Town seeks grant funding for improvements

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Jun. 30, 2011
The town is applying for grant funds to repair area sidewalks. Photo by Gregory A. Scibelli.
The town is applying for grant funds to repair area sidewalks. Photo by Gregory A. Scibelli.

Sidewalk replacements and a new concession stand are part of the latest federal STEAP grant application proposed by the Board of Selectmen in Windsor Locks.

Selectmen approved the application in June, and Department of Public Works Director Peter Lappen hopes if the grant is awarded to the town, two more stretches of sidewalk will be recreated with modernized accommodations.

Lappen said the town has been vigilant in resurfacing sidewalks when road construction is performed on various streets.

“We are conscious of making sure that when road work is performed that we include the sidewalks as part of the work,” said Lappen. “We have gotten a lot of sidewalks taken care of with this method.”

Still, many more sidewalks have gone untouched, and with increased usage of salt during the past winter, sidewalks are deteriorating faster. The 2010-2011 winter was especially harsh, and actually hastened the deterioration of some sidewalks.

The town is seeking $220,000 for the sidewalks. Lappen said one stretch is located on Elm Street, going from the Main Street intersection to the Center Street intersection. Lappen said much of the sidewalk is cracked and deteriorating. The other stretch of sidewalk is along Route 159.

“When the salt gets into those air pockets in the sidewalk, they start to go bad,” said Lappen.

He also said newer sidewalks are made of concrete and are more durable.

At Southwest Park, designs have been completed for a concession stand for the lighted field used by the high school and, in the summer, by the American Legion teams.

“It is considered one of the premier fields in the state and is used frequently throughout the warmer months,” said Lappen.

That part of the application is estimated at $260,000.

Both of the projects are part of the capital improvement plan for Windsor Locks. Lappen said the advisory committee did not rank the two projects high enough for funding in fiscal year 2012, prompting the decision to seek a STEAP grant. Towns can apply for up to $500,000 per year in STEAP grants.

The town expects to hear the status of the application this fall.  Construction on the sidewalks will begin next spring if the grant funds are approved. Other sidewalks are being reconstructed this year, Lappen said.

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