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 some minor issues, but it’s aesthetics,” said Chamber of Commerce President Art Secondo.
Some of the work cited included the repainting and other upkeep of the green benches, lampposts, metal tree gratings and garbage receptacles. These items are in various stages of corrosion and disrepair, and, in the case of the benches, have been in place for over a decade.
Some work is currently underway in regards to the cosmetics. Town workers are taking the metal tree gratings, a half dozen at a time, and cleaning and enlarging the tree area.
Moving down to Center Street, there are more cosmetic issues, including sidewalk, crosswalk and curbing issues, missing caps for pipes and litter accumulating in the grating around the trees.
Town officials believe that some of the curbing and crosswalk issues may stem to the harsh winter and heavy snowfall from two years ago.
Further down Center Street, town officials were told that there are plans to level the buildings of the old Ideal Forging plant to bring the Greenway Commons plan to fruition. According to Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo, the demolition is slated to start after the annual Italian American Festival next month.
Once again this year, town officials 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 area is a bit of a traffic concern and officials witnessed at least one close call while standing in the area.
Perillo noted that there were a few issues surrounding the possibilities at the intersection, including turn radiuses, drainage structures, catch basins and the state right of way.
“It’s not a high priority with the DOT [Department of Transportation],” Perillo said.
Traffic to and from the Southington YMCA could add to the traffic issues at the intersection, but Southington YMCA Executive Director John Myers said more and more patrons have used the newer entrance on Mill Street. There was no indication that this was due to the traffic concerns.