The opening of a new municipal center, accusations of extortion attempts against a Major League Baseball star and Southington High School graduate, plans to develop a new arts center - there’s no questioning it was a busy 2012 in Southington.
But the year is now done and a new one is now beginning. Do you know what to look for in the upcoming year?
Take a look at some of the issues that will come to fruition in 2013 and give us your best predictions for what the town will do in the upcoming year.
Will the town’s voters approve the change in bonding at a special re-referendum for the renovation of Southington’s two middle schools?
The costs for remediation of PCBs were much higher than anticipated and it led the town to move forward in seeking additional bonding for the project, setting a potential re-referendum for March. Will voters be willing to approve the latest request, knowing it will actually mean a slightly reduced cost for them despite higher costs for the project? I guess we will soon find out.
Will the Gura Building begin to take shape as a community arts center?
After a committee determined that the best use of the Gura Building would be to establish a non-profit arts center at no cost to the town, the Southington Town Council came to a concise plan to allow Southington Community Cultural Arts (SCCA) a chance to renovate the building. A feasibility study determined the project would cost about $1.7 million – can the organization raise that cash? Only time will tell, and 2013 will be an important year for the SCCA.
Can Southington High School athletes bring home a title in 2013?
The Blue Knights football program posted an undefeated regular season before losing their quarterfinals match-up to Glastonbury. Softball and baseball programs have gone deep into the playoffs in the last several years. Volleyball teams, both boys and girls, have had success. But will one of these teams – or several – be able to bring home a championship in 2013? Tune in this year to find out.
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Will there be any suitors to fill the two remaining buildings at the former site of The Hartford?
Connecticut Online Computer Center, a company based out of Avon, will soon take over one of three buildings at the former site of The Hartford. So who will fill the other two? There have been rumors in the works, but nothing confirmed. So stay tuned to find out if the latest Southington business will help spark others to join in filling the site.
With the Board of Education now officially out, what will become of the Beecher Street building?
The Board of Education administrative offices made their move to a new home at the municipal center on North Main Street in 2012, but what does that mean for the building? After being turned over to the town, it was initially determined that there was difficulty in finding an immediate buyer. The town explored turning it over to the Housing Authority but there seemed little interest in it. With this, there are more questions than answers right now – but a picture for the future of the building could take place in 2013.
Could the issues at the former Solvent Recovery site on Lazy Lane finally be resolved in 2013?
The brownfield site, currently under control of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, is scheduled for remediation beginning this year. After an ongoing process to get the contaminated former industrial site cleaned up, could the town finally see results?
Will there be a change in political power in 2013?
This isn’t speculation or criticism or an endorsement for either party. It’s a reality and a question that will be asked leading up to the local elections in November. Will the Republican Party maintain a majority on all town boards or can Democrats take back a few seats? Share your thoughts below.
What will be the next big business to come to Southington?
Not only was one of the buildings at the site formerly serving as home to The Hartford filled in 2012, but there were announcements of new businesses coming to town including Buffalo Wild Wings on Queen Street. But the question remains – as the town continues to grow, what will be the next big business coming to Southington? Make sure to stay tuned in 2013 to find out.
What will the grand list show just one year after revaluation and how will it affect taxes?
Come January, many residents are thinking bills and one of the biggest of the year can be taxes. A revaluation in 2011-12 reshaped the landscape, but with less turbulence how will taxes be affected? The budget process begins soon, so stay tuned.
Is all-day kindergarten imminent in Southington?
The Board of Education will soon have a tough decision to make. Is it worth it to implement an all-day program or will the board choose to instead keep the half-day program already in existence? It’s a decision that the board will have to make and likely soon with the budget process looming.
Will history enthusiasts and local residents be able to come to an agreement to save the Olney House from demolition? How will it affect the Southington YMCA’s expansion plans?
The Olney House is a burning question and the outcome of both a court injunction and upcoming Southington Planning and Zoning Commission decision could help determine whether there will be a change of landscape in downtown Southington. Will the 1700’s brick building remain in tact or will the YMCA plan lead to eventual demolition?
What’s next for capital improvements in town?
The community in 2012 put their support behind a plan to begin upgrading infrastructure including long overdue repairs for local roads. But more still needs to be done. What is the next project for the town? There are still 364 days in the year to figure that out.
And the burning question heading into 2013…
Will Southington Patch editor Jason Vallee survive a plunge and 75 second run through the icy cold waters of Sloper Pond at Camp Sloper?
Seriously guys. That water gets cold in January (the annual polar plunge will take place on Jan. 19) and I have made a promise to my readers to sit there and run for over a minute in it? What was I thinking? No, I mean seriously, these kids better enjoy summer camp. (And I'm sure they will.)
Now that we’ve given you a rundown of what to expect in 2013, it’s your turn to take part in the conversation. What do you expect to see happening in town in the upcoming year? What could become the biggest story of the year? Be sure to share your thoughts below.
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