EDITORIAL: A plan, finally, for Wallingford’s Wooding-Caplan property

EDITORIAL: A plan, finally, for Wallingford’s Wooding-Caplan property

Record-Journal


To say that Wallingford has been waiting a long time for something to be done with the Wooding building and property would be an understatement. The town purchased the 3.5-acre uptown property for $1.47 million in the early 1990s, and not much has happened since.

Now it looks as though there’s a plan, and while it might not be ideal, it’s at least one that solves some parking and police storage problems.

The town’s plan to demolish the old C.F. Wooding Co. building, located behind the police station, and build a new police storage shed received unanimous approval recently by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The plan was submitted by the town engineering department and includes a 3,6000-square-foot storage shed behind police headquarters on North Main Street.

The shed should allow the police department to protect equipment, including specialized vehicles, that are now stored outdoors and subject to the elements. The situation has been described as dire by Police Chief William Wright, who told the commission: “We’ve invested a tremendous amount of money in this equipment and I can sit here in front of you and assure you that it’s starting to rot away literally,” Wright said.

A new shed will also allow police to move equipment now stored at the rear of the Spanish Community of Wallingford building, which SCOW shares with the CT STEM Academy.

The new storage shed is estimated to cost $2000,000, with the money designated in this year’s capital nonrecurring budget.

Though the plan received unanimous approval, there are reservations, mainly about whether it is in line with the town’s Plan of Conservation Development, which called for the town to pursue “phased redevelopment of the Wooding-Caplan property.”

But along with storage space for police, the approved plan also calls for a temporary parking area. Additional parking in the thriving commercial area, in this case about 80 temporary spaces east of Wallace Street, is a major plus.

More parking and a building that solves police storage issue adds up to a plan worth supporting.


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