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The Developments Keep Coming For Waterford

Why Does Waterford Keep Getting All These Large Developments?

Monday night, the Planning and Zoning Commission to build its 60,000 square foot corporate headquarters at the intersection of Hartford Turnpike and Industrial Drive.

For many towns, a development like that comes around once every five to ten years, especially in a down economy. For Waterford, it was business as usual.

Just in the last few years, despite a depressed economy, Waterford welcomed and It also just approved the aforementioned Charter Oak Federal Credit Union’s , as well as a $34 million proposal by Lawrence + Memorial Hospital to install a

All of that goes on top of a town rich in development, with the , Waterford Commons, the shopping center next to the movie theater and all the businesses on Boston Post Road, Cross Road and Hartford Turnpike. And that doesn’t even mention the $2 billion hunk of steel and concrete on

Why?

Ask First Selectman Dan Steward and he gives you a selectman-like answer: “Waterford offers a lot of transportation additives for these people.” Ask Planning Director Tom Wagner, and you get the same basic idea, but a little blunter: “Because Waterford did a pretty good job of taking advantage of the state and federal government dividing us up into a triangle and ruining our town.”

The Specifics

Both Wagner and Steward said the biggest key is that Waterford is one of the few towns in the area that has land directly near on-ramps for I-395 and I-95. Almost all of the town's major developments, including the proposed Dana-Farber center and Charter Oak’s corporate headquarters, are located near one of those highways, Wagner and Steward said.

“These are areas that are easily accessible by the traveling public,” Steward said.

The second big key is that the town installed water and sewer lines to most of these areas in the 1970s and 1980s, Steward said. Water and sewer lines are “essential” for any large development, and without them the town would attract none of these businesses, Wagner said.

The third is that while the reputation has perhaps outlived the reality, Waterford still has one of the lower tax rates in the area, Steward said. Before, but the rate is still the same or lower than most communities, he said.

“They certainly ,” he said. “But low taxes are very much a benefit for these companies.”

Steward credited the town’s for having the town developed in a responsible way. Even with all the construction in town, there is still a lot of commercial and industrial on Cross Road and Hartford Turnpike, which will not have a huge effect on the rest of the town, he said.

Regrets

However, while the development of commercial and industrial properties has been done well, Waterford isn’t perfect, Steward said. It would be nice to have some sort of downtown area, although that will probably never happen, he said.

“There is no main street environment in Waterford,” Steward said. “And I’m thinking there probably will never be one. It’s hard to implement something that was never there.” 

Property Owner May 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM
With all this new commercial development, one would think it would help keep tax increases in check. Not in Waterford.
Ron May 23, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I believe that dvelopment in Waterford is due to the high quality service provided by town staff like Tom Wagner. Waterford town employees (and its many volunteers) provide excellent services not seen in other communities and the town govt. budgets provide for infrastructure support & growth along with these services with a fee and tax structure that compares favorably with other communities. Developers see this and I think most town citizens do too.
Elaine Gagnier May 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Come on Cracker Barrel !!!
ZIGGY May 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM
YEAH!!!!------let's start building huge skyscrapers & 5 more nuclear power plants!!! YEAH!!!!------Waterford---a grand building infrastructure model for the world!!!!
David Irons May 23, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Ziggy, while five might be dreaming, I would certainly welcome whatever number of nuclear plants we could accommodate at Millstone. And I'm sure I am not alone. Even our president has stated that he supports these plants. Of course he also killed much of the hope for them when he shut down Yucca Mountain after selling out to Sen.Reid.
Wayne Gilpin May 23, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Will the Dana Farber complex be tax exempt or added to the tax rolls?
anthony fernando May 23, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Anyone who is wary or afraid of having a new nuclear plant built in town should look across the river! There in Groton, you essentially have many "mobile" nuclear plants maintaining a safe operating environment all the while going out to sea and back again, they are called "Submarines" which are all nuclear. My point is they have been here and operated safely all along so whats to say another nice big stationary plant in Waterford can't do the same. Nevermind the mistakes of the 1970/80s (yes, I am aware of TMI & Millstone), thats why they have greater regulations and restrictions nowadays. Bring them on! Additionally, I believe Waterford (past and present) has done an excellent job of developing into a very prosperious town and please "Keep Up the Good Work!". A small tax increase here and there is not much considering what other towns are doing, look to New London and ask yourself if you'd rather pay their tax rate????
Paul Petrone (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I talked to the assessor about this. It will be mostly tax exempt. However, there are parts inside the hospital that will not be tax exempt, such as if there is a restaurant, etc, even some of the medical equipment. Basically, the assessor and the hospital will have to go through the center and determine exactly what is really part of the non-profit, what is for-profit and what is owned by somebody else.
ZIGGY May 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Irons,-----it would be nice to build smaller nuke plants---almost like sub-stations---to avoid the disaster in Japan!
Ron May 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Don' be so arrogant. Waterford has been lucky in getting development because it is on I-95. CT as a whole is completely stagnant in new growth due to having one of the highest ax rates, highest utility costs, and uncontrolled wasteful spending. It was announced today CT and the Federal Government are going to spend over $ 700,000,000 when cost over runs occur to build of all things a bus line. California is going to spend 90 billion on a train to no where, and CT is going to mimic their out of control spending with this bus line. This $ 700,000,00 debacle will rival Obama's support of Solydra. Remember when Mollloy signed the "no lay off policy" and 3 % per year raises for all State workers, the union promised the state they were going to save over $ 300.000,000 on their "suggestion box" program. Can the governor point to where the $ 300,000,000 suggestion box savings from the union initiatives have gone so far ? Waterford is like the first class deck on the Titanic. While it seems everything is going fine in Waterford now, Waterford is forgetting when the Titanic sunk, the rich and the poor all went down together. I hope all CT residents are looking forward to the almost billion dollar State and Obama supported bus ride to bankruptcy. When this wasteful spending is finalized by this tax and spend Governor with the highest per capita unfunded liability in the nation, the only transportation in CT (for people in the private sector) will be by bus.
Ron May 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM
There appears to be at least 2 Ron's on the Patch! While I do not disagree with the comments from the latest Ron about Connecticut being a tax crazy state and the bus lane to nowhere....i do not want us confused and so will change my name:)
Ron May 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I was just informed the $ 300,000,000 promised by the State unions from their "Suggestion Box" initiative that convinced Dan Molloy that a "no lay off" policy for 4 years and guaranteed raises for all State workers was a bargain and overwelming success. The State Worker "Suggestion Box" wind fall is going to fund the bus lanes to no where ( $ 700,000,000) and Route 11 ( $ 3,000,000,000), plus pay off the CT 67 billion of unfunded liability legacy plus pay off Chris Dodd's 3 mortgages with Countrywide Finance. You have to hand it to him, Molloy can push a hard bargain...and get spectacular results for all State citizens
Thomas Cornick May 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM
I wonder how much value spending 18 million dollars returns to Charter Oak's shareholders?

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