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Vavrek: Pepper Street Reconstruction Facts

First Selectman Steve Vavrek
First Selectman Steve Vavrek
To the Editor:

Folks, I need you to know the facts as the Pepper Street Reconstruction Project is now going to a Town Wide Referendum over a Town Meeting. While that is the Charter given right, please know that Our Town Council approved of this project unanimously 9-0 on July 30, 2012 and the project has been very public throughout  both regional and town wide meetings.

The Town Meeting will be held on Monday Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Chambers. The referendum announcement date will be announced, then the meeting will be adjourned and go straight into a public informational session.

Editor's Note: The first selectman adds background information on the project with two Monroe Courier articles. The following are the headlines and hyperlinks. 

Officials urge support of Pepper Street project bonding

Vavrek responds to letter opposing Pepper Street project bonding

Stephen J. Vavrek

Gerald M. Gaynor January 26, 2014 at 09:25 AM
"...Our Town Council approved of this project unanimously 9-0 on July 30, 2012..." Now that's something we don't often hear in Monroe...
Steve Kirsch January 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Not only in July 2012, but again 2 weeks ago when the bonding request came forward (and this council has a couple of new members vs 2012).
Geezer January 26, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Would it be possible to include sewer pipes under the new road? It would be a shame to dig up the road again for a sewer project. And this is one of the first areas that should be hooked up to attract new business. But maybe all new roads or major upgrades should have sewers installed as part of the project.
Walt January 26, 2014 at 03:29 PM
Easily double the cost of the project. What are you going to do, pump or gravity? What about the amount of effluent, what size pipes? Will you assess the property owners now or later for the additional cost of the project? What would be the cost for user fees?
Carl Kolchak January 26, 2014 at 05:02 PM
Let's get Wal-Mart to pay for it.
Gerald M. Gaynor January 27, 2014 at 06:34 AM
The issue of sanitary sewers isn't going to go away and it isn't going to be passed off on a single development project or even a group of projects located in one section of town. The Town of Monroe needs those sewers to move forward and no amount of spin is going to change that reality. The initial cost will have to be borne by the taxpayers of the Town and the future expenses will be apportioned by usage.
Geezer January 27, 2014 at 07:10 AM
Thanks Walt. You have outlined all the sewer issues very well. So, the taxpayers are being asked to support a $100K portion of road improvement so that a developer has a better chance of attracting a buyer for his property and thus making a larger profit on his prior real estate investment. And then, at some point possibly 10 or 15 years from now, if that doesn't work, the developers will be asking the town to help tear up the street so that sewers can be installed. That would allow them to have a second shot and making the desired return on their real estate investment. Priceless
Bruce January 27, 2014 at 10:24 AM
The town should rally behind this. It should never have been sent to a referendum. The Town Trolls who forced this to a referendum vote should have to pay for the cost of setting up polling stations. I'm tired of the lies the Town Trolls spew. Every editorial and commentary spewed by the Town Trolls has proved to be inaccurate. I'm tired of the lies the Town Trolls spew.
Crown Royal January 27, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Also regarding sewers, the section we are talking about has already been developed for the most part (Cambridge to Jockey Hollow), there are very few vacant lots where development can occur. Sewers would be very beneficial from Cambridge (the new road) north to Main Street, however that section of road is not involved in this project. Once thing I would be interested in is if the developer of Cambridge installed sewer pipes under that road. If they are not, there is no point in the town installing any at this point.
Walt January 27, 2014 at 12:16 PM
There's no point in installing sewers if there is no treatment plant to tie into.
Bruce January 27, 2014 at 01:58 PM
G.W. - I'm voting YES on this because I'm tired of the Town Trolls bringing everything to a referendum. If the Town Trolls were correct, why did they lie and mislead in the Courier? Last year they lied about the Honeywell project, this year they are lying about Pepper Street. They are an old, nasty and bitter lot of Trolls!
Alex January 27, 2014 at 03:38 PM
"The Town Trolls who forced this to a referendum vote should have to pay for the cost of setting up polling stations." I thought this was a town hall vote? That would mean no polling stations.
G.W. January 27, 2014 at 03:45 PM
Vote NO new road to increase Kimbal commercial property values on Pepper Street. Pepper Street was repaired with our Tax Dollars just a few years ago and it is in fine shape. The proposed State and Federal funding should be targeted for another Monroe road. Vote NO and force Vavrek and other elected officials to open up a discussion on how to use State and Federal funding to repair other high traffic roads in town.
Crown Royal January 27, 2014 at 04:12 PM
GW, what other road do you propose would be better suited for this type of repair?
Free Speech January 27, 2014 at 05:19 PM
I read the editorial by Bernie Sippin in the Monroe Courier. If Bernie is against this, then I am for it! I agree with Bruce, I'm sick of the nonsense and the plethora of propaganda from the gang that can't shoot straight! I'll be voting YES.
Steve Kirsch January 27, 2014 at 05:27 PM
GW, please remember that we have already received state funds for roads that have already been done over the last few years. Also, the overlay that was put down on this section of Pepper St a few years ago was just to hold the road together until this project could be completed. Also, keep in mind that when the town sized a smaller project on this section of road it came out to be about $2.4M. We get everything we needed to do, plus the intersection of Pepper & Rt25, plus the improvement to the rails-to-trails, all for $500K. We can cover this $500K within our ongoing $2M per year road repair project. This is the only section of Pepper St which has not had major work done in the last 20 yrs. The town needs to get this done and we need to support this project.
Steve Kirsch January 28, 2014 at 03:47 AM
G.W., did you attend the public meeting? If so, you would have learned that this money is use-it-or-lose-it. It is not available for any other use in Monroe. You would also have learned, that the town may never actually have to borrow or bond any money. Furthermore, you would have heard that Pepper St was not repaired, rather it had a small layer put on to hold the road together until this project was done. As to Fan Hill - the portion from Chalk Hill to the Newtown line was redone last summer. Moose Hill had significant drainage work done last summer and it was my understanding at the time that it was in preparation for repaving this year (but I have not seen that in writing yet). Lastly, the need to redo this section of Pepper St was first identified long before Mr. Vavrek was ever elected First Selectman.
Crown Royal January 28, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Additionally GW, at the meeting last night, the director of the Bridgeport regional council made note of the fact that Moose Hill is on their radar. If we do not use this money for the Pepper St repairs, we will lose out on the State and Federal funding.
Crown Royal January 28, 2014 at 09:52 AM
This project is a no-brainer. Much like the Honeywell project, this is a phenomenal deal for the town and should be welcomed with open arms. The improvements to the Rt 25/Pepper intersection and the rail trail improvements alone would be worth the 500k investment. We are also getting an improvement in sight lines and a reduction in the rolling hills near the Panthers Den (Where a driver had to maneuver his car up the embankment in order to avoid rear ending me). Additionally, we are also getting new drainage culverts as well. This project is far beyond simply spending $5M to repave the road.

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