Looking ahead to 2012 : Prospect

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Aria gets off the ground

An artistic rendering shows what Aria by Villa Rosa will look like once complete. -CONTRIBUTED

A ground breaking for a new banquet hall at the intersection of Murphy Road and Waterbury Road will be held early next year.

Joe Geloso Sr. and his son Joe Geloso Jr., owners of Villa Rosa in Waterbury, are moving their operation to Prospect and renaming it Aria by Villa Rosa.

The 30,000-square-foot banquet hall will have two separate large function rooms, each with its own cocktail room, terrace, patio, and garden for outdoor wedding ceremonies.

Workers are currently preparing the site at the intersection of Murphy Road and Waterbury Road and should start pouring the foundation in the next few weeks. The facility is expected to open in the spring of 2013.

Construction of public works garage

With help from a $200,000 grant from the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP), Prospect will be building a new public works garage next year.

The garage will house hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heavy duty equipment and other equipment which is currently parked outside, according to Mayor Robert Chatfield.

Construction on the free-standing garage is expected to begin in April or May.

Difficult budget year ahead

Prospect faces another difficult task when it comes to the budget this year.

Last year, as many town budgets shot up, Prospect was able to lower its budget under Chatfield’s direction, thanks in part to some bonds the town had finished paying off.

This year, taxpayers may not be so lucky. Chatfield said bond payments and interest payments are less this year, but not that much less. He said he planned to ask department heads to hold their budgets flat and cut wherever they can.

However, the town will have to put some money into capital improvements, such as roads.

“They’re not like a bottle of wine. They do not improve with age,” Chatfield said.

New state senator

Joe Markley -CONTRIBUTED

Prospect will have a new state senator after the November 2012 elections when Prospect moves from the 15th to the 16th state Senatorial district.

Republican state Sen. Joe Markley currently represents the 16th District, which will include Southington, Wolcott and portions of Cheshire and Waterbury.

“I believe it’s a conservative community that appreciates small government and personal liberty and constitutional rights and constitutional limits and that’s what I believe in,” Markley said earlier this year about Prospect.

New ways to search for property information

Prospect will get an updated Geographic Information System program which will be available to the public early next year, according to Land Use Inspector William Donovan.

The program allows people to look at properties online, get basic information such as current owners and assessed value, and view maps of the property.

The upgraded system will be more informative with photographs of the house and an aerial view that includes surrounding properties, Donovan said.

“It’s to help the public obtain information on properties without always having to come in to town hall to do it,” Donovan said.

Regency continues expanding

Prospect’s gated 55 and older community is steadily growing, according to Donovan.

He said developer Toll Brothers has sold 141 of 366 units approved for Regency at Prospect, and 16 additional units are under contract.

“It shows us that people are still willing to move to Prospect,” Donovan said. “It’s been very good for the town.”

He said the town appreciates the long-term development.