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The Miller Road bridge over the Coginchaug River in Middlefield has a better chance of getting repaired with an additional STEAP grant. | Mark Dionne / Town Times

Middlefield receives $131,000 grant

At their regular meeting on Aug. 4, the Middlefield Board of Selectmen announced and formally accepted a STEAP grant in the amount of $131,000 for the repair of the bridge on Miller Road.

STEAP grants come from the state of Connecticut in amounts up to $500,000. STEAP stands for “Small Town Economic Assistance Program.”

The grant, announced on July 21 by Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office, does not cover the expected full cost of the project.

In 2012, Middlefield was awarded a $250,000 STEAP grant for the same project but was unable to find a bidder to do the work for that price.

“We actually rebid the thing once and rebidding was not successful ... we thought someone would go after it,” said Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw. The grants will be combined for the project. The administering agency for the project is the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

Marianne Corona asked the selectmen to pursue grants to fight the invasive plant situation at that site at the same time. Selectman Ed Bailey, who is also on the ad-hoc Lake Beseck Committee which often deals with invasive species, said that the administration for those grants is not yet set up.

Middlefield has also applied for a $395,000 STEAP grant for Lake Beseck projects. That request, which has not been awarded, would fund phosphorous management, water quality monitoring, a Lake Manager position, and a plant harvester to help with underwater weeds. STEAP grants are announced in waves until Sept. 15.

In 2013, Durham accepted a STEAP grant in the amount of $500,000 to replace the Pickett Lane culvert. Pickett Lane remains closed for that work, also administered by the DEEP.

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