The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) convened its hearing on a proposed 23-lot cluster-style residential subdivision in Dodgingtown on Wednesday evening, September 10. About 40 people attended to comment on the project and to ask questions about its development. The commission, however, put off hearing responses from the developers until a future meeting. Roughly the same number of people attended this week’s hearing as attended an August 27 IWC meeting that was set for the same topic, but at the earlier meeting it was learned that, due to a technicality, the hearing would be postponed. All property owners with holdings within 500 feet of a subdivision site must, by law, be formally notified of such a public hearing. That requirement, however, had not been met, so the project’s developer sought on August 22 and then received on August 27 the IWC’s approval to have the public hearing rescheduled to September, so that such formal notification could be fully made.
Newtown taxpayers will foot the $29,000 bill to demolish what is left of a burned-out home, and to clean up the now abandoned and blighted property at 31 Great Hill Road in Hawleyville. The remains of a 3,400-square-foot home and surrounding property littered with debris, owned by Anita Pettengill according to town records, has been the subject of neighborhood scorn and countless complaints since a June 24, 2011, blaze. The issue first came up during a September 2 Board of Selectmen’s meeting when the officials unanimously passed a transfer authorization to move $29,000 from a town contingency fund to the Land Use Department to cover the anticipated demo and cleanup costs.
It appears that a $1.5 million capital allocation that has been pending for several years as the Newtown Hook & Ladder fire company secured and planned to build a new headquarters could be restructured as a grant, with terms. Until recently, officials were describing the assistance being provided so the volunteer fire company to establish its independent headquarters as a “gift.” On September 8, the Board of Finance reviewed language that member John Godin created and labeled as a grant, and unanimously voted to recommend the administrative change to the Board of Selectman and Legislative Council for approval. Town Finance Director Robert Tait explained after the meeting that in the unlikely event the fire company closes or fails to continue operating under its current charter, the town needs a process in place to recover some or all of the funding granted for the development of its new building.
The effort to better understand the public’s perception and behavior regarding tick bites and tickborne disease is stepping up, according to Health District Director Donna Culbert. “Newtown, through a proposal/bid process, has contracted with MORE Advertising, and is launching a short survey which will capture the public’s current knowledge and perception of risk about tickborne diseases,” she said in a release. The survey is available online as well as being available in print “for folks who may not have internet access or prefer to do it manually,” she said. The plan is to promote the survey through The Newtown Bee, the Newtown municipal website’s News and Announcements section, Park and Recreation networks, and parent, recreation and civic organizations in an attempt to solicit maximum participation and input.
Visibly moved, Howard Lasher choked back tears Thursday morning, September 11, as he read the names of friends and colleagues killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers September 11, 2001. It was halfway through the ceremony hosted by Mr Lasher, a retired Wall Street executive and trader, and his wife, Jeanette Hubner, at their Route 302 property in Newtown, to honor the memories of all lost that day.
The Leaps of Faith (LOF) Adaptive Skiers based in Sandy Hook will be hosting its first “Ski Newtown,” a water sports event for Newtown children ages 7–18 on Sunday, September 21, at Eichler’s Cove Marina on Lake Zoar from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Preregistration is required for this free event. Call 203-426-0666.
In honor of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the President has ordered that all flags be lowered today. Flags should remain lowered until sunset. President Obama issued a proclamation for Patriot Day; Governor Dannel M. Malloy and Lt Governor Nancy Wyman have also issued statements. The governor is also asking residents to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 am.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is next scheduled to meet on Friday, September 12, at 9 am, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. In addition to receiving presentations from the panel’s Law Enforcement Working Group, Safe School Designs and Operations Working Group, and Mental Health Working Group, the agenda includes a presentation by Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra and Newtown Superintendent of Schools Dr Joseph Erardi, Jr.
They were many, and they were loud. Roughly 2,400 motorcycles rumbled through town Sunday, September 7 on their winding route from Norwalk to Bridgeport during the 14th annual CT United Ride, Connecticut’s largest 9/11 tribute. Through registration fees and other funds raised, the ride benefits Connecticut firefighters, Connecticut law enforcement, and two local United Ways. Newtown’s fire companies suspended flags over the ride, with Dodgingtown and Hawleyville raising one over Route 302 in Dodgingtown, Hook & Ladder and Sandy Hook set up over the roadway next to Amaral Motors Inc, and Botsford Fire Rescue members presenting the colors at their South Main Street station. Those who did not participate in the ride were invited to cheer those riding their motorcycles from Norwalk to Bridgeport on Sunday, and once residents and friends of all ages turned out to line the route in Newtown.