Bridgeport Displays Foresight Once Again

The Exponent Telegram

By Robert F. Stealey

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2002

We congratulate city of Bridgeport officials for their gift of foresight. They have displayed it once again – this time in planning ahead when, last April, they applied for a $1.5 million federal Economic Development Authority grant to be used for infrastructure at the proposed Charles Pointe Development.

News of approval of the federal money came Friday. But long before the city knew whether it would receive the grant funds, it decided to advertise for an engineer for the project.

Yesterday, city officials were scheduled to interview three firms to do the work on the project. What that means, barring any unforeseen complications, is that an engineer should be in place within the next few days, and actual work could shortly begin.

That also means, in layman’s terms, little down time.

The money has been earmarked for a one-million-gallon water storage tank, a pump station and 9,000 linear feet of water and sewage lines. The new water tank, to be the fourth in the city, will also be the largest.

Other needs will also be met, including a new United Hospital Center, located across I-79 at the Jerry Dove Drive exit when – and if – it comes to Bridgeport, and a Bridgeport Convention Center.

Sometime since April, the grant received regional approval. Now that the grant has received the federal nod, Bridgeport has only to come up with $600,000, equal to a 40 percent match.

Already the city has 30 percent of the matching funds budgeted. It has applied with the Region VI Planning and Development Council for $80,000 from the Governor’s Community Partnership Grant program for the rest of the amount.

The city thus far has wasted no time in working toward getting the needed funding. We have every confidence the city will provide the remainder as soon as possible.