Starting in summer 2013, Southington residents will begin to see a transformation in the road system around the community.
Voters overwhelmingly elected to approve a referendum providing $11 million in bonding for road repairs on Tuesday, . Officials said that while the referendum has now passed, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“This is just a start, the first part of a long range plan,” Southington Town Councilman Al Natelli Jr. said Tuesday night.
The town first began pushing the referendum in the spring and it was widely supported across town boards, receiving bipartisan approval from the Board of Finance in June and shortly thereafter from the Southington Town Council.
Councilwoman Cheryl Lounsbury said she sees the referendum as a great start in helping the community implement a long range plan and hopes the bipartisan effort taken to get the referendum passed will continue as the town begins the project.
“This proposal was based on a bipartisan analysis of a problem that has not been addressed,” Lounsbury said.
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The referendum could also open new doors, including the expansion of Yankee Gas services in the community, Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said. But he also cautioned that referendum approval is only a start.
Brumback called the first two years of the road restoration program a "demonstration project" to “build trust” with residents and prove that the investment is worthwhile. Additional referendums will be necessary in the future in order to continue the project, he said.
As a result of the referendum, Southington property owners can expect to pay an increase of $30 per year per $100,000 of property value in their taxes, officials said.
“($11 million) is a lot of money, and we have a lot other needs, but we have to prioritize our resources and this is a priority,” Brumback said in an interview last week. “(With the referendum passed) it will be our responsibility to show our residents we are looking out for their best interest.
For more on which roads will be included in the first portion of the road repair project, see the PDFs included above.
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