ANSONIA, Conn. — Friday afternoon brought potentially encouraging news for downtown Ansonia and the entire Naugatuck Valley.
"As many of you know, I have always had a vision for this 3 1/2 acre parcel," said Mayor David Cassetti (R-Ansonia), while standing in front of the long-dormant former Ansonia Copper & Brass factory on North Main St.
"Workers at this site worked with molten metals to make parts for large manufacturing equipment, rapid reverse gear systems for naval ships, and numerous other items," said State Rep. Kara Rochelle (D-Derby).
The now rusty relic predates the Civil War and hasn't been viable in years. But, just around the corner, with market-rate apartments at capacity and the list of businesses growing, the timing is right.
"This is a really important investment," said Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Connecticut). "This is how you bring the city back to life."
Next week, the State Bond Commission, which the Governor chairs, will vote on a $500,000 bonding package for this project.
"More people working, more people paying taxes, in a sustainable manner and we need jobs to do that," said State Sen. George Logan (R-Ansonia). "So thank you Governor for that (support of the bonding)."
Nearly $200,000 in federal money would be used in concert with the state money for demolition and cleanup of the old factory site.
"You know, the Mayor is a former amateur boxer," noted Bill Purcell, the President of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. "He was in the construction trades. He’s a fighter and he’s a builder and he has adopted the mantra Ansonia Recharged."
Another Main Street development, the new Ansonia Police Department, a $12 million project, is expected to be completed by year's end.
"People want to live in Connecticut again," Lamont said. "People want to live in the valley again. This is a great place to be. It’s a wonderful lifestyle. Good government. And it’s going to be beautiful."
Those who were pushing forward with this project say we could start to see some visible action on this site within the next year.