Blight council nears new ordinance

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NAUGATUCK — The Blight and Beautification Council, which was formed in early August to help clean up the borough and increase its aesthetic appeal, is nearing completion of a new ordinance.

Council representatives Linda Ramos and B.J. Forlenzo appeared before the Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday to provide an update of their activities. They said they hope to solidify the language of the ordinance during the council’s meeting March 9 and bring it to a vote of the borough board next month.

Burgess Mindy Fragoso was excited about the new ordinance, saying “This might be one of the best ordinances the borough ever has.”

According to a report filed by the council, the ordinance/enforcement subcommittee has met several times with town officials and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney for Statewide Housing Matters Judith Dicine to give the ordinance more “teeth.”

The five original subcommittees have been consolidated into two: the ordinance and enforcement subcommittee and the beautification, education and resources subcommittee.

As far as beautification goes, the council is continuing work with its Adopt-a-Spot program and has joined two landscapers and two Master Gardeners to help design and implement the program. It furnished a sample brochure and application to the board for review.

The Blight and Beautification Council, which was formed in August, hopes to have an ordinance written to bring before the borough board next month
The Blight and Beautification Council, which was formed in August, hopes to have an ordinance written to bring before the borough board next month

In terms of education, the council wants to make sure the community understands “litter and unsightly properties” have a negative effect on the borough as a whole. According to its report, “Statistics show that communities with a lot of litter have housing values at least seven percent below actual market value.”

The council is exploring fundraising options, saying it needs to find its “niche.”

Board members were pleased by the council’s work and impressed by its leadership, represented Tuesday by Forlenzo and Ramos.

“I can’t say enough for [the council’s] organization and leadership,” Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi said. “You’ve had such a diverse group of people come together … phenomenal people have stepped up to get involved.”

Fragoso echoed Rossi’s compliment.

“The great thing about this committee is they came out of nowhere, out of the woodwork,” she said, “and the cohesiveness is incredible.”