Dear Voters of the Borough of Naugatuck:
As the owner of several commercial properties and a home in Naugatuck, my wife and I pay a significant amount of taxes to the Borough of Naugatuck each year. Our taxes have risen dramatically over the past ten years and our property values have declined significantly. We need tax relief. I get it!
There is no question in my mind that the only way to obtain meaningful tax relief for Naugatuck taxpayers is to dramatically increase the grand list resulting in a decrease in the mill rate. While innovative cost cutting measures can be helpful, it is impossible to obtain significant tax relief without significant growth.
The mantra of my campaign is SMART GROWTH TODAY.
I have spent the past 40 years of my life focusing on all aspects of real estate development, land use cases, environmental issues as well as municipal law. My education and legal experience are outlined in more depth on the Meet Pete segment of the website.
It is my belief that the time is right to develop downtown
Naugatuck and other underdeveloped areas of Naugatuck NOW
and that I am the most qualified candidate to implement a focused development plan. A partial listing of development projects that will
be pursued during my administration is listed in the Current Issues
section of the website. The development of Parcels C, B & A is only
the tip of the iceberg. My vision extends far beyond these 3 parcels
to the former Uniroyal site and beyond. It is time to stop talking about economic development and start finalizing development
projects and increasing the grand list.
I urge all voters in the Borough of Naugatuck
who share my vision of SMART GROWTH TODAY
to contact us and join our campaign.
Very truly yours,
I. Implement Plan for Smart Growth Today
THE BEST WAY TO ACHIEVE TAX RELIEF IS TO INCREASE THE GRAND LIST. MY ADMINISTRATION WILL WORK WITH THE NEDC AND THE BOROUGH BOARD TO ACHIEVE SOLID AND STEADY GROWTH BY IMPLEMENTING THE FOLLOWING SMART GROWTH MEASURES TODAY. THE FUTURE IS NOW.
A) Finalize the development of Parcel C by eliminating any remaining obstacles to development and nurturing the project through the land use and construction phases to completion. Parcel C is a project that will start a fire of enthusiasm and optimism for future projects in Naugatuck.
B) Encourage the development of a mixed use project on Parcels A & B as well as other underdeveloped properties in the vicinity of downtown Naugatuck to bring a sufficient amount of foot traffic downtown to encourage restaurants and other businesses to relocate to downtown Naugatuck and in the surrounding areas. I will work with the developer, the NEDC and the State to eliminate contractual contingencies including existing environmental issues and the relocation of the train platform.
C) Recognize that the development of Parcels A, B and C in downtown Naugatuck is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the implementation of Smart Growth concepts throughout Naugatuck.
D) Begin the process of engaging in the complicated dialogue associated with the former Uniroyal complex in order to prepare the way for large scale commercial/industrial development of the Uniroyal site together with other appropriate municipal uses. The development of the Uniroyal parcel is the best chance for Naugatuck to obtain dramatic tax relief. I will work with all stakeholders and Chemtura officials in order to obtain solutions to existing problems relating to site remediation and to further aid in the ultimate large scale development of the Chemtura site.
E) Promote the acquisition and development of a new industrial park on Prospect Street near our existing industrial parks or other alternate locations in order to attract more industrial/commercial development in Naugatuck.
F) Encourage the development of an entertainment venue in downtown Naugatuck conceptually similar to the Gilson Theatre in Winsted.
G) Revise our existing tax abatement ordinance in a manner that will provide additional incentives for new entities that create and retain jobs for Borough residents.
H) Enhance the development of the New Haven Road Design District by implementing Smart Growth Today concepts emphasizing the expansion of the existing commercial corridor.
I) Enhance development of the Rubber Avenue Design District by the relocation of the recycling center and Street Dept. and allowing those parcels to be utilized for other commercial purposes.
J) Distinguish between positive residential development with tax positive revenue
streams and negative residential growth which burdens our coffers.
K) Encourage revenue positive residential growth.
L) Otherwise promote tax positive growth on parcels owned by private taxpayers with a view toward future tax positive projects, i.e. the old
post office; undeveloped land on and off New Haven Road; the former Risdon site, the former Guerrera site on Cherry Street, etc.
