Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek has sent a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy urging him to redirect a portion of the state's economic development funds to help revitalize the many vacant mills across Connecticut.
Haberek pointed out in his April 16 letter that the state's economic development initiatives have been geared toward bioscience and the "First Five" program.
But for years, he said, Connecticut municipalities have been dealing with deteriorating mills that now have become fire and safety hazards.
He said the biggest deterrent to getting mill owners and developers to reuse their buildings, including several in his town, has been lack of financing. But he said neighboring Massachusetts has worked hard to help revitalize its mills, and those buildings are now home to high-tech and light manufacturing companies.
"I feel it would be valuable to provide grant monies to mill owners or developers who would like to renovate and adaptively reuse these mills," Haberek wrote.
- Joe Wojtas