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Lots Happening In Downtown Seymour
by Eugene Driscoll | Sep 19, 2012 7:35 pm
Posted to: Seymour
Attracting a full-service, sit-down restaurant that would serve as an economic anchor for downtown Seymour is among the top 10 suggestions outlined in the town’s “Downtown Action Plan.”
The $18,000 plan — compiled with the help of residents, merchants, town officials and an Avon-based company called Planimetrics — was reviewed by the Seymour Board of Selectmen Sept. 4.
The Selectmen voted Sept. 4 to create a Downtown Committee, members of which will help the goals outlined in the action plan become reality.
The newly formed Downtown Merchants Association — made up of local businesses — will also play a key role.
To summarize — there’s a lot happening to bolster business in downtown Seymour. Fred A. Messore, the town’s economic director, is guiding the process.
“We are moving Seymour in a positive direction,” First Selectmen Kurt Miller said at the Sept. 4 Board of Selectmen meeting. “We’re not just letting these plans sit on the shelf.”
The action plan approved by the Selectmen Sept. 4 provides ways the town can enhance downtown, Glenn Chalder, Planimetrics president, told elected officials.
Seymour’s lucky, because there’s a solid foundation on which to build, the consultant said.
The Strand Theater, active merchants and businesses, the Naugatuck River, constant events and the train station are all good for the town.
“Recommendation no. 1 is to really continue the things that are already happening downtown,” Chalder said. “With first Saturdays, the way businesses are working together, the town groups and committees that plan activities downtown . . . there is a lot going on which gives a really good foundation for the downtown.”
Here are the “top ten” recommendations from the plan:
1. Appoint one person within Public Works as the downtown manager responsible for overall maintenance
2. Establish a downtown committee
3. Enforce parking time limits for on-street spaces to ensure they turnover
4. Adopt a consistent brand message for the downtown
5. Change certain zoning regulations downtown
6. Change certain dimensional requirements (zoning again)
7. Consider reducing parking requirements
8. Attract a sit-down restaurant possibly by subsidizing the rent and/or guaranteeing a rate of return to a business owner
9. Use local billboards to market downtown Seymour
10. Extend trails and walkways to open up the riverfront and waterfalls in Seymour
Several of the top 10 items are already being tackled, Miller said.
Regarding parking, Chalder said there’s plenty of it downtown — but the spaces aren’t necessarily where customers want them to be.
“You have to walk,” he said.
A “destination” restaurant is something the public wants, Chalder said.
“Perhaps the no. 1 thing the residents felt was important was the concept of a destination, sit-down restaurant in the downtown area,” he said.
A full restaurant would give people some place to go before or after events downtown, Chalder said.
“We’ve got great bones here. We have a great opportunity,” he said.
The brochure discussed at the Sept. 4 Selectmen meeting is posted below.
Somewhat off topic but nearly connected as a valley town just south of Seymour is a town known as Ansonia. It is connected by the Connecticut State Highway Route 115 system. People entering the town of Seymour via the secondary highway from the south by way of Ansonia should avoid this route due to Ansonia’s debilitating visual markup of the old Farrell properties. These properties known as a industrial disaster dead center in Ansonia’s crown jewel center will ruin your ride into the town of Seymour if you choose to take this route. Ansonia needs to seriously address there crumbling industrial properties ASAP to improve their economic profile. Ansonia’s present industrial blight within ¾ of a mile of the North Main Street corridor is the perfect example of Section 8 and Title 11 handouts affecting progress forward .
If people really wanted a full service sit down restaurant, there would be already one without government subsidy. People want one in theory, but not in reality. A viable business needs a consistent base of regular customers, not a flood of people a few nights a month to complain about the lack of trained help and food that isn’t fresh.