SOUTHINGTON - Town Manager Mark Sciota remarked at Mondayâ€™s Town Council meeting that only 71 people remain without power in town after the recent tropical storm. Several council members thanked those who helped get the town back up and running during the councilperson communications segment of the meeting.
â€śIt was an incredible situation, but our team was out there,â€ť said Council Chair Victoria Triano. â€śIt was a time for everyone to pull together. I hope we never have to experience this kind of storm again. Our chief of police said that this was the second most devastating storm that heâ€™d dealt with.â€ť
Sciota remarked that he couldnâ€™t thank his team enough for its response. He also thanked Eversourceâ€™s workers, who he said worked hard once they arrived.
â€śSince the October storm of 2011 I havenâ€™t seen the town mobilize in this fashion,â€ť he said. â€śI couldnâ€™t be more proud.â€ť
Also prior to the meeting, a public hearing was held whether or not the town should have a tax abatement for manufacturers outside of Southingtonâ€™s enterprise zone. No residents commented. The abatement was approved later in the meeting.
Lou Perillo III, economic development director, said that Economic Strike Committee recommended at its July 9 meeting that the council approve the abatements. It will allow new businesses, or existing business that make significant property improvements, to receive a 5-year 40% abatement for real and personal property.
â€śThis offers parity for those who want to expand to or relocate to town and canâ€™t open in the enterprise zone,â€ť said Perillo. â€śThis is similar to an abatement that we had a couple years ago and there is now interest in it again.â€ť
Perillo said Sign Pro, Inc. which relocated to town from New Britain, has since doubled its number of employees and aimed to take advantage of the abatement to construct a new building at 161 Canal St.
The abatement is set to expire July 1 2022.
Perillo also announced that the Economic Strike Committee selected Rebel Interactive Group, located on Queen Street in town, to help market and promote the town. Rebel created promotional video for the town on seesouthington.com. The town council approved their contract for a year, with a $44,000 cap, later in the meeting.
Additionally, Perillo reported that remediation work has begun on the Beaton and Corbin factory site.
The council also authorized Town Manager Mark Sciota to pursue a state grant next year for library upgrades, a project that was put on hold this year. The council additionally authorized the Barnes Museum to replace the veranda roof.
Following the public hearing, a moment of silence was held for late developer Matt Florian and the late Ralph Mann. The town flags were set to half-mast until Tuesday.
Properties that Florian worked on include 98 Main St., where Flair restaurant is now located, 1 Center St. and the former Beecher Street School. He also developed several properties on North Main Street.
Mann was a president of Southington Savings Bank, served on the Board of Finance and was involved with the local YMCA. He was also a director and treasurer at Bradley Memorial Hospital. Mann was also involved in establishing the Southington Care Center and Bradley Memorial Hospital.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.