Waterbury neighborhood hopes to go from blight to bright

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Shattered glass, abandoned buildings, graffiti, garbage in the grass and a beat up couch left on the street.

Menachem Karolitzky doesn’t like what he sees in The South End neighborhood where he’s worked for seven years.

“I spend most of my time around here,” he said. “I’d like it to be presentable. I like when customers show up that the lots look decent. The street they’re driving down — they shouldn’t think this is a run down place.”

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But, over the years, the area around West Dover Street has become run down, and it hurts those who care about the area.

“I feel terrible. Why do we have to live like this?” Menachem said. “It’s just not right.”

But now, Menachem senses there’s a change in the air and it represents hope. One company is reinvesting in The South End. ABC Roofing Supply is expanding. It bought an old warehouse and crews have been doing work on it — like giving it a fresh paint job — to clean things up around there.

“Just less than two weeks ago, before it was all painted it had graffiti on it,” he said. “You’d find graffiti across the building. It did not look very presentable for the neighborhood.”

No one from the company would tell us how many new jobs their expansion means for The South End, but the alderman for the neighborhood is hoping this move is the catalyst for economic growth. A new beginning, and a brighter future.

“I would love to see more manufacturing,” said Alderman Roger Sherman (R–5th District). “I would love to see more high-paying skilled jobs to keep our college graduates from leaving the city, having them come in, purchasing homes rather than leaving for greener pastures elsewhere.”

Menachem can’t wait for greener pastures to come to The South End because what he’s seen over the last few years doesn’t sit well.

“I’m tired of it and I think it’s just wrong,” he said.

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