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Letter: Norwalk's Blight Needs To Go

NORWALK, Conn. — This is a letter to the editor:

Walking and riding around West Norwalk, I am appalled at the condition of the streets and sidewalks. It's not just a matter of abundant potholes. Sidewalks along residential streets are overgrown with grass and weeds, and untrimmed brush sometimes obstructs the walkway, forcing pedestrians to step into the street. Lack of steady maintenance will soon require the sidewalks and curbs to be replaced at taxpayers' expense.

Then there are the eyesores of decrepit commercial property that make it look like Norwalk is on the ropes. The empty HSBC property at Scribner and Route 1 is rapidly deteriorating into an unkempt jungle. Across the street, the small shopping mall with Rowley's is well maintained, but the retaining wall and banks on its west and north sides are overgrown with scrap trees and weeds and full of empty bottles and other trash.Next door on Route 1 is a hideous area with huge ugly concrete cubes, while on the other side of Route 1 teeters the shambles of Seymour's Hardware like a flashing billboard: "Blight, Blight, Blight!" What self-respecting mayor permits such blatant, long-term dilapidation?

Persistently unused or idle property should not be allowed to deteriorate and drag the rest of the neighborhood down with it. It needs owner-paid maintenance and beautification, or the city should condemn it and turn it into a pocket park.

At the recent debate for Common Council, Republican candidate Victor Cavallo said aesthetics don't enter into the equation. But the aesthetic charm of tidy New England towns brings in hordes of tourists. The city should take pains to look its best, if not for the sake of its businesses, then for that of its residents.

For at least five years, the sagging porch roof of the house owned by the Norwalk Inn has ruined the image of our classic green, the only one along the Gold Coast. How could anyone with any civic pride, let alone the Republican Party, make the Inn their headquarters with such a flagrant insult on their doorstep? Months have gone by since the Inn agreed to renovate the property with the mayor standing by for the photo-op.

Mayor Moccia, tear down that roof!

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