At tonight’s Special Town Meeting, residents will vote on whether to approve $877,000 for the construction cost of State Project #104-172: Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements Project. The board of selectmen anticipates the actual project cost may be as low as $812,000.
A federal grant being administered by the State Department of Transportation will cover 80 percent of the project construction costs, approximately $649,600 to $701,600. Although the Town will be responsible for only 20 percent of the final cost (between $162,400 and $175,400, approximately), the board of selectmen is required to approve the total project cost at Town Meeting. (Visit this link for more information from the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen on the proposal.)
We have received statements from, respectively, a supporter of the proposal, Sound View Commission Chairman Frank Pappalardo, and an opponent, Frank Maratta, owner of ‘The Pavilion’ restaurant and bar at Sound View.
In the interests of disseminating information to the public to facilitate an informed vote, we are publishing both unedited.
THE CASE FOR
By Frank Pappalardo
The project has been in the planning stages since 2011 and addresses much needed improvements including:
- Deteriorating sidewalks
- Inadequate sidewalks for public safety
- Lack of handicapped accessibility
- Inadequate Storm Water Drainage
- Lack of bicycle facilities
- Pedestrian amenities
The Town applied for and received a Federal Intermodal Transportation Grant and will receive 80% funding.
2014 Town meeting voted to approve Phase 1 Plan and Design Funding
- 56 public committee meetings; 3 site walks; 6 Public information meetings
- 1 Town Meeting
- Numerous plan reviews with revisions included
- Numerous Presentations to Board/Commissions including Sound View Commission; Planning; Zoning; Inland Wetlands; Tree Commission
- Approval from town officials: ZEO, Fire Marshal, Fire Chief, Public Safety, Board of Selectmen, etc.
- Received support from business property owners, developers and the community
- Current public parking: 353 Total open to the public
- Project completion: 331 Total open to the public
- Net change: 22 parking spaces
Construction estimate, Inspections, Municipal Services, testing, contingency: not to exceed $877,000
Reimbursement from the grant (80%) ($701,600)
TOTAL COST TO TOWN: not to exceed $175,400
What happens if the construction is NOT approved?
- Town will have to pay costs for new ADA and safer sidewalks estimated – $450,000 to $500,000
- Town will have to pay costs for Storm water drainage modifications and correction.
- And most critical the town is required to reimburse DOT for all received Plan/Design Costs – approx. $108,000
This project is a great value for our town, providing much-needed improvements, better amenities and initiative for progress.
The Sound View area has come a long way in the past 10 years. Please vote to support this important project to keep things moving in the right direction.
This is it! Every vote matters! Let’s get it done!
THE CASE AGAINST
By Frank Marrata
Hartford Avenue, Soundview’s “Main Street”, has a very interesting history. What was once a bustling street full of businesses has fallen into disrepair and blight. Our town government continues to contribute to this downward spiral. Our representatives think that a $900,000 taxpayer bailout will solve the problems. This is why this proposed burden to the taxpayers should be voted down: