On July 13, the Board of Finance approved spending a $2.6 million state grant to complete a Toddy Hill Road bridge replacement and re-engineering of the intersection at Berkshire Road )Route 34). While that project is expected to ease weekday morning and afternoon gridlock in the area, the Toddy Hill Road work is among the preliminary, peripheral projects tied to a planned reconfiguration of Route 84’s Exit 11 interchange, according to Public Works Director Fred Hurley. During that same meeting, the board briefly discussed an approximate $45,000 net loss resulting from the School District initially reserving more diesel fuel than was required for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Employees of Aquarion Water Company have been working on a water pipe replacement project. In the coming weeks, the workers will be replacing sections of outdated pipe on Queen Street. During the construction, certain sections of Queen Street lying between its intersections with Glover Avenue and Mile Hill Road will be closed to through-traffic with detours provided for motorists.
Town police have received approval for a $23,800 grant from the state, with that money to be used for police overtime pay for speed enforcement and for the acquisition of speed-detection radar equipment. Newtown police made more than 9,400 motor vehicle stops during a recent 12-month study period. Lieutenant Christopher Vanghele said the town received the enforcement grant approval from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) under the “high-risk rural roads speed enforcement program.” The grant allows the police department to spend up to $4,000 for the purchase of a new radar unit for a patrol car. The grant will also cover $19,800 in police overtime to pay officers who will conduct speed patrols to apprehend violators.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving.
Newtown is slated to receive a $150,000 grant for investigation of the 30-acre former Batchelder site at 44 and 46a Swamp Road. The former industrial site is rife with a variety of environmental contaminants caused by past industrial activity and resulting contamination. On July 14, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will award $7 million to 12 brownfield redevelopment and assessment projects across the state.
A member of the Easton Police Commission has been charged in an ongoing federal steroid and prescription narcotics distribution investigation. In a statement, Deirdre M. Daly, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said that Raymond J. Martin, 48, was arrested on July 14. Mr Martin appeared before US Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on bond. Mr Martin’s arrest brings to 12 the number of men charged in the drug ring. Among those previously charged are Steven Santucci, a former Newtown police sergeant; and Jason Chickos, who formerly worked as a Newtown emergency communications dispatcher.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, a former Newtown police sergeant is seeking money damages, charging that she was the victim of a pervasive pattern of sexual harassment by members of the Newtown Police Department. The legal action filed on behalf of Darlene Froehlich, 56, charges that she suffered deprivation of equal treatment under the law, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation for her comments to police officials about mistreatment.
The lawsuit contends that Ms Froehlich was subjected to a hostile work environment in violation of applicable state and federal law. As a consequence of her situation, she adversely suffered stress, loss of sleep, and hypertension. Ms Froehlich further contends that police officials effectively “terminated her employment by way of forced retirement.”
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) is reviewing the environmental protection aspects of a proposal to construct an approximately 4,400-square-foot retail center on an undeveloped 1.12-acre site at 149 Mt Pleasant Road in Hawleyville. Applicant Walter Kilcourse of New Milford is seeking a wetlands/watercourses protection permit for the project from the IWC. The project, known as Pogond Brook Plaza, would be built on the south side of Mt Pleasant Road, just east of Newtown Power Equipment, Inc.
Doors opened for the Friends of the C. H. Booth Library’s 40th Anniversary Annual Book Sale on Saturday, July 11, as volunteers welcomed event goers.
The book sale is running through Wednesday, July 15. It is running from 9 am until 7 pm on Tuesday, July 14, and will run from 9 am to noon on Wednesday for the final hours of the sale, held at Reed Intermediate School.
Customers lined up outside the school on Saturday, long before the doors opened at 9 am. Admission for the book sale was $5 on Saturday only, with free admission the remaining days of the sale.
It may be a while before electric vehicles can pull off the road in Newtown for a free “top-off” at a public charging station. But the Newtown High School Marching Band & Guard will be shuttling its equipment much more easily and economically thanks to a decision by the Board of Selectmen July 6 to help purchase and maintain a custom cargo van on behalf of the award-winning ensemble. During the meeting selectmen heard from Public Works Director Fred Hurley and Town Sustainable Energy Commission Chair Kathleen Quinn regarding the town applying for a grant to create one or more of the public charging stations with an eye on Fairfield Hills as the site for the first installation. Selectmen also turned their attention to a proposal that will help the high school band and guard obtain access to an equipment truck that will hold and transport all the necessary equipment and instruments for travel events, parades, and competitions.