With major parts of the Mystic Streetscape Project hopefully winding down resigned but still angry downtown Mystic business owners met with Groton Town Officials for updates Friday morning.
“I think the town is rallying here at the last-minute and I appreciate it,” said Rod Desmarais of . “It seems there were lapses in planning, lapses in execution, lapses in oversight. Who is accountable?”
It’s a question that has been on the minds of many as the project has encountered delays, tied up traffic, and . But it’s a question without an easy answer.
Groton Planning and Development Director Mike Murphy said the town doesn’t have total control over the project as it relies on contractors and Groton Mayor Heather Bond asked business owners to understand they are doing everything humanely possible to get the project done.
On Tuesday, June 19 the Groton Town Council will meet to try to secure $55,000 in money from the town’s enumerated fund to provide free parking through July at the . Bond said she also wanted to work with merchants to create some sort of celebrate Mystic event to try .
But getting people to come to downtown Mystic might take more than free parking and a party.
“Maybe, said Melissa Seifert. “I'd love to take my two and four-year-old girls downtown more often while we are still living here in Mystic (we used to spend a lot of time there—, ice cream, watching the boats go by) but time and again we are forced to keep driving when there is no place to park and sidewalks are all torn up. Sad.”
In Patch’s unofficial poll about would not get them to downtown Mystic.
“I just hope they can get here if there is free parking,” Genevieve Triplett, of said.
Mystic Streetscape Project Major Rick Norris said that while he doesn’t have a crystal ball should be over be June 30. Paving is scheduled to begin on June 27 and should be done by June 29. If it rains or there is some other unforeseen delay paving will have to wait until after the July 4 holiday.
While the town waits on paving it is also waiting utility work from Connecticut Light & Power and AT&T. After the utilities are in place the utilities poles will have to come down before the lampposts go up.
Norris said he is hoping to work with the utility companies to have that work down before 11 a.m. in the morning so it wouldn’t tie up traffic.
“There still a lot of questions on getting from Point A to Point B and all I can do is keep pushing,” Norris said.
The streetscape project, .
“The goal is minimal impact in July and August,” Norris said.