Letter: Glad to have riverwalk in Beacon Falls

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To the editor,

I was very glad to attend the dedication of our downtown riverwalk this past Sunday afternoon. It was a magnificent day, the weather cooperated fully and the crowd seemed to enjoy the program. We had several dignitaries in attendance, including Commissioner Dan Esty and Vice Commissioner Jack Betkoski from the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; state Sen. Joe Crisco; state Rep. Len Green Jr.; and former state Rep. Theresa Conroy.

As mentioned previously in an article published by the Republican-American last December, this Greenway project has received national recognition as one of the top 100 most promising projects of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Our riverwalk is only a portion of what will eventually be a huge benefit to the entire Naugatuck River Valley. It is a testament to the manner in which Beacon Falls is a viable, and vibrant, partner with our neighboring communities in the region.

There are many individuals without whose efforts we would not now be enjoying this completed project. First, Liz Falzone and Rich Cherhoniak of the Citizen’s for Tomorrow’s Downtown working closely with Tony San Angelo and the Economic Development Commission provided the initial concept design. Tom Weldon from Connecticut Department of Transportation navigated us through the myriad state and federal regulations impacting the process. Bob Spear volunteered his time and expertise to ensure the town’s concerns were always addressed. Lastly, well done to the professionals at Luch’s Engineering and Dayton Construction who together produced this impressive finished product. Thank you all.

We on the Board of Selectmen were lucky. The “heavy lifting” on this project had already been done before we took office last November. Dominic Sorrentino and Mike Krenesky helped to steer a path leading us to success. But even more so, former First Selectman Susan Cable deserves the thanks of everyone in town for making this project a reality. It was her vision more than any single individual that was responsible for seeing the value of this project where others were skeptical. The quality of this finished product speaks loudly to the merit of her vision.

For those many of you who I see using this riverwalk every day, you know exactly what I mean. For those of you who may have just driven by, I encourage you to stop and take a closer look at it. I believe you’ll be glad you did.

Chris Bielik

Selectman

Beacon Falls