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First Selectman's Blog

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Nov 10

Downtown Center Project & Strong Center Field Houses

Posted on November 10, 2016 at 10:03 AM by Rita Boland

I’d like to update our progress on two of our major projects, the Downtown Center Project and the Strong Center Field Houses.    Actually, I’d like not to have to, as I had hoped we would be done with both of these by now, but I’m learning that outside forces sometimes intervene to slow things up. 

Based on the schedule we are working from right now for the downtown project, you should be seeing Eversource trucks downtown pulling wire through the conduit we should have installed last week.  We lost a week when the contractor had to pull out to work on another job the week of October 31st, so we are playing catch-up during the week of November 7th.  Thankfully, Eversource has committed to working with us, so our progress should not come to a standstill.

That being said, the plan is to cut across Route 79 and place conduit so we can bring electricity to the network of wiring that is underneath the sidewalks and serves the new poles, the buildings and the irrigation system.  At the same time, we will be working to re-service most of the buildings downtown with electricity from behind.  Most are supplied with electricity from the poles out front, and we can’t remove them until new service has been provided in the rear.  I anticipate that we will have this done before Thanksgiving, so our downtown and its merchants will be able to operate without disruption through the Holiday season.  Based on what Eversource is telling me, it is not realistic to think we could have the poles down before Christmas.

Strong Field has been an entirely different situation.  We are paying for the field houses with a STEAP grant from the state of CT.  We just got the okay in the last two weeks from the state to proceed with work that would be reimbursed by that grant, so if it’s any solace, we couldn’t have started before that anyway.

While we were waiting, the contractor was getting his state certification to be eligible to do the work, so we didn’t actually lose any time because he couldn’t start without it.  Weather permitting; we should be able to get a good jump on construction at Strong Field so we will see some progress in the short term.  But this is New England, so stay tuned.

Tom Banisch
First Selectman

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