After a long drought for local development, growth in town has blossomed, with more than a half dozen projects underway and more planned for the future. Several of those projects are located along the Church Hill Road corridor, while others are on Mt Pleasant Road, South Main Street, and one on Main Street at the flagpole.
July 28 will mark two years that Robert “Hoagy” Hoagland of Glen Road in Sandy Hook is missing. His wife Lori Hoagland is hopeful that he will be found. Ms Hoagland said this week that her family will be observing the second anniversary of her husband’s disappearance privately this year. Last year, on the first anniversary, family and friends gathered at dusk at Fairfield Hills and lofted skyward 50 paper lanterns powered by the heat of flaming candles. Mr Hoagland was age 50 when he disappeared.
For qualified residents, it is an chance to clear any questionable aspects of their property title or to reduce outdated right of ways crossing their own land. For the town, it is a way to add to the tax base, enhance zoning conformity and improve the Health District’s ability to administer critical aspects of well and septic system installations. Deputy Planning and Land Use Director Rob Sibley reported that it all happens as a result of lot line revisions, which the Legislative Council learned July 15 provide more benefit to the town than the inconsequential financial impact of conveying microfractions of public land to adjoining private property owners. But first, the council received its annual update on activities and developments overseen by the Fairfield Hills Authority.
A state police chase, which covered roughly 25 miles early on the morning of Friday, July 17, started near the Exit 10 interchange of westbound Interstate 84 in Newtown. The chase proceeded on I-84 to Brookfield, Bethel, and Danbury, and then reversed direction, entering Brookfield, and then New Milford, where the man being pursued crashed his vehicle near the junction of Routes 7 and 37, state police said.
For more than an hour July 20, members of Newtown’s Municipal Buildings Strategic Plan Advisory Committee heard preliminary observations from consultant Ken Best of DRA, Inc detailing a series of findings about three key town-owned buildings the panel is evaluating for best use potential, repurposing, sale, or even possible demolition. Mr Best explained that along with his draft conditions assessments summary, he also produced priority ratings for addressing certain deficiencies in the buildings, as well as a ten-year budgeting plan to accomplish necessary or suggested renovations. Mr Best's initial report covered the Multi-Purpose Building, Town Hall South, and the current Hook & Ladder headquarters behind Edmond Town Hall.
Even after a 2015 session he said was sprinkled with “little victories,” then a special session, and then another veto override session, Newtown’s State Representative Mitch Bolinsky emerged from his latest legislative foray somewhat frustrated and feeling so much more good could have been done — from a statewide perspective, as well as for his local constituents. “It was not a productive session,” Rep Bolinsky said about midpoint through his annual legislative look back interview with The Newtown Bee. “Voters sent us here to do the people’s business and it all comes grinding to a halt over political ideology.” Reflecting on those “little victories,” Rep Bolinsky said the Newtown delegation was successful in shepherding some “good legislation.”
Bronco, a 4-year-old pitbull, was joined by owners Trina and Chris Cain in one of the comfortable dog beds at Your Healthy Pet on July 21. That morning, the Cains were met by Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead, standing at right, who formally presented Bronco and his “parents” with the Newtown #1 dog tag, an honor presented to one lucky dog each year after the June 30 deadline to obtain or renew dog licenses by town residents.
“I feel like we’re chasing our tails,” said Community Center Commission member John Boccuzzi, Jr, after almost three hours in a meeting Tuesday evening. He wondered about the goals and direction of the group. Most of the meeting was spent discussing details for costs of mailing informative postcards, filling out a timeline for coming months’ activities, and breaking briefly into subcommittees. The panel concluded the session with more questions about their charge and few answers.