Bethel has a commitment to add two companies to a business park. Funds for expansion could come as soon as Friday.

Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker knows of two companies that have signaled their intent to move to a local business park. While he cannot divulge their names, they are apparently promising enough for the Lamont administration to tack on more than $600,000 to the state’s debt load to land them in Bethel.

At its Friday meeting, the State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the funding for an expansion of Clarke Business Park, located just south of downtown Bethel about six miles from Interstate 84 in Danbury.

Over the years, Clarke Business Park has seen a range of uses, to include a Sky Zone Trampoline Park that closed several months in advance of the COVID-19 pandemic after five years in operation; light industrial companies like Connecticut Coining which makes custom parts for military equipment; and a craft beer ingredient maker.

Bethel aims to add four commercial sites totaling 17 acres, with the possibility of recouping the outlay by selling the improved lots to businesses. Knickerbocker said Wednesday the town has letters of intent in place on two sites, without identifying the prospective newcomers by name or industry citing confidentiality agreements.

Knickerbocker said the town has already made a significant investment in Clarke Business Park through water system upgrades that had to be completed before any new construction begins.

“It should have been done decades ago — but we’re finally completing the park [and] it will be fully developed when we are done with this part of it,” Knickerbocker said. “Research and development — it’s a very good place for that, because you are not generating a lot of truck traffic where you need access to the highway.”

The project has support from state Sen. Will Haskell, D-Westport, whose district includes Clarke Business Park, as well as Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury.

Any borrowing by the state could fly in the face of Gov. Ned Lamont’s prior vows to keep Connecticut on a “debt diet” save for its most pressing needs. A Lamont spokesperson did not respond immediately Wednesday to a Hearst Connecticut Media query on the choice of Clarke Business Park for expansion support, and any competing requests from other municipalities or state agencies for varying projects his administration may have considered.

As of June, the Connecticut Department of Labor estimated Bethel’s unemployment rate at 5.6 percent, below Connecticut’s 7.9 percent jobless rate and less than half the level of Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain and New London.

“Western Connecticut still needs its fair share of economic development,” Knickerbocker said Wednesday. “When I look at the bond awards that are done each year, I do notice that the areas that need the most get the most — but it’s really not healthy to exclude the other areas.”

Industrial space is readily available in the Danbury area and statewide, with several properties offering at least 100,000 square feet of space. But Bethel has a comparatively small number of available spaces listed on commercial brokerage sites, including a 10,000-square-foot block in a Clarke Business Park warehouse built only in 2008. A brokerage listing touts the building’s potential for other uses as well, including recreation.

In its latest annual report, Bethel listed its largest industrial employers as battery giant Duracell and medical components maker Memry, both with more than 300 employees. Eaton Corp. has about half that many producing aircraft engine fluid monitors in Bethel.

Includes prior reporting by staff writers Kendra Baker and Julia Perkins.; 203-842-2545; @casoulman