Upgrades coming to Stern Village

The residents of Stern Village (and their vehicles’ suspensions) will be getting some relief soon, with $5.2 million in capital improvements on the way. Stern Village Executive Director Harriet Polansky and numerous public officials made the announcement Tuesday. Residents have long complained of the conditions of the complex’s roads and sidewalks, stormwater and wastewater backups, and drafty units, among other things.

“This infusion of state funds will make an already wonderful community even better,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District). “I can’t wait to see how this improves this very special place.”

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro thanked Polansky and the legislators for their efforts, commenting that “it does indeed take a village to support everyone in our community,” and declaring her hope that the village could begin seeing improvement within a few weeks.

“And it will only get better over the next year,” she said.

Funding for the work comes from the Connecticut Housing & Finance Authority, which deemed Stern Village in critical need of improvements back in 2013. In addition, the Trumbull Housing Authority, which manages the village, identified additional improvements and energy-saving measures not included in the original assessment.

Planned improvements at Stern Village include repairs to the sewer lines, stormwater management system, roads, curbs and sidewalks. The asphalt roofs in the complex will be replaced with lifetime shingles, and the front doors, siding and gutters are also slated for replacement. The Community Room and some of the individual units will also be brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

State Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-22nd) said the complex’s needs were apparent on her first visit to Stern Village, while campaigning for office.

“We walked around, and we saw so many seniors needing safe places to be,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is more than campaign promises, I have to get this done.’”

Moore said she had promised the residents to fight for funding, and Polansky held her to it.

“Emails, calls, showing up at events, it was always, ‘Senator Moore, can we talk about Stern Village?’”

Stern Village is a rent-controlled senior housing development that consists of 100 efficiency units and 86 one bedrooms, spread among 49 cottages built between 1972 and 1984. The village’s Congregate building offers meals and various amenities and contains 36 efficiencies.

“This is such a great place, and this is such a great opportunity for the state to help the residents here a little,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.