A New Renaissance: Grant Funding Could Provide $2.4 Million for Plantsville Improvements

Downtown Plantsville could be in line for a total makeover, done in the same style as the Southington renaissance program, with a grant available from the state’s local capital improvement program.

A look down West Main Street in Plantsville. (Credit: Jason Vallee)
A look down West Main Street in Plantsville. (Credit: Jason Vallee)
Since the completion of the Renaissance Program in downtown Southington, local officials have looked for a way to bring a similar makeover to the Plantsville area along Main Street, West Main Street and South Main Street. Those goals may be coming to fruition.

Southington has qualified for a $2.4 million grant from the state’s Local Transportation Improvement Program (LOTCIP) and if received, the funds would bring much needed renovations to the streetscape and surrounding area in downtown Plantsville, Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said.

“If approved in the upcoming fiscal year, this is a project that would be ready sometime for the 2015-16 fiscal year,” Brumback said.

Assuming the town would receive the grant, Brumback said Southington would be responsible for the $150,000 design cost – a cost already calculated for the upcoming budget cycle – while the grant would cover the remainder.

The project would include milling and overlaying of the roads, enhancement of granite curbing, brick pavers, decorative lighting in the same style as the downtown Southington area, traffic signal modifications and the creation of a municipal parking lot with 21 spaces behind the current site of Quinn’s Tavern. The parking lot would serve to eliminate the need for on street parking, Brumback said.

In addition, there would be a faction of the project that would address the Quinnipiac River, turning it at the bridge and creating a standing area for pedestrian recreational use.

For Plantsville residents and patrons, the designs are long in the making as safety and security have been concerns due to high traffic volumes and on street parking that creates restricted lane sizes throughout the area.

“It really is dangerous down here,” said Sean Michanczyk, owner of Paris in Plantsville. “I’ve seen tractor-trailers come by and take off rear view mirrors on at least a dozen occasions in the last year,” he said. “We hear from clients all the time that they’d be more willing to come this way and support the arts if there was a better place to park.”

Art Secondo, president of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, and the town’s Economic Development Coordinator Louis Perillo III said the efforts in Plantsville could be done with little cost to taxpayers, but huge benefits.

“These projects have worked in several communities, but the best example is right in downtown Southington,” Perillo said in a 2012 interview. “When you look at what town actually invested, the income from that area developed has far exceeded the costs. It has expanded job opportunities and gotten praise from several surrounding communities.”

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Robin Lee Michel January 18, 2014 at 11:06 PM
I don't see that the extensive downtown makeover has succeeded in drawing business to Southington's Center Street area. Lots of empty storefronts. Why do town officials think it will revitalize Plantsville?


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