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Recovery Act Contract Awarded In New Haven County, Connecticut - $2.3 Million Of Improvements Undertaken On Research Facilities

Hamden, CT, October 12, 2010 - Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, work began last week on the final phase of $2.3 million of improvements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service research facilities in Hamden and Ansonia, Connecticut

The $2.0 million contract awarded to Construction Services of Somerset (Glastonbury, CT) will improve the energy efficiency of the buildings through upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; replacement of windows and door; and installation of solar panels.  Previous contracts, with a combined value of $300,000, have eliminated environmental and safety hazards and brought facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Renovating and upgrading the facilities will lower operating costs and greatly improve research efficiency. 

"This Recovery Act project has helped to create badly-needed jobs in Connecticut and to revitalize critical research infrastructure that supports development of new ways to control invasive insects and diseases that harm our forests,” said Michael T. Rains, Director of the Northern Research Station.

The upgraded facilities in New Haven , Connecticut, are part of the Northern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service. Research here is focused on invasive species and their control.  Current facilities at Hamden and Ansonia were designed for research efforts in the 1970s, and updates are needed to facilitate a shift in research focus to invasive species and their control.

“The health of Connecticut’s forests and communities is being improved by the Northern Research Station’s work here,” said Dr. Melody Keena, Northern Research Station Director’s Representative at Hamden.  “Recent achievements from this laboratory have included field testing of the first successful pheromone trap for detecting Asian longhorned beetles and determination of the genetic resistance of various U.S. and Asian hemlock species to the hemlock woolly adelgid.”

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery.  Log on to USDA’s YouTube channel to view additional ARRA project highlights

The Hamden office also houses the New Haven County service center of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The mission of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station is to improve people’s lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.

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Last modified: October 12, 2010