Infrastructure investments the topic of Chamber meeting

BRISTOL — Mark Boughton, commissioner of the state's Department of Revenue Services, was the guest speaker at the Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce’s regional economic outlook breakfast, held Jan. 12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

The Central Connecticut Chamber serves the businesses of Bristol, Burlington, Farmington, Plainville, Plymouth and Wolcott.

Connecticut's infrastructure was the focus of Boughton's breakfast talk.

As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021, Connecticut received $1.6 billion to improve roads, bridges and roadway safety, and for other significant projects.

Boughton said Gov. Ned Lamont wants to see cranes everywhere throughout the state, because that means the infrastructure money is doing what it was intended to.

“I don’t tell D.O.T. what to do, although I know you love to,” Boughton joked with the crowd. “I share with them what the priorities of the governor are.”

Also, as part of the 2021 infrastructure act, Boughton said Connecticut received in excess of $100 million from the federal government's Affordable Connectivity Program, which aims to make broadband Internet accessible and affordable to all Americans.

Boughton also discussed the Justice40 initiative, which Connecticut stands behind. According to the Biden White House, with Justice40, "the Federal Government has made it a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution."

Boughton said now is the time for economic development teams to start identifying, and making design plans for, local projects.

Boughton said the key to pulling in federal funding is persistence. “Some of these projects may take a few years to be successful,” the former mayor of Danbury said. 

Cindy Bombard, president of the Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, was happy with the turnout at the breakfast meeting. She said Boughton “was a real draw.”


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