By Lisa Capobianco
In response to the public outcries against the proposed selling of the Beecher Street property during a public hearing last month, the Southington Town Council created a bi-partisan “ad hoc” subcommittee to obtain additional information before making a final decision on the former home of the school system’s administrative offices.
The ad hoc Beecher Street Use Subcommittee will consist of four voting members: two sitting members from the Town Council—one from each party and two sitting members from the Planning and Zoning Commission—one from each party. They will recommend and analyze all issues of 49 Beecher St., including remediation, additions, demolition and sale of the property, according to a news release from Town Manager Garry Brumback.
“It became very clear after the September 9 meeting that there needs to be more bipartisan discretion on this,” said Council Chairman John Dobbins during Monday’s Town Council meeting.
During the meeting, the Democratic Party agreed on the establishment of the subcommittee, but expressed concerns with it. Minority Leader Chris Palmieri said his party knows a local resident who qualifies to serve on the subcommittee.
“They have a great sense of community down there, and we think it would be a valuable component of this committee to have a resident be a part of it, and that is not included here,” Palmieri said during the meeting.
Palmieri and his party also expressed their concern about serving as members on the subcommittee.
“I also communicated directly…that the three of us, on behalf of my caucus are not able to serve on this committee,” Palmieri said.
Dobbins agreed to add the resident as a member of the subcommittee, but disagreed with Palmieri’s second concern.
“I agree with you on the resident…I’ll make it an ex-officio as a nonvoting member, but this truly has to be a bipartisan board,” Dobbins said. “The criteria have always been a sitting council member.
Dobbins said the Town Council would determine who would serve as members of the subcommittee during a regular meeting later this month.