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Fairfield Receives $300K State Grant To Fix Up Sherman Green

First Selectman Mike Tetreau at the Fairfield Farmers Market on Sherman Green, one of the many events held there. Photo Credit: Contributed photo
Fairfield Engineering Manager Bill Hurley and First Selectman Mike Tetreau. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield, which has been selected as one of 16 communities in Connecticut to receive a $300,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant, will use the funds to make improvements on the Sherman Green.

The money will be used for drainage and pedestrian improvements in and around Sherman Green in an effort to mitigate flooding risks, improve pedestrian safety and upgrade the appearance of the public green space, officials said.

The project, which has the support of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and local businesses, is expected to benefit the entire downtown area, which is home to more than 500 businesses that contribute to the town’s economic vitality, officials said.

“The town is very appreciative that we are one of a handful of municipalities in the state to receive this grant,” said First Selectman Mike Tetreau. “This crucial funding will not only reduce flooding and improve safety in this well-traveled area, but it will also help keep Fairfield’s local economy thriving. I also wish to thank Fairfield’s state delegation for helping the town secure this important funding.”

With the area’s history of frequent flooding due to inadequate storm water detention capacity, the town will construct an underground storm water detention and infiltration system on Sherman Green, officials said. The system will enhance the existing storm water retention capacity, especially during peak rain events, and will help alleviate flooding conditions, they added.

Officials also plan to install additional catch basins, manholes and drainage pipes along Sanford Street and on surrounding streets.

Additionally, the town intends to upgrade the green's pedestrian sidewalks and common areas  to provide connections to the adjoining public parking area, businesses and amenities in the downtown area, officials said. The proposed improvements are consistent with recommendations in the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

The new sidewalks will meet the requirements of the Americans with  Disabilities Act and address safety concerns.

While the town’s main focus is drainage improvements and additional detention capacity, money also will be used for landscaping to enhance Sherman Green's aesthetic appeal.

“The combined efforts of the town and state delegation over many years have led to this successful outcome for the town,” said state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey. “We are grateful for this infrastructure funding.”

Other officials, including state Rep. Brenda Kupchick and former state Sen. John McKinney, lauded the grant, as well.

“I’m pleased that our efforts have finally paid off,” McKinney said.

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