Borough plans to tear down eyesore

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Naugatuck is planning to tear down the building at 1 South Main St. When demolition will occur is tied to when funding to complete construction and renovation of the Maple Street Bridge becomes available. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Plans are underway to make Naugatuck a little more pleasing to the eye.

Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation Chairman Jay Carlson said there are plans to demolish the building at 1 South Main St.

The office building, which is located on the corner of South Main Street and Maple Street, directly off Route 8, was purchased by One South Main Street, LLC, on March 31, 2011.

The current owners of the property are Rich Hertel, who own Rich’s Car Works on the adjacent lot and Charles Wasoka, who owns American Vintage Furniture, located across the street from the property.

Carlson explained that Hertel wanted the property to be able to knock down the building, which blocked the view of his shop. Wasoka was interested in the property because it came with a parking lot across the street, near his shop.

Both men have been in talks with the NEDC on how to proceed with tearing down the building and the future use of the site, Carlson explained.

“I think we do know that, in conjunction with the construction and renovation of the Maple Street Bridge, all of us feel that property is essential to be used as a staging site for the bridgework and therefore that building should come down,” Carlson said.

Carlson explained that the biggest roadblock is that there is currently no funding to move forward with the bridgework.

Tearing down the building will have to wait until the funding is available.

“We know that it’s coming in over budget, and we haven’t identified additional funds,” Carlson said.

Mayor Robert Mezzo explained that the town is approximately $2 million short of the funds needed to complete the project and seeking state funds to complete it.

Carlson said that there have been discussions with the owners of the property about using the property as part of the Naugatuck River Greenway once the construction on the bridge has been completed.

“The idea is to use that as a little gathering area for the greenway,” Carlson said.

The current path for the greenway goes from Linden Park, along a sidewalk that runs alongside Route 8, and ends up at the Maple Street Bridge, facing 1 South Main St.