the Bridgeport Bond Counsel’s pocket.
    The Chairpersons of the Council Budget and Appropriations Committee didn’t do their jobs, why bother finding out what federal aid is available when we can screw WPCA ratepayers.

  2. Giving Joe that much $$ to use for projects around the city is a recipe for more corruption. I hope the Fed’s are still watching the Mayor’s office.Joe’s “friends” must be salivating at the thought of the contracts that Joe will steer their way now…

  3. Harvey
    Way back when Joe made believe he was trying to follow the purchasing regs he used to put our to bid contracts over $5,000.
    Then when it came to something like a painting contract for a Friend Of Ganim, he would contract to paint the left side of a hallway. Then, when that was done, he would paint the right side of the hallway. Then a room or two here and a room or two there. Until before you knew it he had the first floor done. The the same thing on the second floor.
    I kid you not.

    1. Bob, I have no doubt things like happenrd,and I’m sure it’s still going on.It’s going to be some Spring/Summer for Joe and his “friends”..

  4. So Marshall, instead of telling Bridgeport how to spend their money, why don’t you take that money and spend it on however you want to the sludge free of Bridgeport and begone.
    Either build your own, tap into someone else’s system but don’t send your shit south thru Bport. OK?

  5. Off topic, but what is all this brouhaha about postponing the changes to the rules on police involved shooting. It isn’t a matter of life and death.
    Oh, wait a minute. It is a matter of life and death!
    Police need training on when it’s ok to will another human being? Or they just need to be trained on what to say after you done it to get off scott free?

  6. Ken Flatto (Finance), Nestor Nkwo (OPM), Scott Burns and Ernie Newton (City Council members and co-chairs of Budget and Appropriations), a serious question that I have not seen an answer to for years, and is more important today with the potential distribution of up to $240 Million for the benefit of the citizens of this City: Where are citizens provided an opportunity to make their wishes known as to what such Federal funds might be targeted to? Will they cover Capital projects mainly or for a year or two support operating dollars to current departments? How will the City show the receipt of such funds, and what those dollars are purchasing ( or not-if they are stored for future use?).

    It is my understanding that while the CC reviews a listing of Capital planning projects and items for the next 60 months, as the months pass, as money from bonds, grants, or other sources is available and is spend or set aside, there is no report regularly available either monthly or quarterly to see where we are. Is that statement true? If true, in general, why would we welcome $240 Million more funding into the City with such poor oversight opportunity? Time will tell.

  7. First off let’s be clear, the city of Bridgeport is not getting 241 million dollars. The city budget will increase by 114 million. The other 127 million belongs to the children’s education budget. This money may flow through the city and state budget, but not one dime of any of the three COVID relief Bills was funded with state or local tax dollars. These are monies from the FEDERAL budget.

    I could already see the city budget planners setting up their mirrors and starting the smoke machine in their budget presentation. The city already tries to overstate their contribution to education about 41%, but when you remove the STATE contribution from calculations, it is closer to 17% of taxpayer dollars.

    I fear the city and state will try and flat fund the district and depend on COVID dollars to fill the gap. (Lamont has already proposed to do so in 22/23) If so, prepare for massive cuts, layoffs and school closures. Here’s why:

    Every year health care, staff raises, rising special Ed costs, pension costs and transportation costs rise an average of $10.5 million. If in fiscal year 21, 22, and 23 Our children’s budget is not increased we will have a coming crisis, on a level never seen before, in fiscal year 2024. Increased costs will be about 42 million dollars, when federal funding meant to help our kids recover is exhausted. With no incoming revenue for four years, this would mean a 6.5% cut to make up for the lost $42 million. After gutting the system for the last five years in excess of 231 positions, that would be a death blow to our children’s education.

    There is a very real reason why the city budget and education budget are kept under separate means of control. It’s all too easy for the city to raid education dollars, especially in an election year. I just wish it was as hard to flat fund education.


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