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Should Stratford's Schools Be Maintained Year-round?

The town only maintains school grounds when school is in session, and sometimes waits until the last minute before the school year begins to trim the grass and clean up garbage -- should that change?

The grounds at and elementary schools were in disarray Monday, merely days before the first day of school for students.

Overgrown grass at Nichols seemed to confine the building, as teachers held first-day-back activities inside. At Franklin, in addition to an unkempt lawn, piles of rubbish were strewn about the school grounds, visible to anyone driving or walking by on Barnum Avenue.

"We really expected the school to look more inviting," a parent, Rich, whose son will attend kindergarten at Nichols this year, told Stratford Patch via email last week. "Quite a few of us [are] appalled at the deplorable conditions around the school."

Town officials say public works will have the schools tidy for , which is Friday for kindergarteners and Thursday for all other students.

"It will be done," said Councilman John Dempsey of the Fifth District, which is where Nichols Elementary is located. "It will be set by Thursday."

"Right before school, they dress them up," said Bob Sweger, plant operations and transportation manager for the .

Dempsey cited "budget restraints" as the reason why Stratford school grounds are not maintained in the summer, when school's not in session. Sweger, likewise, said the money's not there for the preservation.

Some residents see this as a "disservice" and a showing of irresponsible town government.

"Why should town-owned property only look nice at certain times?” Rich Tomas wrote on the Stratford Facebook page. "It is public property and reflects on the town."

"Most homes sell in the summer," wrote Robert Antonelos. "It's a disservice for residents that want to sell their homes. They should be maintained all year."

Do you think Stratford school grounds should be maintained year-round? Let us know what you think by voting in our poll and commenting below.

Editor's note: A message left for a public works supervisor was not returned Monday.

Chris September 04, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I did check my figures. I did round them a bitto make it simple, but if you would like exact, fine: The newest figures anyone has is from 2011, if you say the population of Simsbury has more then doubled in less then 1 year, show me the source. Stratford=51,901 - Simsbury=23.528 http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/hisr/hcqsar/population/pdf/pop_towns2011.pdf And you admit Simsbury provides fewer town services then Stratford, yet the average homeowner in Simsbury is already paying thousands of dollars a year more in taxes then the average homeower in Stratford. So you're saying higher taxes for fewer services is something we should strive for? How can I argue with THAT logic? {shaking my head}
sach bowery September 06, 2012 at 03:13 PM
who cares
sach bowery September 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Miron? how bout Louie from the sweet shop?
Karen E Daden September 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
bottom line reduce expenses, reduce taxes. but the citizens of this town need to get up and get mad enough to change the current system
G townsend September 06, 2012 at 08:24 PM
When you drive by Sikorsky aircraft thank the union workers that fight every year to keep the tax dollars here in the USA. I am sick of Union busters that want the benefit without support. If they outsource and get rid of any more workers in Stratford it will be a GHOST TOWN oh OH then you can then go and complain somewhere else.DPW was depleted down to a skeleton staff .You Cannot outsource and even get bids w 3-4 workers doing an entire town worth of labor .Maybe a couple of weeks in 90 degree heat weed wacking 8 hrs a day till your arms are numb you would fight for the people doing the job and try to get them more help in stead of criticizing .

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