Letter: Naugatuck needs to market itself

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To the editor,

Naugatuck needs fresh new ideas to move our borough forward. Uniroyal shut down most parts of its Naugatuck operations in the 1970s, and we are still talking about the days of rubber like it was yesterday. The sad fact is that it has been almost 40 years that Uniroyal and other large scale manufacturing has left our borough and nothing has come into town to replace them. Unfortunately because of the tax environment here in Connecticut, I don’t think that we will ever see manufacturing on such a large scale again here in the state. According to Forbes Magazine, “Connecticut has one of the worst business climates in the country. Factors affecting a state’s business climate include the individual income tax, corporate income tax, sales tax, property tax, unemployment insurance tax and security of private property.” Our state needs to change before we can ever see large scale manufacturing return. 

However there are other ways to make the borough’s economy and downtown boom again. We need to market our location, as this is key to everything. We are right up Route 63, we are only 25 minutes from New Haven. We are in between New Haven and Hartford, we are right of I-84, and we border Middlebury, Bethany, Oxford, Beacon Falls and Waterbury.  Marketing where we are will attract businesses into our borough. 

We also need to market what we have, and being an Inland Wetlands Commissioner I can tell you we have a lot of green outdoor space. We have the Naugatuck River, which more people are kayaking and fishing in, we have the Naugatuck State Forest which has hiking trails, and if we pressure the state well enough, we could see biking and other types of trails in here. We also have the new Naugatuck Greenway, which is under construction and being installed in different phases, and we have the Bridal Trail which people run and walk on, and bike on.  All of these things will attract business to our town. 

People like to go to Farmington to use their Greenway, or Shelton to walk on their river walk, I feel that once ours is done, and the borough markets this, people will come here to use ours.

Where there are people coming in business will follow. We need to market all the things that one can do in Naugatuck. We need to put some pressure on the state to make our State Forest known. Naugatuck needs to be a destination. As a borough we need to market our beautiful downtown, with all our historic buildings and architecture. I know that our downtown can be booming again. 

We also need to look at New Haven Road. This area of town can be like Queen Street in Southington. However, in order to get the businesses to the borough, we need to offer tax incentives. If our taxes are not better than one of our bordering towns, businesses will go to another town, and if they move into one of our bordering towns, we can almost be assured that they will not open another location in the borough. We need to get these businesses before another town grabs the opportunity. I believe strongly that Naugatuck can have an economic revival.

Alex Olbrys

Naugatuck

Inland Wetlands commissioner

Candidate for burgess

2 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with getting the Industrial land in Naugatuck productive again, but I don’t hang my hopes on big businesses coming in any time soon. There are other factors involved, including land value (too high), difficult topography, and high labor costs. Instead of focusing on luring a large corporation to fix our problems (which hasn’t worked for 40 years), I wish the town would take steps to allow industrial land to be purchased by average citizen’s. There is a vast amount of unused buildings and vacant land all the way from Winsted to Bridgeport. Due to its supply, this land should be cheap. I would love to purchase industrial zoned land in Naugatuck, but the prices are way too high. If Naugatuck wants to make this land productive again, they need to tax non-use at a higher rate, to prevent people from sitting on the vacant lots. It is unfortunate that all the industrial, vacant land starts at over $200,000, which is a major barrier to development of the land.