OPINION: A couple of random thoughts

OPINION: A couple of random thoughts



It’s good to see that Meriden residents who would like to keep a few domestic fowl in the yard without running afoul of the law may soon be able to do so, because the city is brooding over a new policy that would clarify and simplify the rules for keeping chickens on private property.

It’s not that the sky is falling or anything, just that the old system of running these applications through the Zoning Board of Appeals on a case-by-case basis wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. After scratching through the existing rules on the “keeping of farm animals,” it turns out that they don’t even define “farm animals,” let alone much else. 

No roosters, though: the noise they make every morning might ruffle too many feathers.

And with applications apparently on an upswing, people might put up a squawk over long delays. The little guy, putting on a tie to go up to City Hall, may feel that he’s too low in the pecking order to get results. The new way should be smoother and more routine.

While this change affects only the lowly chicken, little is to be feared from simplifying things for the average resident. And that’s something to crow about.

OK, I’ll stop now.

***

It’s also good to see that construction is finally underway on the long-anticipated housing project for veterans on Hanover Street — on the former site, if memory serves, of a somewhat, er, uh, colorful saloon. This project was first proposed by the Meriden Housing Authority in 2010 but was on the back burner until funding came through in 2017 in the form of a state grant of $1.65 million. It’s being built by the housing authority’s Maynard Road Corp.

Hanover Place, as it will be called, will benefit homeless veterans and female veterans with children. There will be three two-bedroom units and six one-bedroom units, plus a staff office to facilitate supportive services for veteran families with disabilities and special needs in an effort to help those at the greatest risk of homelessness, said housing authority officials. The Veterans Administration will make the referrals.

Nine new units may not sound like a lot, but it’s certainly something. Although homelessness has been declining in Connecticut in recent years — including among veterans — there are still veterans living in homeless shelters or in substandard housing, so clearly there’s a need. The very idea of veterans being in such need is deeply disturbing in a country as wealthy as ours, which has long been so ready to send these guys into war.

Hanover Place, as it turns out, is being built with some new technology that many haven’t seen before. In fact, students from Kaynor Tech in Waterbury and representatives from two construction companies were on hand last week to observe the process. The construction method involves a system of interlocking units made of polystyrene foam that are stacked and then serve as the formwork for the concrete foundation.

Hanover Place will also use geothermal and solar technology to save energy.

Anyway, Meriden is doing something for the vets. 

They took care of us. Now let’s take care of them.

Reach Glenn Richter at grichter@record-journal.com.


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