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Brookfield, DOT disagree on grant language putting $250k at risk for streetscaping

There could be a funding issue with part of the Brookfield streetscape project, which would also delay the work. Project Manager Greg Dembowski told the Board of Selectmen that he's been meeting for three weeks with the Department of Transportation of the interpretation of a regulation.  

A LOTCIP grant is being sought for Phase 3, like Phase 1.  Phase 3 is the first portion not on a state road, but rather on what's called an Urban Collector Road.  Old Route 7 is owned by the town. 

LOTCIP qualifications talk about collector roads, but the language is vague.  The Western Connecticut Council of Governments, which is submitting the application on behalf of the town, agrees that the road is eligible.  But there's been a change of personnel at the DOT since Phase 1, and they say some things are not eligible for reimbursement. 

With the issue unresolved, it puts $250,000 at stake.  If the DOT decides that work on the feeder road needs town money, Dembowksi says Brookfield would need to seek additional town funding, or cut the scope of the project to stay on budget. 

First Selectman Steve Dunn says they need continuity in the downtown area and for things to look similar throughout the project.  He feels like they are shooting at a moving target with the rule changes and plans to fight for the funding. 

Dunn says if the matter is not resolved soon, he will set up an appointment with the DOT Commissioner.