BROOKFIELD - Because Brookfield was so helpful when O&G Industries was building the Route 7 bypass, the company decided to give the town an $80,000 thank-you gift.
O&G provided asphalt to repave the high school's parking lots and they were finished in time for the beginning of the school year.
"As a school, we are very thankful for this great project," Brookfield High School principal Bryan Luizzi said in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday.
It was long overdue, Luizzi said.
"Old septic systems were collapsing in there," outgoing selectman Jerry Murphy said. "It was dangerous and unsightly."
Some recent graduates visited the high school Tuesday and were impressed with the changes, Luizzi said. One former student remembered there used to be a row of parking spaces she avoided, because she was afraid her car would bottom out.
Brookfield was very accommodating when O&G was working on the bypass, Murphy said. The town agreed to close Mountain Road from February to May and later agreed to extend the road closing when O&G said it would quicken construction.
The Brookfield Police Department also "cooperated magnificently" whenever O&G needed officers to direct traffic, Murphy said.
O&G Industries could not be reached for comment.
Another business, the Iroqouis Pipeline Operating Co., is giving Brookfield $100,000 to help cover the cost of a paving project on High Meadow Road.
Next spring the town's Public Works Department will install drainage on the road, which is only used by residents who live nearby.
The town will also pave large ditches near the road, which are "deep enough you could disappear in them," outgoing First Selectman Bob Silvaggi said. Right now, vehicles can safely travel at only about five miles per hour around the ditches.
The paved roads will allow emergency vehicles to get to the houses more quickly.
Iroqouis put a little wear on the road when it built its first station in Brookfield. It patched the surface to get it through the winter and donated the $100,000 so the town can finish the paving after it completes the drainage project.
"That's Iroquois culture," said company spokeswoman Ruth Parkins. "When we do any work in a community, we don't build and walk away."
Many town residents protested when the company put compressors and a pipeline that transports natural gas from Canada to New York a short distance from Whisconier Middle School.
"It's my supposition they're trying to soothe our ruffled feathers -- kind of like a consolation prize," Silvaggi said. "While we could refuse it, it's like cutting your nose off to spite your face."
Contact Vinti Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-731-3331.
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