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News : Local Published: Mar 20, 2008 - 1:27:53 PM

Sen. Duff secures state grants for Seaport Association, Lockwood Matthews

By Senator Duff's office

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State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) today welcomed news that state grants for both the Norwalk Seaport Association and the Lockwood Matthews Mansion have places on the State Bond Commission’s next agenda.

“Both Lockwood-Matthews and the Sheffield Lighthouse maintained by the Seaport Association are important pieces of Norwalk’s heritage and culture, and both are in need to substantial improvements in infrastructure,” said Senator Duff. “Both also offer opportunities for residents and families to learn more about our history and to enjoy these really amazing landmarks right in our backyards. I’m very glad that these items are on the Bond Commission’s next agenda and that the state will be investing in these important city landmarks.”

The Norwalk Seaport Association is slated to receive $250,000 for infrastructure improvements to the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, which was activated in 1868 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The funds will help cover the costs of a new dock, repairs to the bulkheads, a new pavilion, functioning restroom facilities, running water and electricity—improvements that will help increase public access to the lighthouse.

“We are very excited about receiving this funding as it will allow us to increase public access and develop programming on Sheffield Island,” said Seaport Association Executive Director Susan Snider. “We are very grateful to Senator Bob Duff for working so hard on our behalf.”

The Lockwood-Matthews Mansion will receive a $500,000 state grant for renovations and infrastructure renewal at the mansion. The 63-room mansion was built between 1864 and 1867 and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

“The restoration of the mansion is one of our prime directives and this would be a tremendous boost in our plans to achieve this goal,” said Chris Cook, chairman the Lockwood-Matthews board. “The entire downstairs needs substantial restoration; the basement and third and fourth floors need restorations. This is just an enormous opportunity here to make this happen.”

The grants are expected to be approved when the Bond Commission meets on Friday, March 28, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

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