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Groton Will Not Halt Mystic Streetscape Project

Groton Officials tell businesses ‘they are working hard,’ but they will not delay the Mystic Streetscape Project until the fall and are unable to give a firm end date.

 

“I don’t understand how the landscape can be put off for the health of the plants but work cannot be put off for the health of the businesses,” President Tricia Cunningham asked Groton Planning and Development Director Mike Murphy.

It was one of a number of questions downtown Mystic businesses owners and a few residents asked Groton Town Officials at a Friday morning meeting designed to give updates on the Mystic Streetscape Project.

The streetscape project, , but has suffered delays that also coincided with bridge repair and a recession.

Frustrated business owners, some of them saying , asked Murphy and Project Manager Rick Norris when they could expect work causing major traffic congestion in downtown Mystic to end, what happens if the project keeps running into delays and why communication with the business owners hasn’t been better.

And even though the meeting lasted an hour, business owners didn’t get a lot of firm answers to their questions.

“You have to understand we are working hard to get out of there, but there are things beyond our control,” Norris said.

This week the Mystic Streetscape project saw delays from that caused Connecticut Light & Power crews to work there instead of on the power lines in downtown and found contaminated soil that needs to be evaluated by an environmental professional, and rotted pipes.

“There is delay after delay,” Donna Williston of responded. “It sounds like circumstances are calling the shots.”

Williston wanted to know what happens if there are more delays especially as the is rapidly approaching.

“You do realize what July and August means for us,” Williston said.

Earlier this week business owners

Murphy said that if the town puts the project on hold, there could be financial consequences such as rising labor costs.

The landscape that Cunningham asked about isn’t considered major work so that can be put off and since it’s now past planting season the plants would die.

Murphy said he was 100 percent expecting major work to be done by June 30, but he added “if we find problems we have to deal with them.”

One of those major problems seems to be uncertainty over when paving will begin and how long it will take.

Norris said next week there would be a meeting with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and contractors to determine if paving would begin on June 18 or June 25 and how long it will take. 

Business owners expressed frustration over the lack of communication of project delays and were concerned that if paving does not begin until June 25 it could go into the July 4 holiday.

Ed Johnson June 09, 2012 at 03:24 PM
If the project is halted during July and August, it might cost more to the Town if done later. In the meantime, the salaries of Town employees continue to be paid. The salaries of the merchants in downtown Mystic do not get paid. They are losing money and will continue to do so because of previous false promises and now...no promises at all. It is totally unfair for them to be treated this way.
B.R.E.E. June 09, 2012 at 03:53 PM
First of all there has not been a study to determine that the businesses in downtown are suffering. In fact there has been a new restaurant that has opened downtown and it appears to bust quite often. Perhaps it is actually the nature of the individual businesses along with the recession that has caused the decline. It might be time for some of the businesses to change to meet the times or move on.
Ed Johnson June 10, 2012 at 12:48 AM
By the time you do a "study" some of the businesses will probably be gone. But, by all means, stop in and explain your theory to some of the businesses that are being affected. Perhaps your advice can help them stay in business? If you're not sure where to start, just watch the video recording of the last Council meeting and review some of their comments and complaints. As for the new restaurant that is doing so well, who is it and what is their exact location?
Patsy Crothers June 14, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Is that the restaurant that isn't on Main St.?If so the construction in 'downtown' has NO affect on it.I have a feeling you are talking about the restaurant on Water St.,correct?
Genevieve Triplett January 25, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Damn you, damn you. I have no other vocabulary to express myself at this very moment. It is a dark bitter cold evening in January. I read these articles, wishing I did more. I knew the winter was going to be hard, bridge constuction in its' final phase. We knew shops were not going to make it. We were angry, we were desperate for the construction to stop last April to give busniess owners a little time to make money to pay for this hard winter we knew was coming! Four shops on Main St. In downtown empty. More will follow. How does a town manager stay employeed for 20 plus years doing a crap job, how is it Pettini is getting sued$300,000 for non- payment to a sub contractor? How about the high school roof, the female cop that is suing the town, again, now we are going to bus students for racial equality, how about the phase two streetscape. Thank you for your pactience, mine are gone. My advice never ever buy a property in Groton.

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