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Lack of Feedback Provides Hope for Roads Referendum (With Poll)

Town officials, including members of the Southington Board of Finance, are hopeful that a lack of feedback means town residents are in support of the capital improvement plan and $11 million in bonding for road improvements.

The town appears ready to move forward with a plan that would require residents pass an $11 million referendum for the repair and maintenance of local roads, and with little feedback on the project, town officials are hopeful that it means residents are willing to back the project.

Garry Brumback said the road improvements are an important part of the town’s infrastructure and working to repair and maintain the town’s 200 miles of road would help prevent long-term costs.

“Currently, the pavement management study determined that Southington’s roads are at index of 76, which is 5 percent lower than the average in the New England region,” Brumback said. “With the roads where they are, it will take $5.5 million per year to improve to an 81, the average, and $4.5 million per year just to keep the rating at a 76.”

The Board of Finance last week voted unanimously to approve the request for bonding following a public input session in which resident Art Cyr was the only one to speak publicly on the subject. Cyr asked questions but lent his support to the road improvement plan.

The town will use the pavement management system study completed earlier this year by , who evaluated the town’s 200 miles of road, as a guide to address the most needed repairs, as well as addressing roads where maintenance now could save the town from investing more heavily in full road reconstruction later, Brumback said.

See the complete pavement management study by viewing the PDF above or . For more information, be sure to visit the Southington Town website.

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John Leary, chairman of the Board of Finance, said he sees the lack of concern as a positive sign but also noted that the town has a lot of work ahead to make sure that residents fully understand the referendum and what officials are asking for.

“Roads are a critical priority. There are some roads that need to be completely repaved, while others just need to be crack sealed. This is a program designed to protect all assets, not just build roads and let them wear out,” he said.

The average lifespan of a road is about 20 to 25 years, according to the study completed, and Leary said the goal is to get roads to where there would be a fixed cost and about 5 percent could be addressed each year. He said declining state contributions and a lack of spending on roads in the past has left the town with a significant need to address.

Although there was little feedback, Board of Finance member Sandra Feld said she is encouraging residents to take an active role in the process by viewing the study and asking questions.

Brumback said he will continue to work to educate residents and is encouraging anyone with questions to stop by his office at or call (860) 276-6200.

“This is an extremely important step in helping ensure the town’s infrastructure is set up to be taken care of in the long-term,” Brumback said. “We will continue to educate the public right up until the refendum.”

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Pensive July 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM
So future budgets would have much lower Public Works costs?
fummin July 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
.. Would like to know a little more detail how the money will be spent. There are roads that could use simple alterations such as the intersection at Meriden Ave. and South End Rd. Vehicles turning onto South end Often end up with their turn signal not canceling do to the angle of the curbing. We have seen many a close call (and possibly a factor in a death last year) when other drivers anticipate the vehicle will be turning at the intersection of Mullbury and So. End but go straight. Move the curb in a measly 2ft. and eliminate this hazard altogether. God forbid if a child should attempt to cross the road and end up in the path of a vehicle. I travel this road for my work and inevitably will miss my signal not canceling at least 2 or 3 times a year even though I am well aware of the issue. Great place to start with to spend a few bucks for 10ft of curbing to avoid heartbreak for another family.
Batiste Zgombickq July 02, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I would hope that after everyone received their property tax bills this past week the members of our town government will hear our cries loud and clear. In 9 years my property taxes have gone up over $1000. At this rate it will soon cost $1000 per month in taxes to live in Southington. It's a nice town, but not at that price! Between the bonds for the middle school improvements, the almost $1m in astro turf for the high school and the ridiculous amount being spent for the renovations at North Center we have to STOP spending. As my grandmother always said "a bargin isn't a bargin if you can't afford it".
fummin July 04, 2012 at 11:34 AM
... and your doubling sewer bills too! .. wait to see what these rates will be due to addition of phosphorous removal, and plant upgrade which is overdue.

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