The Board of Selectmen learned August 19 that a large metal gate will replace the masonry barriers on Dickinson Drive that prevent vehicles from entering the former Sandy Hook School grounds.
Prior to the meeting, First Selectman Pat Llodra told The Bee that the gate will be more of a visual deterrent to the occasional visitor or group that arrives hoping to see or access the now infamous site. At the same time she said it will also improve the image of the area.
“Maybe we can do a little landscaping around the gate to make the area look more presentable,” the first selectman said.
During a review of ongoing municipal projects Monday evening, Mrs Llodra brought up the gate, saying it was ordered and would be arriving for installation soon.
Public Works Director Fred Hurley, who was on hand reviewing the project report said the materials and design of the gate will be similar to those already installed at several local park sites and Fairfield Hills.
He said it will be constructed of black fabricated metal, with double gates that lock in the middle. Mr Hurley said once work commences on the new school building, the gate will eventually be removed and could then be used at another location.
“It will match the other fences we have in town, so it can be repurposed,” he said.
The public works chief also reported to selectmen that another lot near Sandy Hook center will soon be completely fenced off.
Mr Hurley said the Watkins property on Glen Road, a former industrial property that was acquired by the town, has enough hazardous environmental material still on site to warrant completely surrounding the lot with fencing.
“We feel it is significantly contaminated,” Mrs Llodra told her board, adding that selectmen should expect to see a transfer or special appropriation request, possibly in September, to cover the cost of installing fencing at the long vacant commercial site.
“This is a public safety issue,” the first selectmen said.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the Watkins property as a former service station.)