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The Southington Citizen — Friday, July 27, 2012 The Southington

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Town Manager Garry Brumback and acting Town Engineer Jim Grappone evaluate the landscaping process at the North Center office complex.

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has been since its inception, and there’s a lot of pride in that. Having said that, I believe in making things happen strategically. The media is but one tool in our effort to get the word out. It’s really about “elbow grease” and sheer willingness to do whatever it takes. I’m going to take a page out of his playbook by reaching out and asking for the opportunity to talk to service clubs and any organization that will have me, along with asking members of the Town Council and the Board of Finance to do the same thing, not to advocate for any particular program but to educate the residents on the value of investing in order to preserve. We’re going to ask the media to support that but they’re not the sole method by which we’re going to do it. Fortunato: I’m trying to wrap my mind around the facts of the situation and your thought process in order to beneficially inform our readers, to enhance their perception of balancing the reality of our needs against the paucity of funds, avoidance of higher taxes and the natural resistance to spending to improve and protect what we have because it costs money. Doing whatever is right will

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a bare bones basis for many years, if not decades. There are some glaring gaps in our facilities and infrastructure. Some buildings, as well as our roads and sewer system, are in need of significant upgrading. We’ve tried to do the best we could with extremely limited resources which were not enough to do the job adequately. My guess is that probably 20 to 25 years ago we had a road network, sewer system, and town facilities that were as good as any in the region and better than most, but within recent years, we have not maintained the necessary investment to preserve what we had; in fact, we’ve lost ground. We’ve got a road structure which, while it is not horrible, is not what it should be. We’ve now got a choice to make an investment in our facilities, roads and sewer system to spend a few million dollars now, restoring or preventively maintaining it, or to spend a much more significant amount in millions in the next decade replacing it. The Town Council seems to support [the former], as does the Board of Finance. But the next step, which is critical, is for the

Town Council, the Board of Finance, and the administration to collaboratively engage the public in this situation so that they understand it and we get their support. Fortunato: Do you feel you’ve made the turn in infrastructural needs? Brumback: We have, in identifying the needs. The referendum this fall will determine whether we’ve made the turn financially. Fortunato: So it’s ultimately up to the people. Brumback: Yes. It’s up to the people, those who are going to have to pay the bill, as it should be. We’ve studied the situation carefully and in great detail. It’s now our responsibility to get the message out to our citizens as to the specific needs we’ve identified and the associated costs so that they can make an informed, responsible decision. Fortunato: Given the significance of the critical decisions to be made by the voters regarding our town’s future, would you consider providing a program to educate the citizenry? Brumback: It’s not something we’ve considered and I don’t believe the Town Council or Board of Finance are prepared to consider at this point, for cost reasons. This organization is a Spartan and

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Photo by E. Richard Fortunato

Manager

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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Southington Citizen, P.O. Box 246, Southington, CT 06489. 1227892

The Southington Citizen 07-27-2012  

The Southington Citizen 07-27-2012

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