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Fairfield, State Agree on $3M Grant for Station

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – It's official: Fairfield taxpayers are off the hook for as much as $3 million of the cost overruns at the Fairfield Metro train station. The Representative Town Meeting approved a contract to receive that amount from the Department of Transportation Monday. The agreement will cut Fairfield’s share of the costs to no more than $4.5 million.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau announced the deal with the state in August, when the town voted to pay for the cost overruns. But the formal contract did not come to Fairfield until last week. State Transportation Commissioner James Redeker has signed the contract, but Tetreau said he would not put his own signature on it until he gets approval from the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting.

The contract gives Fairfield $3 million in state funding to cover the cost of paving the  parking lots, paving the access road over the train tracks, creating walkways and sidewalks near the station and related design and utility work. It will be subtracted from the $7.5 million approved by the town in August to finish the project.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the contract on Dec. 1 and the Board of Finance signed off on the deal on Dec. 13. The RTM was the last step for the process. The legislative body passed the agreement by a 43-2 margin.

Fairfield could also get as much as $900,000 from private developer Black Rock Realty LLC and the state to cover the project's costs. Part of the original three-part contract called for a $500,000 letter of credit to go from Black Rock Realty to Fairfield at the end of construction. Tetreau said Monday he has begun the process of getting that money.

The Department of Public Works is also looking into obtaining $300,000 to $400,000 in grants for intersection improvements the department made around the train station. Tetreau said the town is working on the paperwork for those grants now.

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