Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn on Streetscape Project: ‘I Think It’s Working Great’
Austin Monteiro is an independent candidate for First Selectman in Brookfield who believes the Streetscape project is an issue with some voters.
Monteiro voiced his concerns about the project when he joined the Ethan and Lou Show last week. We shared the interview in an article I published on 9/8/21 titled: "Brookfield First Selectman Candidate Monteiro on Streetscape: We Still Have a Chance to Finish it the Right Way."
During the interview, Monteiro said, "Just from talking to people around town, the four corners is still an issue that people are not happy with, I don't think they are happy from day one." Monteiro expanded on his issues with the streetscape, adding:
"We have some empty spaces in there, we have buildings that are kind of half falling over, we have a lot of blight issues up there. We still have a chance to finish it the right way and part of my goal will be to help finish that four corners area the correct way so people are happy to go there for dinner or we have maybe more of an activity based businesses down there and to help all of the businesses in the area thrive from one another."
One of Monteiro's rival candidates is the current First Selectman, Steve Dunn who joined the Ethan and Lou Show on Friday (9/10/21). Dunn spoke about his time as First Selectman saying:
"You know, I've had six years under my belt doing this and Sue Slater and I decided that we'd like to continue doing the things we've been doing for the last six years. Especially finishing the new school we're building over on Candlewood Lake Road, that is coming in well under budget, which is good. And, finish the Streetscape in the downtown, and we're still working on a lot of things like blight that we think really need to be done and continue to do it."
We asked Dunn directly about Monteiro's critiques of the streetscape project, he replied:
"The town has been working for over thirty years, you know we have a ten year plan of conservation and development, and for thirty years the town has been trying to rebuild our downtown. You know, put in the sidewalks, put in the streetlights and make it an attractive place to go.
We are following that plan pretty closely, and we've been very lucky that we've been able to attract development. We've got Brookfield Village, that's about $10 million worth of buildings that pay taxes on them.
You see, the two new buildings going up, those are going to be market rate apartments, they're doing a really nice job and there is about $30 million of other projects that have been approved for the town center.
It is going to change, it's not going to look like the little, rural, well I don't know what you would call it, that it was in the past. This has been a very well thought out, carefully laid out plan and I think it's working great and we're getting a new supermarket and we can really use another supermarket in Brookfield."
Dunn and Monteiro are not the only candidates for First Selectman. There is a third, U.S. Army Veteran Tara Carr. I've reached out to Tara to extend an invitation to join the Ethan and Lou Show and she agreed, she'll be on Friday (9/17/21) to share her vision for Brookfield.
Everyone is shooting their shot as we head toward Election Day on November 2, and we will be tracking the action on the Ethan and Lou Show, letting you hear what your local candidates have to say.
But wait, there's more. While we had Steve Dunn on the phone, I wanted him to lend some credibility to a story I've been telling for years. Some years back, the Super 7 bypass (Super 7 extender) was built as a way to mitigate traffic issues on Federal Road in Brookfield.
This was of great interest to me at the time. I work in Brookfield, this is where the I-95 studios are located. Not only was it big local news but I was sick of the traffic on Federal Road. If you had to get from New Milford to Danbury back in the day and you used Federal Road in rush hour, you were screwed. You pretty much had to use it, there was not much getting around it. Any commute became disastrous so we were definitely paying close attention to the project.
The story I always tell on the Ethan and Lou Show about the Super 7 bypass is that construction was delayed for a long time because there were some endangered lizards living where the road would go. The State had to halt construction at great cost and build lizards a bridge under the road. Yeah, some endangered lizards shut down this massive project.
As the years go on and I tell my stories again and again, I start to wonder how true they are? Did I make this up? Was this situation as dramatic as I remember it being? We asked Steve Dunn what, if anything, he remembers about a lizard problem? This is what he had to say:
"This is absolutely true! Yeah, it's true, it held up the construction for about eighteen months while they (inaudible). It was either lizards, was it lizards? It was some little newt or something like that. And they actually built little bridges so they could go across."
The Lizard King lives!
You can listen to our entire interview with Steve Dunn in the video player at the top of the page.