M) Analyze the potential relocation of existing Borough sports complexes or other underutilized parcels to allow for commercial development of prime locations while obtaining more sports fields on available parcels outside of the prime development areas.
N) Finalize the sale of the train station to a private developer and move the historical society to the Tuttle Building.
O) Complete the sale of Prospect Street School to a private developer. More information on all of this issue will be forthcoming in future blogs.
P) Work with our legislators to expand the Enterprise Zone boundaries to make additional areas of Naugatuck more attractive to outside investors.
Q) RECOGNIZE THAT THE BEST WAY TO ACHIEVE TAX RELIEF IS THROUGH
THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF SMART GROWTH CONCEPTS NOW
II. ENCOURAGE AND PROMOTE EDUCATION IN NAUGATUCK
As Mayor as well as a member of the Board of Education, I will work with the superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education to promote and encourage a positive learning environment for all students in the Borough of Naugatuck. It is my goal to change the perception of the Naugatuck School system as it is viewed by potential home purchasers in Naugatuck. We can work together to achieve this goal while maintaining accountability with assurance that progress in the school system remains on track. Please refer to blog 1 on the interrelationship between real property values and a quality education system and future blogs for a further analysis of these issues.
III. PROVIDE THE RESIDENTS WITH SOMETHING TO DO
A) Establish a dog park utilizing available grants and donations.
B) Begin plans to design and build a connection between the Naugatuck State Forest and the Larkin Bridle Trail. This connection will set the stage to have a perimeter trail of Naugatuck that will start where Hop Brook enters the Naugatuck River running along the river to the Naugatuck State Forest entrance to existing trails alongside the gorge in the Naugatuck State Forest. Thereafter,
the trails will follow the gorge to the top of Hunters Mountain and then connect to the Bridle Trail. The Bridle Trail will continue
to Hop Brook Park where the trail will follow Hop Brook back to the point of beginning. More to follow.
C) Refine and complete plans to build trails along the Naugatuck River and throughout downtown Naugatuck to aid the development of downtown Naugatuck and to encourage a mixed use project in downtown Naugatuck and its vicinity.
D) Encourage the development of an entertainment venue in downtown Naugatuck that is conceptually similar to the Gilson Theatre in Winsted to provide a broad spectrum of activities including but not limited to movies, live music, plays civic activities or other related activities.
E) Encourage and promote block parties with varied themes in downtown Naugatuck and its vicinity, i.e. South Main Street.
F) Encourage the construction of new sporting facilities by encouraging the construction of a for profit indoor, all-purpose sports facility for year round usage by a privately owned entity.
IV. SOFTEN THE BLOW OF FUTURE TREATMENT PLANT MANDATES
The largest problem facing the Borough in the next several years relates to federal mandates requiring multimillion dollar upgrades to the treatment plant. My administration will take appropriate action to minimize the cost of these mandates to the taxpayers. We will evaluate alternative technologies to implement at the conclusion of our existing contract with Veolia to reduce the cost of mandated upgrades.
V. REFINE AND IMPLEMENT THE PLAN RECOMMENDED BY THE LONG TERM FACILITY PLANNING COMMITTEE
The superintendent of schools and her staff are currently reviewing the facility plan recommended by the Long Term Facility Planning Committee. After adopting any proposed educational modifications as well as the plan will be presented to the public for comment. Thereafter, with the approval of the tri-boards and an agreement with a developer to repurpose the existing Town Hall, the plan will advance. If the plan is fully implemented, one new town-wide grade 5-8 school will be constructed and five existing older school buildings will be placed on the tax rolls or repurposed for other municipal uses. We will not spend 58 million dollars on older, outdated municipal buildings. We will maximize favorable state reimbursement rates for new construction. In addition, the Town Hall will be moved to Hillside School and the existing town hall will become part of the downtown redevelopment project and added to the tax rolls. The main issue concerning the implementation of the plan relates to the timing of the date the plan to the voters is presented to the voters for consideration. The timing of the presentation of the plan is interrelated with the cost of current bonding as well as potential bonding required by the treatment plant upgrades. We will review the progress of the Borough on revenue generation as well as bonding costs regularly.