UPDATED: Monday, 2:49 p.m.
Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback released the following:
We recognize that Downtown businesses are a vital part of our community and to support them, the Southington Highway Department has cleared a substantial amount of the municipal parking lot adjacent to Center Street and made sure that all roads are passable in the Downtown area.
Due to the resource intensive nature of removing snow instead of pushing it to the side, which is the only option to clear all of downtown, this will begin after the main roads and secondary roads have been widened. Businesses are able to operate at this time and patrons are encouraged to use the municipal lot.
This is the same for the municipal lot in Plantsville as well.
We will continue to evaluate the parking lot going forward and insure that patrons have the ability to park.
Southington has cancelled Monday's Town Council meeting and schools will remain closed Tuesday as roads are now "passable" but still not safe for regular travel, officials said early Monday afternoon.
The town completed it's efforts to provide one lane along every road late Sunday night, but freezing rain early Monday stalled efforts to begin road widening and workers will be addressing the slender roads in the next several days, with hope of getting most areas addressed before another winter storm draws into the area Wednesday into Thursday.
Although the streets are now "passable," concerns over safety have led officials to take on the challenge of cancelling and rescheduling events townwide while recovery efforts continue.
The Council meeting for Feb. 11 is cancelled, Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said. The public hearing on the “Ordinance Changes” will be rescheduled for Feb. 25.
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Southington School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. is taking school closings dday by day, but after workers were called off of their assignments to widen roads Monday, it became clear early that schools would not be prepared to reopen on Tuesday.
Brumback said Monday that efforts to widen roads were suspended just before 9 a.m. to treat plowed portions of the roads, but efforts resumed just before noon.
Brumback also released the following on Monday:
I wanted to give everybody an update as to our current status and our plans for going forward. First, all roads in Southington had at least one passable lane as of 10 p.m. last night. This morning we began widening main roads. However, at just before 9 a.m. we diverted plowing to salting and sanding due to the freezing rain. As soon as our streets have been sanded and salted we will resume plowing operations this will be at 11:30 a.m. this morning.
Our priorities at this point are:
(1) Widening main roads;
(2) Widening secondary roads;
(3) Widening subdivision roads.
This will not be done in sequence and oftentimes we will be working on all three at the same time. However, people can expect their roads in the subdivisions to not be completed until Friday.
We are also evaluating our roofs and facilities to ensure that all are safe.
We will be asking for State assistance on vehicles and equipment to remove snow and will keep people apprised of the State’s response. The Governor has declared a State of Emergency, and 48 hours of our efforts are 75% reimbursable by FEMA. These 48 hours are of our choosing.
The State is continuing to widen the Interstate and once they complete that, they will pass on some equipment to municipalities. Next they are focusing on secondary roads but have not begun as of 10 a.m. this morning.
Bus and rail are operating. CL&P has restored all of their power. The best news is that Southington customers never lost their power.
The next update I hope to provide around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon and will include an update on the status of our schools.