Newington, Connecticut 
Newington Republican Town Committee

Mayor Zartarian Responds to Candidate Borjeson's Falsehoods

10/24/2017 10:40 AM | Max Turgeon (Administrator)

Here's my response to my opponent's screed on economic development:

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The document “Newington Needs a New Vision . . . “ recently distributed by Terry Borjeson is rife with errors and misinformation. Going beyond his inability to spell my surname correctly, Mr. Borjeson has composed complete fiction about two prominent vacant sites in town. Plans for these two sites are a matter of public record. Perhaps Mr. Borjeson should pay closer attention to what is happening in town if he has aspirations for public office.

First, the old National Welding site, the so-called “Roy's Dirt Field,” has a developer with plans for a hotel ready to go. The site itself, after years of manufacturing activity, required substantial remediation to remove toxins from the soil. Then followed a period of testing by state and federal authorities to ascertain the lot's compliance with environmental requirements. The project itself includes plans for a parking garage, and negotiations with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to offset part of the cost to accommodate busway commuters are ongoing but slowly due to the State's fiscal situation. Decisions about the future of this site are being made locally. Let us not forget that Mr. Borjeson was all too eager to surrender land use authority for such properties to an outside commission appointed by his crony Dannel Malloy.

Second, plans for an assisted living facility at the corner of East Cedar Street and Russell Road - “Roy's Dirt Pile” - have been approved by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission. The developer now is in the process of arranging financing. Mr. Borjeson seems to have forgotten that when he was in office and serving as majority leader this property was to have become the widely-hyped Amara project complete with an amphitheater, bowling alley, and Irish bar. Neither the community nor the financial sector shared Mr. Borjeson’s enthusiasm for Amara, and all that remains of that plan is a pile of dirt.

After he read the Borjeson piece, Town Plan and Zoning Commission Vice Chair and Newington Republican Town Committee Chair Domenic Pane said:
“Mr Borjeson is clearly delusional. Last council meeting Economic Development director gave an update which included both sites he referenced. National welding has a hotel waiting for the state to decide if they want to build a parking garage for the busway. As far as the cedar street “old amara site” as Mr Brecher said last council meeting they have a full Town approval and are working on their financing. What is wrong with Terry! Talk about political games. All this is easily verified in the minutes of the last council meeting. Development came to a screeching halt because of Mr. Borjeson’s friend Dannel Malloy. “

In criticizing the Town's current Economic Development activity, Mr. Borjeson neglects to disclose that these services are provided to the Town through a contract formulated when he was in office and his party in the majority. My Republican colleagues and I are committed to appropriate development in town and intend to revisit, and restructure as necessary, this critical function as the current arrangement nears its end.

Newington faces two obstacles to economic growth. 

The town is almost fully developed with little land available for new construction. Nevertheless, existing sites and structures have been repurposed and continue as viable commercial enterprises. Ashley Furniture in the old T-Bowl, Clinisanitas in the former Michael’s store, Wooden Tap in what had been part of a furniture store, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in a former martial arts school, and the construction of new medical and dental offices on the Berlin Turnpike are but a few examples that have occurred during our term.

Connecticut’s economic climate is far from inviting. Under Democratic leadership, the state continues to lose jobs. Young adults are moving to other areas of the country. Household median income in the Hartford metropolitan area is falling. Moody's is preparing to issue adverse ratings for more than fifty cities and towns. Governor Malloy remains intransigent in his refusal to provide necessary funding to municipalities. Against such a backdrop, attracting new business to Newington is an immense challenge. It is a challenge we will and must meet head-on. As development continues, we will, as we have throughout the past two years, remain conscientious in managing our resources in order to sustain the services expected by our residents. Revenues are not, nor will they be, what they once were. This is a reality we cannot ignore.

- Mayor Zartarian

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