Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

May 13, 2024
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin |

Sen. Lesser, Middletown Delegation Secure $5.7M for City

State Senators Matt Lesser and Jan HochadelState Representatives Brandon Chaffee and Kai Belton, and Mayor Ben Florsheim welcomed $5.7 million for Middletown in the last week of the 2024 Legislative Session.

  • $3.5 million for Middletown High School
  • $900,000 for Advanced Behavioral Health
  • $667,856 for the Department of Children and Families Office
  • $375,000 for the Middletown Fire Training Facility
  • $300,000 for Middletown Park Pavilions

$2.24 million in funding comes from in soon-to-expire American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, secured by Sen. Lesser and voted on by the state legislature at large. The legislation passed the House with a 103-48 vote, and the Senate by 26-10. The $3.5 million for the Middletown High School was secured in a bonding bill, which passed the House by 134-9 and the Senate by 35-1.

“At a time when Middletown residents are concerned about the local budget, this state support comes at a critical time. It was important for me to champion a $3.5 million fix to bring in additional state funding for the long-ago completed Middletown High School project on behalf of Middletown taxpayers. I also prioritized saving the Middletown DCF office, which had been slated for closure. Funding for behavioral health care, sanitation pavilions at the Snow School ball fields and at Butternut Park and a new fire training facility are also significant wins. And we’ll be announcing more projects in Middletown soon!” Senator Lesser said.

“With investments in city parks, enhanced fire training, and support for the mental health services offered by Advanced Behavioral Health, these funds will go a long way toward improving the lives of residents throughout Middletown,” Senator Hochadel said. “I was proud to vote in favor of dedicating these dollars to support these critical projects to build a safer and healthier Middletown.”

“I am happy to see these funds being allocated to areas and departments that will certainly benefit Middletown residents.,” Rep. Chafee said. 
“The new Fire Training Facility will help to increase Middletown’s fire rating and lower resident and business insurance premiums in the long term. Our town will also receive $3.5 million to close out state reimbursement for the construction of Middletown high school.”

“This funding strengthens institutions in our city that protect us and will lead to improved facilities in our parks.  Thank you to all who worked to secure these funds – I can’t wait to see the benefit of this investment in Middletown,” said Rep. Belton.

“We are incredibly excited to receive this funding thanks to the efforts made by Senator Lesser. The investment in our parks and fire service will result in improved public spaces, public safety, and public services in the City of Middletown—exactly what we should be investing in, following the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Middletown residents will benefit from these important projects for generations to come, and I am grateful for the partnership and for money well spent by our state and federal representatives,” said Mayor Ben Florsheim.

“This funding is a tremendous opportunity for the Middletown Fire Department. We have been without a dedicated training facility for close to 10 years now. This will be great for our department and we will be able to open up the facility to other local fire departments to use as a training facility, strengthening public safety in our area. I want to thank Senator Lesser and local leadership for securing these funds,” said Middletown Acting Fire Chief Dave Albert.

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