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Rising State Pier Redevelopment Cost Sparks Resignation Call From Connecticut Republican


Connecticut Deputy Senate Minority Leader Paul Formica has called for the resignations of every board member of the Connecticut Port Authority at their April monthly meeting.

Formica’s demand came as a result of hearing about rising costs for the redevelopment of New London’s State Pier from an original figure of $93 million to a current figure of just over $235 million for future offshore wind projects.

“Should they resign if they’re not interested in doing it, maybe so,” he said. “But perhaps I’d be willing to sit down with any one of them and offer any assistance I can offer to try to move this project forward in a way that’s beneficial to the project, the people’s money, the state of Connecticut, but ultimately this is the administration's project and they need to step up and step in. ”

The majority of the project’s costs will be met with taxpayer dollars while offshore wind developers Eversource and Orsted are expected to cover $70 million of the total figure.

The State Bond Commision approved a portion of the funding, $55 million in state borrowing, needed to redevelop and upgrade the pier. Connecticut Port Authority Executive Director John Henshaw told The Day of New London the release of those funds will enable work that's already permitted to begin.

Governor Ned Lamont said the project will bring the port “back to its full potential."

“I think what clicked with him was [Formica] realized that the public outrage and the public sentiment is really turning against this deal and to protect his own self, his name and reputation he has to start actually doing something,” said Kevin Blacker, a long-time critic of the project.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.