NORTH HAVEN - State and town officials gathered with some senior citizens this week to celebrate recent exterior improvements made to the Parkside Manor Housing complex with a $800,000 Small Cities Program grant.
“We were very focused on this grant because we wanted to improve the safety of the residents here,” First Selectman Michael Freda said during the Monday ceremony at Parkside Manor, 191 Pool Road.
Parkside Manor is one of two public housing complexes in town for seniors. Temple Pines, at 555 Pool Road, is also open to those 62 years and older that fall within income guidelines.
The improvements included freshly paved roads, repaired sidewalks, lighting, relocation of a dumpster, and removal of some trees. New handicap-accessible ramps were also added.
“(The contractors) re-laid out the walkways so it's a much more walk-able facility, which is an important piece of feeling like a community,” said Miguel Rivera, housing and community development manager with the state Department of Housing.
Due to unexpected cost savings, the fire alarm system is also being replaced. Richard LoPresti, Economic Development Commission chairman, credited the contractor, William M. Laydon Construction, for the savings.
“During the construction, we realized that the fire chief sent us a letter that indicated we needed to do (the fire system update) sooner than later and not wait for the next round of (funding),” LoPresti said. “Laydon did such a great job that we had some extra funding, so we're using that extra funding.”
The town was awarded the $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the state Department of Housing, Small Cities Program.
“(This is what happens) when you get federal, state, and local government working together, where local government determines how to best use the money in an area of their community,” State Sen. Len Fasano said.
State Rep. David Yaccarino also made remarks during the ceremony.
The town is working to secure grants for further improvements to Parkside Manor, which has about 40 units, and Temple Pine.
“I think it's very important to improve the town from an infrastructure and safety standpoint and this project here is another example of that,” Freda said. “We will continue to try to do what we can to try to make small and gradual improvements.”
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