Letter: Town should set example with blight

To the editor,

Several Beacon Falls officials have expressed concern about blight in Beacon Falls. They cite specifically South Main Street and Railroad Avenue but they make no mention of town-owned properties. Shouldn’t town officials set the example?

A listing of blighted properties should start with:

The island summer home that was deeded to the town by the Matthies family located in Matthies Park. The property sits idle, unused and slowly decaying.

The Tracy Lewis House, which was purchased by the town to expand Town Hall office space.  This historic home is located in the center of town on historic Wolfe Avenue and was the home of an early industrialist. It is yet to be placed in use and only sits vacant slowly deteriorating and depreciating.

Arguments against placing it in use cite the expense of a complete replacement of the house electrical system, a complete replacement of the heating system, a complete modernization of the interior, etc. But you really don’t have to do this all at once. Do we have to turn it into a modern structure?

People lose sight of the fact that it was a lived-in residence at the time of purchase and could have been placed into immediate use. Today, improvements could be made from room to room with various civic organizations adopting and naming a room for their efforts. As one example, our Historical Society has no place to display and store valuable and irreplaceable historic items.  Should the seniors be moved so that the fire department can have more space on Main Street?

The possibilities are endless if only the decision is made to make use of this historic property.

Although not a town property, should the town acquire the one room Rimmon School House in Pinesbridge and preserve it as an historic tourist attraction?

James Woodward

Beacon Falls

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