Mar 042020

File photo from 2015 fire school session

With the debate on tolls over, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today called on Gov. Lamont to make good on a 2018 campaign promise and finally release money he identified for a fire training school in Beacon Falls.

Klarides noted that in campaigning for governor Lamont came to the Naugatuck Valley and promised that if elected he would come through for the Naugatuck Valley and finally build the facility slated for Beacon Falls.

“It is appropriate now that the tolls issue has been concluded for the time being that the governor make good on his campaign promise and authorize the money,’’ Klarides said. “This is not about politics, this is about public safety.’’  

Lamont delayed acting on a bond package for municipalities and state projects while the tolls issue was being debated. The governor made clear he would not finalize a bond package until the tolls were dealt with. Last month he acknowledged that he could get the toll plan through the legislature and abandoned it after months of rancorous public debate.   

The long-delayed school was planned nearly two decades ago when officials first drew up a priority list of schools to build. The Valley Fire Chiefs Regional Fire School was identified but the $14 million authorized for construction was never finalized by the state Bond Commission. The facility was designed to serve 22 towns in the Greater Naugatuck Valley. Currently, firefighters train at a variety of sites around the state.

Klarides noted that local and state officials from both political parties have long advocated for the training school.

“As I have repeatedly said, this transcends political philosophy and party affiliation. This project has been on the books for almost 20 years and needs to be completed,’’ Klarides said.


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