September 9, 2013 02:09PM
By Farrah Duffany
SOUTHINGTON— More than 30 people filled the Municipal Center’s public assembly room during the Conservation Commission meeting Thursday night for another public hearing on an application to disturb 3,185-square-feet of wetlands on Wonx Spring Road. The application is to build a stormwater management system and road.
Five residents of Wonx Spring Road spoke against the application and were worried about the impact the project would have on their property values, health, and everyday life. No one spoke in favor. Stephen Giudice of the Harry E. Cole & Son engineering firm representing the application, was not in attendance Thursday night.
Wonx Spring Road resident Kathy Laforest asked commission members what it would be like to have a factory built right behind their house and said the only reason for the project is due to “greed and money.”
“The last time I spoke here I was quite emotional and it’s hard for me not to be,” said Laforest who has lived in her home on 160 Wonx Spring Road for the past 33 years. “What can happen to us is not for the better.”
Kristen Keska, of 149 Wonx Spring Road, has been sending out emails to residents of Wonx Spring Road and surrounding areas to inform them of meetings and developments with the project.
Dozens of residents have continued to show up for the past few months for multiple public hearings to voice their opinions.
On June 21, the public hearing was continued until July 11. On July 11, the public hearing was postponed again until Aug. 2. On Aug. 2 it was continued again until Thursday night.
The Commission unanimously voted to keep the public hearing open once again, and for the last time, until they pick a date for a special meeting on or before Sept. 28. The commission is still waiting on reports from experts that address the concerns the project might have on the wetlands.
“There’s been no information received,” said Theresa Albanese, chairwoman of the commission.
Frank Punzo, of 170 Wonx Spring Road, told the commission that residents will be fighting the project for “as long as it takes” and is concerned what kind of impact the project will have on the neighborhood.
“We appear emotionally charged and probably argumentative at times,” Punzo said. “In our defense when it comes to your home for most people it’s the second most important thing in your life…”
“I don’t plan on moving anywhere else,” Laforest said. “So I’m pleading with everyone to give thought with what’s going on.”