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Town applying for STEAP grants for parks, library

Published 3:36 pm, Wednesday, April 9, 2014
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After withdrawing a $500,000 state grant application for the Locust Avenue parking lot in March, the Town of New Canaan is applying for two different grants through the same program.

The Board of Selectmen agreed Tuesday to submit two Small Town Economic Assistance Program applications for new playground equipment at Mead and Kiwanis parks and infrastructure improvements at New Canaan Library.

The town recently withdrew an application that was submitted in December for a grant to be used toward the Locust Avenue lot expansion after the Board of Finance cut the project from the 2014-15 budget last month.

The new playground equipment would cost about $54,000 at Mead Park and nearly $50,000 at Kiwanis Park, according to Recreation Director Stephen Benko.

The other application is for heating and air-conditioning system improvements at the library as well as a $147,000 generator. Library Executive Director Lisa Oldham said the generator would be handy during weather-related events.

"If power goes down, we could be much more effective and reliable as a refuge if we have a generator," she said.

The STEAP provides grants to fund economic development, quality-of-life and community conservation projects for small towns in Connecticut. The grants are awarded on a rolling basis and applications are due by April 15.

The last time New Canaan received a STEAP grant was in 2009 for the completion of the Market Demand Study, according to the state's Office of Fiscal Analysis. The town also received STEAP grants in 2002, 2006 and 2008. In June 2006, for instance, New Canaan received $500,000 for the dredging of Mill Pond.

This is the first time the town is applying for a STEAP grant for the library.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson