By Ed Harris
A recent downtown Southington walkthrough, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce’s Central Business Alliance (CBA), highlighted some of the cosmetic work that is needed in the area.
“There’s a lot more problems than you realize,” said Chamber of Commerce President Art Secondo.
Some of the work cited included the repainting and other upkeep of the green benches, lampposts and garbage receptacles. These items are in various stages of corrosion and in the case of the benches, have been in place for over a decade.
Other areas of concern included gum spotted sidewalks, curbing issues, missing caps for water and gas pipes and litter accumulating in the grating around the trees. Members of the Southington Water Dept. responded immediately to the missing caps when notified of the issue during the walk.
“A lot of this is from the snowstorm,” said Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo, referencing the early February blizzard that dropped more than two feet of snow in Southington. Payloaders were used to move some of the snow in the area and officials believe they may have caused some of the damage.
Town Attorney Mark Sciota told the CBA that now would be a good time to draft a plan and send it to the town. He suggested that the CBA break up the upkeep efforts into sections, perhaps 10, and continually keep up with the upkeep every year, in intervals.
The money for the upkeep could come from the town’s general fund or any grants that the CBA may be able to acquire.
“The walks are great, but we need to put a plan together,” Sciota said.
Town officials also briefly talked about cutting into the sidewalk at the intersection of High and North Main Streets, next to the Allstate building, allowing for an easier right turn and the possibility of making Merrell Avenue a one-way street, going east.
The talks in this area were relatively preliminary, as there are numerous steps that are needed before any action can be taken.