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IGA closing would be huge loss for town

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing for a proposed change of use for the current location of the IGA Super Saver grocery store on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The grocery store, located on 372 Main St., has been owned and operated since 1981 by John Dwan.

If the change of use is approved, the grocery store will shut down and Community Health and Wellness Center,
located 115 Spencer St. since 2011, will move into the
location.

This editorial is in no way, shape or form meant to put down all of the good work of The Community Health and Wellness Center.

Since its opening in Winsted, The Winsted Journal has covered the center and its activities.

The mission of the center is to give low-income residents access to a wide variety of health services. This is a very honorable mission and worthy of support.

However, moving the center to where the IGA Super Saver is may not be beneficial to either the center or the community.

For many years there has been a grocery store on Main Street in Winsted.

Having a grocery store on Main Street has been a valuable resource for residents in town, including for senior citizens who cannot get to other stores easily and for residents who do not have access to transportation.

It has also been a town center for residents where people can meet up and talk to their friends and neighbors.

The next closest grocery store in the area is the Stop & Shop in Ledgebrook Shopping Plaza, which is two miles away from downtown Winsted.

Sometimes people can be spotted walking to Stop & Shop from Winsted on the shoulder of Route 44, which is very dangerous because there is no sidewalk or street lights along the route.

Shutting down IGA Super Saver will increase the pedestrian traffic from downtown Winsted to Stop & Shop, which increases the potential of a pedestrian being hit by an automobile. 

Shutting down the store will also cut off an essential and vital resource for the town.

While some may say that you can get food at various convenience stores around town, none of these stores offers the variety and the selection that a fully stocked grocery store would.

We understand that, after 36 years of hard work, Dwan wants to sell the store and retire.

Nothing can take away from that hard work, and Dwan should be thanked for his service to the community in owning and operating the store.

However, losing a grocery store in downtown Winsted would do much more harm than any good for the community.

We do understand the need for the center to expand its space and maybe it is possible that they can look at another location instead?

Until then, we encourage residents to attend the hearing on March 27 to let the commission know how they feel about this proposed change.