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New London Reimbursed $885,000 For Maritime Heritage Grant

Mayor Daryl Finizio announces recovery of funds by Office of Development and Planning

Mayor Daryl Finizio announced Tuesday that New London will be reimbursed $885,000 for the Thames River Maritime Heritage Grant.

Finizio said the grant was part of a project started in 2008 and reimbursement was delayed beyond the 2010 due date for submission of reimbursement paperwork. He said the Office of Development and Planning was able to extend the due date and secure the reimbursement.

"I would like to thank Director Kristin Clarke for her efforts to secure reimbursement for this grant," Finizio said. "This is the culmination of nearly a year-long effort on the part of Director Clarke and her staff."

According to the New London County Historical Society, remaining grant funds for a Thames River Maritime Heritage Park were part of a $10 million restoration of the Parade Plaza. The project included the installation of the bronze Whale Tail fountain, improved access to the Water Street Parking Garage, and text panels describing different parts of New London's maritime history.

Clarke thanked the Office of Development and Planning staff for their work on the reimbursement.

"My staff is so hardworking and I am very pleased that our efforts were successful," she said. "Our office will continue to seek reimbursement for other past due capital projects. These funds couldn't come at a better time for the financial well being of our city."

The announcement came a day after Finance Director Jeff Smith said first quarter projections show a deficit of nearly $1.2 million in the current fiscal year. Smith also said he has calculated about $2.2 million in overspending on capital projects, with some of this overage a result of uncollected reimbursements.

"In securing this reimbursement, and by securing other grants for the city, Kristin Clarke has brought in revenues to the city that exceed her own salary and benefits tenfold," said Finzio. "To think that she has done this in less than one year on the job is a true testament to her professionalism and to the strength of our ODP department."

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