SOUTHINGTON - The Town Council on Tuesday examined the possibility of a new bus route through town.
The Council saw a presentation by the Capitol Region Council of Governments and Connecticut Transit, which proposed adding a new bus route in the north end. Town Manager Mark Sciota said a public hearing would most likely be held in January.
“We don’t have a bus route right now that attaches us to the rest of the state,” said Sciota. “People who want to pick up the bus first have to travel to Plainville or New Britain.”
A study is being conducted by CRCOG, but any new route will have to be approved by the state Department of Transportation.
CRCOG said that its plan will include meeting with town representatives, outreach at major bus hubs, public meetings and an online survey during the public outreach phase of the project. It will then enter the “preferred service scenario” phase of the project, during which attempts will be made to find two preliminary proposals for routes, incorporating feedback from public meetings and the survey results, then narrow those two routes to a single preferred route.
In other business Tuesday, the council approved the Fire Department’s request to seek an $180,000 federal grant for advanced mountain rescue training.
“The Southington Fire Department’s response area encompasses two mountain ranges, both of which are nationally known destinations for hiking and high-angle mountain climbing,” wrote Fire Chief Richard Butler in the grant request. “This extreme environment presents our department with a unique operational challenge when incidents occur in these areas. This training is vital to the department, the community of Southington and beyond.”
The training will prepare firefighters to perform technical rope rescues, which can only be done with advanced training.
“We have a lot of calls to the Hanging Hills area,” Sciota said Wednesday. “Our firefighters respond to hikers and campers who get lost or who fall and are in need of rescue.”
The Town Council also created the Southington High School Roof Building Committee, its members being Council Chairman Chris Palmieri, Councilor Victoria Triano, Town Engineer Annette Turnquist and Peter Romano, director of operations for the local school system.
Sciota said that the roof over the old auditorium dates to the mid-1980s and needs to be replaced. Last week, town voters approved at referendum $2.6 million in funding for the project.
The town also approved a resolution to pursue state-mandated phosphorus-reduction-related upgrades at the Water Pollution Control Facility. Approximately $17 million of this roughly $58 million project is expected to be funded by state grants and loans.
Finally, the council authorized $2 million for drainage improvements at Town Hall. The drain at the entrance for the handicapped had been flooding and wasn’t always opening as it should have.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.