Grant to help pay for tree work

NAUGATUCK — The borough plans to spruce up the Town Green with the help of a state grant.

Public Works Director James Stewart told the Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month that the borough received the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency’s American the Beautiful Grant.

The grant, which pays for the trimming and planting of trees, is a $10,000 matching grant. Stewart said the borough’s match will come in the form of $5,500 worth of labor and equipment and $4,500 from the funds in the budget designated for tree work.

Stewart said the grant will help replace trees on the Green, behind the Tuttle Building and along Hillside Avenue.

Deputy Mayor Robert Neth recommended that no work be done along Hillside Avenue for now because of potential plans to fix the road in the future.

“I wouldn’t do anything until we figure out what we’re doing. We have to stop pissing money away if we’re going to dig it all up again,” Neth said.

According to Stewart, the bulk of the work will focus on the Green.

Sandra Lucas-Ribeiro, assistant to the director of public works, said the grass on the Green quickly turns brown during the summer when there is a drought. She recommended that the borough invest in an irrigation system, but added replacing dead trees with living ones would help alleviate the problem.

“There are trees that need to come down. I mean, it is unfortunate, but there are trees that are diseased,” Lucas-Ribeiro said.

Lucas-Ribeiro said there is the potential to redesign the Green to the way it was originally planned, and the department has a drawing that shows how it was originally designed to look.

“If we are going achieve what we want on the Hillside bank and make downtown look like it was designed to look, there are trees that are going to have to come down,” Lucas-Ribeiro said.