The City Council has agreed to send a $10 million bonding request to Danbury voters. Six projects would share in the bond money if approved. There was some discussion about breaking the bond package into two requests, but that was ultimately not agreed to. Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi wanted the funding for Tarrywile and Richter parks in a separate question for the voters.
$1.6 million would go directly to improvements at Tarrywile Park, specifically design and construction plans for a walled garden at Hearthstone Castle, removal of contaminated debris there and stone removal and stabilization of adjacent rock retaining walls.
Councilman Paul Rotello says he recognizes the need for street and drainage improvements, but that he's spoken with many constituents upset over the plans for Hearthstone Castle. He's concerned they will come out and vote against the entire package, or have to sacrifice a historic structure to the necessary infrastructure improvements. He called the bond items fundamentally different. He called for efforts to try to preserve the castle. Otherwise, he says it will end up like the fountain of Danbury Library, a partial foundation of the old victorian building that used to be City Hall.
The largest project is $4.3 million for street paving, drainage and bridge repairs. That money would also go to guardrail replacement, lighting, sprinkler installation along medians and other beautification of City streets, parking lots and bridges. There is a separate proposed allocation of $1.1 million for sidewalk repair and replacement in the downtown area.
Another $1 million would be set aside for recreation improvements to selected playing fields and courts including Westerner's Baseball Field and Rogers Park Tennis Courts among others.
Two $950,000 allocations are also included in the bond money. One is for Richter Park golf course improvements and renovations to the Richter House mansion. That would cover structural, environmental, utility and code related issues. The second proposal is funding for planning, design and construction of a new Animal Control Facility.