October 20, 2009

City Council debate, part 2 (District 1 continued)

Question re rail...

Fuller said the city needs to study to find out if commuters will even use it. He said parking is crucial.
The city also needs to look at "a tough subject" and make efforts to clean up Summer Street, where the station may be. People need "a veryu nice place to get off."
"The train is the future of our state," Block said.
Road improvements and buses "just seem to put more traffic on our streets," Block said, and rail is a way to get the cars off the roads.
Block said the cost of up to $100 million is worth it.
Rimcoski said he "would love to see a railroad" connecting Central Connecticut towns.
"But we have to face the facts" and recognize most cars have one driver "and you're not going to see these people flock to the railroads," he said.
He said that convincing people to use it won't be easy.

Q -- What can you do to attract new biz?
Rimcoski said, "We have to make them want to come here" with tax incentives, "a safe area," "a green area" and more.
He said Bristol won't attract a big industrial concern, but it can take in a number of smaller firms if we offer tax incentives.
Fuller said he agrees.
"Green technology is how we get the people here," Fuller said, with wind towers on the mountains so we can get lower rates.
Block said he agrees with both, but the city also needs to market the city more. He said the Bristol Developmen Authority should promote the city.
He said the city's zoning rules should also be business-friendly.

Closing statements --
Block said it has been "a trying year for all of us" because of the downturn in the economy.
"We do have bright spots in spite of the economy," he said, including Route 72, interest in the former mall site and more. "The groundwork is being laid for the revitalization of Bristol," Block said.
He said he has the experience to make the crucial decisions that are coming up.
Block urged everyone to vote.
Rimcoski said there is daily gridlock on Route 6.
"There may to be radical things done" to address the problem, he said.
He urged the mayor and City Council "to take more control" from department heads who are becoming "small little capitals in themselves."
Rimcoski said nearly half the city's employees live out of town. He said the city should try to hire Bristol residents.
"This year's going to be a very difficult year," he said, with service cuts likely. "This is going to hurt," Rimcoski said.
Fuller said he's qualified to serve because "the pulse of the community I think I feel" from talking to students, teachers and administrators.
"Times are ugly right now," Fuller said, and the city has to look at options and regional solutions.
He said "it's time to be a doer" and not a dreamer.
"It's time to make a difference,'" Fuller said.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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