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News from State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr.

December 6, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 3200
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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Growing Connecticut's Shellfishing Industry

Earlier this year, I joined Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky and a group of local shellfish farmers to announce a model program designed to encourage new entrants into Connecticut's oyster and clam industry. Several years ago, the state of Connecticut acquired the rights for hundreds of acres of shellfish beds surrounding The Thimble Islands. The Department of Agriculture will begin offering access to these shellfish beds to new entrants into the shellfishing industry who can use them to learn the necessary skills and explore their interest in developing a career in aquaculture. These beds are located in protected, near-shore waters and are some of the most productive shellfishing locations in Long Island Sound.

Long Island Sound was once home to one of the world's largest and most economically important oyster fisheries in the world. I believe that this program, combined with the natural potential of the region, can enable Stony Creek and the Connecticut shoreline to reestablish itself as an important brand-name shell fishery. This innovative economic development program will offer small plots of prime, near-shore, historically productive shellfish beds to new entrants into the oyster and clam industry. This model program lowers start-up costs, reduces environmental and business risks, streamlines needed permits and provides practical instruction in the necessary skills for a successful aquaculture career.

Building a Better Branford Fire Station

fire station
Branford's legislative delegation has secured a major state investment for Branford's Indian Neck Fire Station. A $500,000 STEAP grant has been approved to replace the existing volunteer Company 9 fire house located at 6-10 Linden Avenue. Modernizing this fire house has been one of Branford's top infrastructure priorities for several years. A full third of Branford's land mass and population falls within the response area of the Indian Neck Fire House, making it absolutely necessary that the old facility be modernized. This new fire station will provide essential services and safety to thousands of community members, while also enhancing the economic and social well-being of the town. I am glad that we were able to collaborate with state and local officials, as well as our local firefighters, to make this happen.

The STEAP grant will allow Branford to replace the current Indian Neck Fire House with a new structure that will be compliant with federal standards for storm resiliency. Company 9, which operates out of the Indian Neck Fire House, serves a large portion of Branford that includes some critical operations, such as the town's water treatment plant on Block Island Road and the Eversource substation on Meadow Street. Company 9 also protects the many residential properties and rapidly-expanding small businesses in the Indian Neck region of Branford, which are often isolated from the main part of town during weather emergencies.

Strengthening Connecticut Manufacturing

I was proud to cast my vote in support of a bipartisan vote in the state Senate to support Sikorsky Aerospace and solidify Connecticut's leadership in aerospace and advanced manufacturing. This agreement will retain and grow approximately 8,000 jobs at Sikorsky Aircraft until 2032, keep the Sikorsky headquarters here in Connecticut, and substantially increase Sikorsky's spending with its network of 302 in-state suppliers--four of whom are located in the 12th Senate District. The agreement with Sikorsky will also infuse an estimated $69 billion into Connecticut's economy, generate $384 million per year in annual tax revenue, generate $21 billion in employee wages and benefits, and directly and indirectly support 24,600 jobs. These figures do not include anticipated future orders from our military allies, which would result in even more revenue and jobs created.

This agreement with Sikorsky comes on the heels of recent announcements by Pratt & Whitney to add 8,000 jobs, and Electric Boat to add 4,500 jobs in the next several years and expanding operations in Connecticut, thereby reinforcing Connecticut's standing as a leader in fields of aerospace technology and manufacturing.


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Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., Legislative Office Building, Room 3200, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0455, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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