The town of South Windsor Town Hall has received a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant, according to a letter from the governor’s office.
The letter, from Secretary Benjamin Barnes of the state Office of Policy and Management dated Nov. 1, 2012, congratulates the town on receiving the grant on behalf of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
“Governor Malloy and I look forward to working with you to continue to improve the well-being of Connecticut’s communities in the future,” Barnes wrote.
The grant will likely be used to convert the vacant, 9,000-square-foot post office building located at 1530 Sullivan Ave. into a combination emergency operations center and a business integration center, Town Manager Matthew Galligan said an interview last month. In addition, the building will house the town’s IT operations that will run the conference center.
"This grant is a double-barreled response to the dual problems of economic growth and weather-related disasters here in central Connecticut. It will pay dividends on both fronts," said state Sen. Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford). "I'm proud to have made this state funding a priority for the Town of South Windsor."
The vacant post office building has not been used since 2001 and was acquired by the town for about $1.1 million four years ago. Since then, the building has been used primarily as storage space for the town.
The business integration center would be fitted with technology to enable small businesses to host webinars and take advantage of other communications systems, Galligan said last month.
“They would be able to use the facility, which may help them grow their businesses,” Galligan said.
What’s more, the business integration center would also serve as a useful tool in recruiting small businesses to South Windsor.
“I’m trying to create a climate that is friendly to small businesses,” Galligan said.
The project will cost a total of $1.3 million, according to Galligan, with the $500,000 STEAP grant offsetting some of the bill. STEAP provides state money to municipalities with populations under 65,000 for various projects.
How the remaining $800,000 will be raised to complete the project remains unclear. Galligan was not immediately available for comment on the subject of this article.