To the Editor:

As a lifelong resident of the area, I have observed for more than 30 years the slow and painful decline of the town of Bridgewater.

This is a town that cannot even support its own bank, a place to eat and drink, a place to shop or even a place of entertainment.

Other than a post office, its village center offers a little country store. A motorist traveling through who happens to glance at his gas gauge might miss the entire village center.

Bridgewater has an elementary school that I've been told is in need of serious repairs. With a declining population and a declining enrollment, it's obvious to me it would be less costly to the Bridgewater taxpayers to send each child to a private school with a taxpayer voucher than to maintain the community school.

Its grand thoroughfare, Route 133, is the ideal bypass from Route 7 for motorists who want to avoid hustle and bustle.

Why not try to attract more out-of-town motorists by offering more in the downtown village center?

If Bridgewater offered a complete, vibrant package, it could attract new residents.

The only excitement that Bridgewater provides today is the annual tractor parade and that just doesn't cut it.

There may be hope. I'm encouraged Bridgewater's new leader, Curtis Read, says he will take the town in a new direction.

In addition, former Planning and Zoning Chairman Elliott Woolwich commented in these pages that Bridgewater needs affordable housing so youth can move in and create a new cycle of leadership for now and the future.

Bridgewater consists of a few large homes and estates but the remainder of its landscape features a lot of tired real estate.

The town needs a makeover pronto and, for the sake of its future, its leaders cannot continue saying "no" to everything.

Tom Morey

New Milford