Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Stratford Community Conversations


Elected Officials Inform Attendees at Community Conversations

Moderated by Greg Reilly

The June 5th Stratford Community Conversations had the same quality that characterized the meetings over the course of the program since it started in April, 2023 – various local and state officials joining town residents at the open meetings to listen, learn and respond to residents’ concerns when they could. This week’s Conversations, the last one planned, was hosted by the welcoming duo of Myra Healy and Colin Healy at Unitarian Universalist Church on Huntington Road.

As the floor was opened for any local topics, a resident explained that he has been trying to get the State Department of Transportation’s attention about changing the timing of the traffic light signals at the intersection of Veterans Boulevard and Barnum Avenue Cutoff. Barnum Avenue Cutoff is State Route 1, which is why the State is involved. State Representative Joe Gresko was there to explain that the State is aware of the issue. He told the group also that reaching the right person at the capital and getting a response often takes time, and the State staff are not always immediately convinced of the need for change. Gresko said that using a combination of efforts in communicating with the State – direct phone or email to the appropriate office, contacting your State senators and representatives, and submitting a petition with multiple signatures when possible – is advised.

To that point, Mayor Laura Hoydick, herself a former State representative, added that the State expects that the residents will have already been in touch with their local government before approaching Hartford.

Gresko and Hoydick both addressed questions about plans for contamination clean-up and development at the site of the former Stratford Army Engine Plant on Main Street, which is now owned by private developer Point Stratford Renewal.

The mayor was very helpful responding to questions about the new garbage containers that will be given to households to facilitate pick up by mechanical devices on garbage trucks. (Containers will be distributed in August for service that will begin in September.) She also explained the latest plans to develop a Stratford Performing Arts Complex at the Shakespeare property on Elm Street. (Info can be found at stratfordct.gov/departments/economic development.)

As the final meeting of the Community Conversations program wrapped up, a couple of residents thanked the moderator for bringing the elected officials together with the residents. “Our voices were heard,” one said.


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