Here’s how Fairfield plans to use its federal relief money

FAIRFIELD – Police training and equipment, flood mitigation projects, and helping residents still grappling with the effects of the pandemic are among the ways city officials are considering using the federal allocation $ 24.8 million relief effort from Fairfield.

Officials recently presented the possibilities to the city’s three governing bodies and will now be collecting public comment until August. A finalized plan will then be voted on in September.

“Obviously, there is a lot of excitement about our city receiving this level of funding from the federal government. This is obviously a gift for our city, ”said First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick. “There was a lot of talk and still [while] In reviewing the projects, we took into consideration some things that they are ready to go, could be completed within the timeframe set by federal guidelines, and could affect just about a large percentage of our community. .

The six main areas of interest chosen by Fairfield were mental health and social services; economic development; public security; environment; quality of life; and city upgrading and infrastructure, with the largest lump sum going to the Fairfield Police Department at $ 3.7 million.

The American Relief Plan requires that the money be used for a wide variety of government services. Kupchick said the city plans to check off all areas.


Axon Technologies’ Fairfield Police Department’s $ 3.7 million training and equipment package is the largest proposal being considered. The set includes hardware, software, accessories, training programs, customer support, equipment updates, body cameras, dash cameras and stun guns over a period of 10 years.

Kupchick said this element is very important for public safety and law enforcement in light of legislative changes and an increased need for the police service.

Police chief Robert Kalamaras said the purchase would help improve the department’s accountability and credibility with the public.

“This will obviously allow us to better connect with people in our community to call for service and help the police department handle calls in the most effective and efficient manner possible,” he said.


The proposal also includes several million dollars for environmental projects, including the Downtown Resilience Project, Perry’s Green Bulkhead and the Rooster River Detention Area.

City officials plan to use $ 1 million to repair the bulkhead system located at Perry’s Green Park in South Harbor.

The project will replace the existing partition with a new partition that will protect the surrounding park from erosion, prevent sinkholes and remove a potentially dangerous structure. The timber frames and steel bulkhead are estimated to be at least 55 years old and have deteriorated beyond repair, creating a dangerous situation, officials said.

Just over $ 1.4 million will go to the Downtown Resilience Project, which will use and install “green” infrastructure to mitigate flooding and downtown resilience.

In an effort to stop the flooding in another neighborhood in Fairfield, just over $ 3.2 million will be spent on the Rooster River detention area, which Kupchick called “the obvious.”

“It’s a long-standing problem in our city, combined with Bridgeport and Trumbull, but we’ve seen significant flooding,” Kupchick said. “In 2006, 2007 and 2018, businesses and homes were really devastated during these floods. “

Fairfield will also commit $ 1 million towards the remediation of the backfill piles.

“As we are all very aware that we have already spent millions of dollars and we are aware that we will be spending a lot more than that before we are finally at the end of this cleanup effort,” Kupchick said.

Mental health and social services

Fairfield officials are also looking to provide assistance to residents still struggling with the pandemic.

The city previously set up a COVID-19 relief fund to provide limited assistance to residents severely affected by the pandemic. Now the city has focused on helping the community recover by establishing the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

The Stimulus Fund provides financial assistance to individuals and families in Fairfield who are unable to meet their basic household needs, such as mortgage, auto expenses, utilities and food due to the economic disruption caused by COVID-19. The city will contribute $ 200,000 to the fund, as well as $ 150,000 for Operation Hope, Lifebridge Community Services and The Child and Family Guidance Center.

“What we are seeing now is that relief from COVID-19 is waning and unemployment is going to end,” said Julie DeMarco, director of social services. “People who will no longer receive stimuli start to be stressed and basic needs are expensive. “

She said social workers are seeing increased demand.

“So it’s very, very exciting and it’s a good thing for the city to be able to do that,” said DeMarco.

Other projects

Over a dozen other projects complete the list, including $ 500,000 for further renovations to the fire hall, $ 700,000 for sidewalks, $ 25,000 for the Burr Historical Gardens, $ 923,000 for renovations and playground improvements, $ 100,000 to renovate the Jenning’s Beach dealership, $ 230,000 for golf course maintenance, as well as $ 940,000 to replace the city’s fleet with electric and hybrid vehicles and add charging stations.

Approximately $ 850,000 would go towards upgrades to the Bigelow Center and an additional $ 100,000 for a deck or patio at the senior center.

The list also includes $ 450,000 for a stage and public washroom at the Fairfield Museum, $ 1 million to repair the schools heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, $ 400,000 for hybrid meeting technology, 2.7 million dollars for the city’s fiber optic network and schools, $ 1 million for traffic lights and $ 3 million for paving.

The city plans to hire a diversity and inclusion consultant for $ 75,000, as well as another consultant, also for $ 75,000, to ensure the city is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A sum of $ 200,000 will be used to repair infrastructure and $ 175,000 for economic development.

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