Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday that Connecticut is reinstating the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP), which is a state grant program aimed at funding capital improvement projects in towns ineligible to receive bond issuances. Lamont said the state is restoring the program with a new round of grants worth $15 million to provide towns financial support during a time of fiscal uncertainty due to the global health crisis. Lamont’s office is rebooting a new round of STEAP grants weeks after a report showed that the coronavirus outbreak has cost towns and cities in Connecticut nearly half a billion dollars. The governor’s office said towns selected to receive STEAP grants will be required to execute a contract with the state agency overseeing their grant prior to spending any project-related funds. Expenditures made prior to a contract being signed are not eligible for reimbursement, officials said.