(D-CT) was in Norwalk on Thursday morning to tour the and check out the renovation project that began in September. Blumenthal believes the improvements at the aquarium will have a postive impact on the facilty and Norwalk.
"This will be a world-class destination," said Blumenthal. "I'm proud to be here in the midst of the renovation and construction. It's going to lead to even better exhibits than what we've all known for many years. I'm looking forward to coming back when it's done."
The last phase of the $4-million renovation project is expected to be completed in April. The aquarium is one of the largest attractions in Connecticut with more than 500,000 people going through the turnstiles every year. Blumenthal is hoping the project brings more than new customers to the area.
"This kind of project represents progress and a sign of hope, not just for the initial part of this year, but maybe the whole year and beyond," he said. "For Norwalk, this renovation will draw even larger numbers of people and mean, I hope, greater commerce, economic growth, and more jobs for this area."
in Connecticut has dropped the last three consecutive months and at 8.4 percent, it's the lowest it has been since June of 2009. The unemployment rate stands at 7 percent in Norwalk. Optimism in the city as well as the rest of the country, seems to be wavering at times. However, Blumenthal is confident things will get better.
"I think there is a real strong reason to be hopeful about this economy. There is slow, steady growth," he said. "All too slow and fragile and we need to fight for programs like the extension of payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits to put more money in people's pockets. Create more demand so there will be more hiring and more certainty and security about what's happening with the economy."