Town Councilor Kathy Pugliese talks about the state of the town. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

The Plainville Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2020 state of the town presentation last week at the town library, where town officials recapped some of the achievements from the previous year and discussed some of the upcoming projects and changes to be expected.

As town officials continue to work diligently on the upcoming budget, town manager Robert Lee discussed some of Plainville’s budget history. He reported that over the last 10 years, the general government budget has increased by about $3.5 million, approximately 2.4% each year.

“The board of education has increased their budget by $5.8 million—well that sounds like a lot of money, and it is a lot of money—that’s an average of 1.78% per year,” said Lee. “Our total budget has increased over that 10-year period an average of $940,000 a year, which again is a lot of money, but it represents an average of 1.85% per year.”

Town council chairperson, Kathy Pugliese, discussed many of the tasks the council oversaw in the past year including the Valley Water Company’s decision to install an ion exchange system at the Woodford Avenue well, the completion of the Norton Park concession stand which was funded by the Plainville Youth Soccer Organization, the completion of the first phase of the road paving project, and the purchasing of two brand new fire trucks.

The council approved to purchase two pieces of firefighting apparatus—one pumper truck and one ladder truck—in June of 2018. Pugliese noted that it’s not typically common for a town to purchase two firefighter apparatus at once, as they are “extraordinarily expensive.” Lee added that the pumper truck should be arriving in Plainville sometime this year, and the ladder truck is expected to arrive next year.

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“The company [Bulldog] came to the fire truck committee and noted that if you’re going to purchase both pieces of equipment at some time in the near future, ordering them simultaneously, they would give us a discount,” said Pugliese. “It takes a while to build these things, so we’ll be seeing the fruits of all this investment and thinking in the near future.”

Superintendent of schools Steven LePage announced that the board of education would formally vote to adopt the 2020-21 budget ($39,227,677) on Monday, Feb. 10, during the monthly meeting held at Plainville High School.

LePage discussed the recently completed renovation project on Frank T. Wheeler Elementary School, which concluded ahead of schedule and under budget. The next Plainville school that will undergo a significant renovation project is the Middle School of Plainville. In a few short years, the middle school will be eligible for a renovate-like-new project.

The last round of substantial construction on MSP was completed more than 20 years ago, and the superintendent hopes to use this school year to determine what steps are required for the renovation, including determining “how many students we’d have to have in order to have a renovate like new project.”

Who says that lawmakers can’t make concessions? Plainville town engineer John Bossi discusses the new concession stand at Norton Park during last week’s state of the town presentation. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

Should the project be approved for state grant funding, the preliminary design phase would begin during the 2020-21 school year. In the following year, the district would get the project cost estimate and set the budget. That number would go out to referendum during the 2022-23 school year, and the construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2023.

Garrett Daigle, the Plainville town planner discussed some of the new businesses to take root in town, including Plainville Strength and Wellness, Trenta Tavern, and Connecticut Plywood—as well as some of the properties to undergo renovations, including Euro Homecare, Gengras Auto, and the Lil Plant Shop amongst others.

John Bossi, Plainville’s director of technical services, discussed the upcoming phase two road paving project.

Beginning sometime this spring, town officials will be paving the following roadways: Ciccio Court, West Pearl Street, Pear Street, Linden Street, Hollis Lane, Cleveland Memorial Drive, Arcadia Avenue, Field Street, Julie Road, Sunset Avenue, Pickney Avenue, East Broad Street, Robert Holcomb Way, Laurel Street, Locust Street, Cedar Street, Spruce Street, School Street, Roseanne Lane, Duval Lane, Norton Park Road, and Norton Trail.

The full state of the town presentation can be viewed online by visiting the Town of Plainville website, plainvillect.com.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at News@PlainvilleObserver.com.