Bill would fund $5M in updates to Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo

BRIDGEPORT — What can the Beardsley Zoo do with an extra $5 million in state funds?

A lot, according to state Rep. Joe Gresko.

“We’re looking to try to get them additional capital for some improvements at the zoo for a new condor exhibit and parking improvements because it’s our state’s only zoo and they get a lot of visitors — both students from across the state and also people from across the state,” said Gresko, D-Stratford, who for years has worked for the city of Bridgeport as a green energy coordinator.

But before the zoo can plan on any improvements, a bill allowing the state to issue bonds toward improvements at the tourist attraction, introduced by Gresko, has to pass the General Assembly’s budget process.

Gresko said a similar bill was proposed last year but failed to pass in the legislature, edged out by other legislative priorities. He said he’s hoping for better luck this year.

“Unfortunately it didn’t make it through the budget process so we’re going to give it another shot this year hopefully with the state being much more financially stable now and some funds being available for reinvestment for what is one of the state’s gems I hope it wold be reconsidered,” Gresko said.

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