Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’
Plannin’ and dreamin’ each night of his charms
Don’t ya just love that little number by Dusty Springfield, one of Mayor Bill Finch’s favorite songbirds? I’ve gotta think he’s been humming a few bars, especially when you’re asking the feds for a cool $one billion in infrastructure improvements. You know what I say: why the hell not! Pile it on, baby. And pop open a bottle of your favorite bubbly. It’s New Year’s Eve. Time to wish and hope and pray and whatever it is you do over a bottle of something or another.
Are you going out tonight? Or will you do as I am, staying home because there’s too many amateurs out there. Truth be told, Ms. Mo has hospital duty so we’ll hunker down.
Meanwhile, have a happy and see all the stuff on the mayor’s New Year’s wish list below. Wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ and …
City’s Infrastructure Requests Tally $1 Billion
Congress Street Bridge, SteelPoint Top List
BRIDGEPORT, CT (December 30, 2008) – Using the broken Congress Street Bridge as a backdrop, Mayor Bill Finch today announced that Bridgeport is seeking $1 billion dollars in federal infrastructure stimulus funding. The list includes 128 projects estimated to create at least 11,375 jobs.
The requests have been sent to the Obama administration, U.S. Senators Dodd and Lieberman, U.S. Congressman-elect Jim Himes and to Governor Rell. The list focuses primarily on infrastructure work that has been stalled or neglected. The most visible of the 128 projects is the Congress Street bridge, which has been stuck in the open position for nearly 10 years awaiting funding to renovate the structure.
“This is a bold request, a big list. But rightfully so, since Bridgeport is the biggest city in the state and it has the biggest need,” said Mayor Finch. “One of the first things I did when I took office was to fund the completion of the design work for this bridge – but it’s going to take $50 million dollars to replace it, and reconnect the city’s downtown to the East Side.”
“I applaud the Mayor’s forward-looking requests that will create jobs, stimulate growth and provided much needed stimulus to Bridgeport. I am meeting with the Governor tomorrow to develop a list of stimulus priorities for Connecticut and will strongly urge her to consider the needs of Bridgeport and Southwest Connecticut at the top of this priority list,” said Congressman-elect Jim Himes, D-4.
“This is the City’s time to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use federal funds to help grow our tax base, reinvigorate our downtown, invest in technology – such as citywide broadband, make our public facilities more efficient and environmentally sound, and make major investments in public safety,” said Mayor Finch.
In addition to funding for the Congress Street bridge, highlights of the city’s list include:
Sewer separation project – estimated at $59 million and providing more than 700 jobs. Separating the sewers will enable city to avoid more costly legal action, increase capacity for development, and help cut down on pollution to Long Island Sound.
Citywide broadband – estimated at $20 million and 44 jobs. A citywide broadband will help the City lower costs for data transfer, telephone hookups, etc., increase efficiency, and potentially help the city bridge the digital divide.
SteelPoint – estimated at $58 million and nearly 700 jobs. These funds will help pay for work on the bulkhead and shoreline replacement, as well as necessary street and utility work.
Government Center – estimated at $100 million, generating 600 jobs. Currently, City offices are spread out over 7 buildings encompassing more than 600,000 square feet of old, inefficient office space. Consolidation would save the City approximately $32 million in the first year alone.