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Lighting, Walkways In New Canaan Grant Plans

NEW CANAAN, Conn.  – Added lighting for Locust Avenue, brick-stamped walkways and a pocket park that could serve as a downtown information kiosk are some of the things New Canaan officials want to bring to town with a state grant.

New Canaan will apply for a $215,000 grant from the state’s Office of Policy and Management to work on downtown improvement projects identified in various long-range plans. Town Planner Steven Kleppin said the town will work on adding lighting to Morse Court as well as deck lighting on the north and south side of Locust Avenue between Main and Forest streets. The lighting at Morse Court would be used to complement the planned pop-up park at the intersection of Elm Street and South Avenue, where the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce has hosted several outdoor functions.

“We’re trying to spruce that area up,” he said.

The money would also be spent creating a “pocket park” area outside of the Locust Avenue parking lot after it is renovated and a new tier is installed to add more parking. The pocket park, Kleppin said, could serve as a decorative seating area and could be used to house an information kiosk for visitors or used in conjunction with the chamber of commerce to promote events, though no formal plans for it have been developed.

Kleppin also wants to add a brick-stamped crosswalk at Heritage Hill Road and at Main Street near the New Canaan Fire Department headquarters and to complete sidewalks on Heritage Hill.

Kleppin said he does not plan to use any town dollars for the project, so if the entire grant is not given, town officials would discuss implementing some of the projects with the money they do receive.

The grant application is due in the first week of October and Kleppin expects to hear from Policy and Management before the end of the year.

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