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Danbury-Southeast rail link, New Fairfield Police communications in running for federal funding

15 requests have been submitted by 5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes to the House Committee on Appropriations for 2023 Community Project Funding Requests. 

Danbury could used $2 million for an Environmental Impact Study for the Danbury to Southeast passenger rail link. The new rail link will connect Danbury’s downtown Metro North rail hub to allow direct trains on the Harlem line in Southeast, by adding two new stations in Danbury.  The funding was advocated for and selected by 5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes to be sent as a request to the Appropriations Committee, chaired in the House by Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. 

Mayor Dean Esposito says this important next step will pave the way for something once considered a long shot, a direct passenger rail line to New York City.  The restoration of passenger rail service would extend the existing public transportation network and provide benefits to all communities along the corridor. It is possible the restoration of service will reduce private vehicle volumes on Interstate 84, Interstate 684, and local roadways along the interstate roadway corridors. Lower vehicle counts could result in less vehicular congestion and emissions, and would have a lasting impact on the community.

$2 million is being requested for the Connecticut Institute of Communities Health Centers for construction of a parking garage for the center on Main Street in Danbury.  Center officials say this would make it easier for patients to access health center services. The parking structure will also enable the development of a nearby low-income senior’s housing facility.

$2.1 million is being requested for the New Fairfield Police Department to upgrade their emergency communications system.  Hayes says with New Fairfield’s location and proximity to Candlewood Lake and the New York border, it's critical to preparedness that there's interoperability between localities.  She notes that small towns like New Fairfield and its immediate neighbors depend on shared resources and mutual aid during emergencies, and this upgrade will allow for that with other towns and state agencies. 

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