Following a day that brought back fears for many in the community, Superintendent of Schools Joseph Erardi, Jr, held an evening meeting at Newtown High School for local residents on Wednesday, October 1. Dr Erardi was joined by school administrators, members of the Board of Education, and Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe. Dr Erardi told those assembled that there would be enhanced security at the school for some time, but reiterated it is “100 percent safe to attend school tomorrow on time at Sandy Hook.”
In a televised debate Tuesday night, Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley met in a political Twilight Zone, each unable or unwilling to recognize the reality of the other’s Connecticut. Malloy defied polls that show a dispirited and disapproving electorate. He claimed progress, pronouncing himself proud of resolving an inherited $3.67 billion deficit without gutting municipal aid. Foley all but suggested he was mad, seeking votes in a different dimension. But Foley joined Malloy in downplaying non-partisan projections of a significant deficit in the coming year, albeit one far smaller than what confronted the first-term Democratic governor after he defeated Foley in 2010. To do otherwise would require Foley to promise more than his proposed budget freeze.
According to a school district spokesperson, a “low to no level threat was received” this morning regarding Sandy Hook Elementary School. Children have been evacuated to Jockey Hollow School, also on the school campus on Fan Hill Road in Monroe. Parents are being notified, and buses will be departing to bring children home at noon. All other information will be released by Superintendant of Schools Dr Joseph Erardi “at an appropriate time.” No other schools have been affected.
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra has issued a statement in response to the bomb scare called in to Sandy Hook Elementary School this morning: “Earlier today a bomb scare was received at Sandy Hook School. The scare was classified as a "no threat-low threat" event, but in an abundance of caution, Superintendent Erardi determined that dismissal of students at 12 noon is the best course of action. All students and staff are safe. Monroe Police are on site, as are Newtown Police. The building and grounds will be thoroughly searched and cleared of any concern. Updated information will be shared via school district communication systems as well as via the town’s ‘blast’ system."
In light of this morning’s bomb scare at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team would like residents to know that its center will be fully staffed on Thursday, October 2. In a message released Wednesday, October 1, the staff said that the scare called in to the elementary school “ended with the best possible outcome: all students and teachers are safe. Even so, it would be normal in the aftermath of the event for you and your children to experience emotional reactions and concerns. The Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team will be fully staffed tomorrow with Counselors and Case Managers to provide support and resources.”
Near the start of the Newtown Prevention Council’s first meeting of the new school year, held on Thursday, September 18, Co-Chair Judy Blanchard announced, “We’re moving ahead on some new ground, and we’re going to need everybody on board.” In January, Ms Blanchard said First Selectman Pat Llodra proposed that the Newtown Prevention Council (NPC) would have a role in the town’s resiliency efforts moving forward. “We’ve come a long way since then,” said Ms Blanchard.
Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company #1 has purchased the vacant former Hawleyville post office and adjacent land at 30 Hawleyville Road (Route 25) from the Housatonic Railroad Company, Inc. Hawleyville Fire Chief John Basso said last week that the sale occurred on September 12. Real estate documents for the transaction do not list the sale price. But based on the amount of town conveyance tax paid in the purchase, the sale price for the building and about three-quarters of an acre was $180,000. The site is in the Hawleyville Center Design District (HCDD) zone. The fire company’s firehouse is at 34 Hawleyville Road, about 175 feet northeast of the former post office.
Crews began the demolition of Danbury Hall on the Fairfield Hills campus at approximately 10 am on Monday, September 29.
The long awaited final steps in removing the structure and opening up sight lines of the campus from Wasserman Way, officials were told, would take hours.
Initially, the Danbury Hall demolition was supposed to be part of a larger project to include razing the eight single-family former staff homes, but earlier this summer, the project funds were refocused just on Danbury. The price tag for complete abatement and removal of Danbury Hall is $511,000, according to First Selectmen Pat Llodra’s documentation.
A firm that wants to create a tire recycling operation in an industrial building at 40 High Bridge Road is expected to submit a revised regulatory proposal to the town, which would seek to add that type of land use to the zoning regulations. George Benson, town director of planning, said September 25 that he met with a representative of MAAK Environmental Corporation on September 24 to discuss the firm’s making some revisions to its initial regulatory proposal on tire recycling, which the company withdrew from Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) consideration following a September 18 P&Z public hearing.
The state Department of Transportation plans to select by October the firm which will make major renovations to the steel-truss span over the Lake Zoar section of the Housatonic River, commonly known as Silver Bridge. The bridge links Glen Road in Sandy Hook to River Road in Southbury. DOT is reviewing five bids submitted for the bridge renovation project, according to DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick. The apparent low bidder for the project is McNamee Construction Corp of Lincolndale, N.Y., which submitted a bid of $4.474 million. The four other bids ranged from $4.626 million to $5.362 million, he said. The DOT had estimated construction costs at about $5 million. Construction work is slated to start next year on about April 1, Mr Nursick said. Completion is projected for June 2016.