This communication is to inform the public regarding major Town building initiatives presently under consideration. Our goal is to bring to Town residents the opportunity to be heard on what projects, if any, will be built. This may include a public referendum if and when required by our Town Charter.
It is critical to study our overall facility needs thoroughly and comprehensively, as we look to plan for the future of Trumbull. These are significant decisions and will affect the quality of life in town for the next 50 to 75 years. In August 2018 the Town Council, at my request, impaneled the Community Facilities Building Committee and the Aquatics Facilities Building Committee. Both committees have been working to provide comprehensive recommendations regarding the senior center, the library, an indoor aquatics facility, and the need for more office, meeting, and event space. These committees are expanding upon the work begun in the prior administration; the work and data assembled by any previous committees are being incorporated into this comprehensive examination.
I believe that it is imperative to obtain significant public input and have an accurate assessment of public sentiment with respect to any major initiative. Accordingly, we will undertake a professional survey of Trumbull residents in the early fall as a first step to this end. It is equally imperative that before any project moves forward the public understand its potential impact, both fiscally and in terms of the impact on the area where each of these projects may ultimately be located. We must avoid mistakes of the past such as the purchase of land or other property before a thorough and complete analysis is completed.
This additional input from our residents will allow us to create final plans for these projects that will then be presented to the Town Council, Board of Finance, and the people.
When I took office in December 2017:
- The library board informed me it was seeking $6 million for renovations.
- The Board of Education, through Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Cialfi, informed me it was seeking $3.5 million for new administrative offices. This request did not include any funding for long-term school building infrastructure improvements. The planning and analysis of any Board of Education facilities are within the purview of the Board of Education.Last year I requested that the Board of Education provide a plan and study with respect to these renovations, and I am awaiting its response.
- The Hillcrest pool, a 50-year-old facility, continues to drain town resources and is in need of significant renovation, or replacement.
- The prior administration proposed a Senior/Community Center with a cost of nearly $20,000,000, but never brought the project forward for a vote.
Community Facilities Building Committee
Based on information acquired by the Community Facilities Building Committee to date, three concepts for the future Trumbull library and senior center are being considered. The concepts include:
- A new senior center on the Church Hill Road properties and a renovation of the existing library;
- The renovation of the existing library and the construction of a new senior center on the existing library property;
- A new senior center and library on the Church Hill Road properties. (The empty library space would be renovated for a future use to be determined.)
In order for any community facility to be constructed on the Church Hill Road properties, a traffic light at Church Hill Road and Quality Street must be installed, which requires state approval. Options 1 and 3 above will be reconsidered if a light is not approved. Other options may be considered.
On July 30, I am meeting with Commissioner Joseph Giulietti of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and our State Legislative Delegation regarding the need for a traffic light at Church Hill Road and Quality Street, along with other matters of concern to the Town. Given that the Town purchased four properties at a significant cost in 2016, we need to consider that site. However, I am committed first and foremost to the safety of our residents. In order to consider that site for any community facility, the area must be safe. I am hopeful that the Commissioner and his team will work with us once he understands our vision for the area.
Aquatics Facilities Building Committee
The Aquatics Facilities Building Committee is considering a stand-alone, multi-use aquatics center to replace the Hillcrest pool. The aquatics center would accommodate multiple user groups, including competitive and recreational swimmers, seniors, and swimming instruction, among others. Three Town-owned properties are being considered as a possible location for this facility.
Both committees are continuing to meet throughout the summer and will seek input from other relevant boards and Town departments to inform and engage the public in this process. By early fall, the committees will present their respective reports and recommendations as to projects and priorities that should be pursued. For more information on the work of the Community Facilities Building Committee, contact the clerk of this committee at email@example.com. For more information related to the Aquatics Facilities Building Committee, contact the clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.