GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) -- The state is looking to make the submarine base in Groton a stronger military asset. It has already invested in improving facilities on the base, and is now looking at land surrounding it.
For years the town has been in negotiations to purchase a specific piece of property. It's strategically located right across the street from the entrance to the naval sub base, which is why the state is now stepping in.
The state is joining forces with Ledyard and Groton to keep the submarine base safe from being put on the next BRAC closure list. It will help the towns acquire adjacent land to prevent encroachment on the base and increase its military value.
"I definitely like to see the state helping out," said Brian Cooper, Northeast Wings. "It's definitely needed in this area."
Cooper opened Northeast Wings just around the corner from the Groton sub base in November.
The Route 12 restaurant, like many other area businesses, say investment in the base is also an investment in them.
"I would say three quarters of our business is deliveries to the sub base," Cooper said, "or sub personnel military, yes."
The state bond commission will provide Ledyard with $225,000 to buy 20 acres along Route 12, while Groton will get money to buy land at the other end of the base, at the corner of Crystal Lake Road and Military Highway. That land across the street from the main gates of the base is marked by an abandoned dry cleaning business.
"A lot of our businesses in this area, we're dependent on the military, the navy and it's absolutely going to help us out," said Cooper. "We'd be lost without them."
As for the property under negotiation, the state bond commission will provide $455,000. That's to purchase the property and also to make improvements to Crystal Lake Road.
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