Darien receives grant to help fund pond dredging
A recent grant announcement by Gov. M. Jodi Rell will give the town $150,000 to help fund a dredging project for Gorham's Pond.
Administrative Officer Karl Kilduff said Darien applied for $500,000 in grant money to help fund two projects. The money would have been divided between the Historical Society, slated to receive $150,000, and the Gorham's Pond project, slated to receive $350,000.
According to the grant proposal, the Historical Society needs funds to help cover exterior renovation costs to the Bates-Scofield Homestead to prevent further deterioration. The proposal states that the renovations include replacing the roof, siding, window frames and the front door.
"The $150,000 announcement is great," Kilduff said, "but it's not the full amount we asked for which raises challenges with moving the projects forward."
The Gorham's Pond dredging project includes removing sediment and restoring aquatic habitats, Kilduff said. The project would restore 2.5 acres of aquatic habitat and remove nearly 8,000 cubic yards of sediment that is blocking spawning access for anadromous fish.
The proposal states that if the contaminated sediment is not removed, it will flow into Darien Harbor and negatively impact the water quality of the Long Island Sound. Another benefit of removing sediment from the mouth of Stony Brook is the lower risk of flooding in areas between the pond and Town Hall and as far north as Cherry Street and Hecker Avenue.
The Town plans to match the state grant with $1,081,300 to give a total of $1,581,300 to fund both the Historical Society renovations, and the dredging.
Kilduff said the town will continue to explore other grant options because of the large window of time between when the announcement was made and when the money will actually be given to the town.
"The paper mill in Hartford has to catch up to the Governor's office," he said.