Rossi meets with DOT officials over West Haven railroad station grounds maintenance
West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi has asked state Department of Transportation officials to do a better job maintaining the landscaping and grounds around the West Haven Metro-North Railroad station in the face of widespread complaints.
DOT officials left the onsite meeting at the $130 million commuter station resolved to do so. Rossi called the meeting “productive” and said later that she was satisfied with their initial response.
The overgrown condition of the railroad station grounds has been a widely-debated topic of conversation on West Haven-focused social media in recent months — with some posters mistakenly blaming the city for the lack of maintenance.
The state is responsible for taking care of the area around the railroad station, which is state property.
“My concerns are that the grass isn’t mowed, the shrubbery is not maintained or kept” and “it eventually just grows over the fence,” Rossi said.
“Because it’s in our city, people just assume that the city is not out there taking care of it, but because it’s owned by the state, the city is not supposed to be taking care of it,” Rossi said.
“They said that they will do better,” she said.
Rossi and her executive assistant and acting Commissioner of Public Works Louis P. Esposito Jr. met at the railroad station with DOT Assistant Rail Administrator Richard T. Jankovich, Transportation Rail Officer Marlene Cordero and Transportation Supervising Rail Officer Craig M. Bordiere, among others.
“Today, when we were out there with them, there’s stuff growing up and over the fence already,” Rossi said. “Imagine in July” what it will be like, she said.
DOT spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The railroad station is managed by Konover Commercial Corp. of West Hartford.
According to Rossi, DOT officials also agreed to install benches in the common area in front of the station. Rossi also reiterated the need for food vendors, which, officials said, are being sought by the DOT to meet public demand.
The 3,000-square-foot railroad station, which has the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from by U.S. Green Building Council, opened in August.