The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received November 9, 2021.
Nov. 8, 2021, 6:30-8:30 pm
Yes, it’s true. A small but determined turnout by Haddam residents, plus write-ins, and a novel approach by our First Selectman Bob McGarry, led to a remarkably productive meeting. [My] synopsis of the agreements are:
- Via pandemic federal funding, Haddam will be receiving extra monies.
- Sufficient efforts are currently afoot to provide septic & water to Higganum Center.
- We are extremely close to getting approval for cleanup funding for Scovil, and a developer.
- There is no market for leasing, nor selling, Haddam Elementary School (HES).
- Currently, Higganum Center is a one-stoplight intersection of 2 highways – not ideal small-town feeling.
So, what was the amazing performance? FS McGarry added an item to New Business: Higganum Center discussion. And, “Public comments limited to 3 minutes” was changed into an excellent BOS/public interaction focused on Higganum Center. Here are the resulting transformative actions proposed, with possibly general agreement:
- Move all of our Town government to HES, plus ancillary operations.
- Make Higganum Center walkable, and bike-able, for young, elderly, and families. Sidewalks, lighting, connection points, and traffic calming (a stoplight where our HES crossing guard had to dodge traffic; and maybe a traffic circle at Jack’s & Nutmeg?)
- Sidewalk interconnects: CT River – Higganum Cove – Higganum Center – HES – Scovil – Higganum Reservoir.
- Put public pressure on our Planning & Zoning Department to make the above happen, in accordance with our own Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).
My personal overnight additions:
- If we put our money and efforts into the above, we WILL transform and re-vitalize Higganum Center.
- We could also move employee parking of Public Works personnel to HES, thereby freeing up space to move our trucks out of the Rossi property.
- Further, Haddam does not have to buy, teardown, and cleanup the Rossi property, because the above Re-vitalization actions will automatically make it a desirable property for qualified developers, whether for housing and/or retail.
Yes, an amazing meeting. Thank you BOS Bob, Kate, & Sean for working together to make this happen. And good to see public participation.
Maurice D. Adams