NORTH HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- Millions of dollars are heading to cash-strapped cities and towns all across Connecticut.
It’s part of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress, and local leaders say it can’t come soon enough.
Connecticut communities should see that first payment by the end of May, and then another one in the next fiscal year.
In places like North Haven and Hamden, it’ll make an impact, even at the police department.
“This will help us make up for lost revenue and help us enhance public safety,” said North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda.
He said 2020 was a year he’d love to forget, not just because of the pandemic, but also two major storms, leaving nearly half the town without power.
“I had to authorize $1 million in unbudgeted expenses to help our residents clean up all the debris the tornado left behind. That’s money we didn’t have budgeted,” Freda said.
He’ll now be fully reimbursed by FEMA, and as part of the American Rescue Plan, North Haven will get $2.3 million in direct aid.
Freda said that will not only help with lost revenue, but also allow the town to hire two new firefighters and three new police officers.
Overall, Connecticut is getting $2.6 billion for state government, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of millions more in relief to cities, towns and even the counties.
“For Hamden specifically, make no mistake, this means the difference between laying off police officers, firemen, and teachers,” said Hamden Mayor Curt Leng.
He said the nearly $12 million earmarked for his town is a difference maker.
“It also allowed me, in next year’s budget, to recommend public safety measures that are desperately, desperately needed in a time when COVID and other issues are increasing crime stats and crime incidents,” Leng said.
That means, five new police officers as a crisis intervention team, along with doubling Hamden’s number of street outreach workers to focus on at-risk kids.
“You heard the mayor and the first selectman say what they can additionally do to provide for the people they represent,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “What it does, it also says to people that if you want those services, we at the moment, don’t have to raise those property taxes.”
For the full breakdown of who’s getting what all across Connecticut, click here.