A changeover for the phone system at Town Hall South is complete this evening, but there are still a few technical issues being worked on, according to Newtown Director of Emergency Communications Maureen Will. “Voicemail is still being worked on, so there may be an issue if anyone calls the police department, Social Services or Parks & Rec tonight,” Ms Will said Wednesday evening. “Have patience, try to leave a message, or remember that everyone will be back in tomorrow morning if you can’t reach them tonight,” she said.
Thoughtful, diligent, thorough, and complete are a few of the words Michael Talluto chose to describe the work being done by the New Director Search Committee of the Board of Trustees of C.H. Booth Library. The role of the search committee is to qualify candidates for the position of director of the C.H. Booth Library through a process that includes formulating interview questions, advertising for and promoting the position, reviewing resumes, and conducting the initial interviews. There is a difference between this search committee, according to Mr Talluto, and the last director search in 2013, when a smaller committee made up exclusively of board of trustees members selected a new director who was not embraced by staff or community and who left after less than 12 weeks on the job.
After lengthy discussion at a February town meeting, voters by an 81-to-11 margin approved borrowing $2.8 million to expand the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system as a means to spur local economic development. An informational session to explain the construction aspects and cost implications of the planned expansion of the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system is scheduled for Thursday, May 8. The meeting, which is sponsored by the Water & Sewer Authority (WSA), is slated for 7 pm in the lower level conference room at Town Hall South. A regular meeting of the WSA will immediately follow.
The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF) will dedicate the Memorial to Fallen Educators on June 12, at 2 pm, on the Emporia State University campus. The memorial and dedication ceremony will honor fallen educators and provide a permanent tribute to their sacrifice. The inspiration for the memorial came from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy that killed six educators on December 14, 2012. Members of the NTHF then began to research, and found reports of 112 fallen educators, dating back to 1764.
Thanks to $200,000 in grant funds, hazardous materials abatement in the single-family houses at Fairfield Hills has begun, with abatement and demolition of Danbury Hall to follow. An additional $200,000 in Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) funds through the town will cover any additional costs incurred when Danbury is demolished. According to Economic and Community Development Director Elizabeth Stocker, hazardous materials abatement is under way on the single-family houses “to be paid in full” with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleanup grant of $200,000. Next will be the cleanup and demolition of Danbury Hall, she confirmed. Any remaining grant funds from the houses remediation will be used for the cleanup on Danbury. If the grant cannot pay for the full cost, then the $200,000 of CIP will cover costs, plus pay for demolition. No EPA funds will be used for the demolition, Ms Stocker said; the EPA funds are to be used for the cleanup only.
The town will be reviewing a proposal from the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC, to allow the firm to position several storage lockers outdoors near the front entrance to its Botsford store as part of the Peapod grocery-pickup service. On April 17, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members discussed the proposed changes for the supermarket at Sand Hill Plaza at 228 South Main Street (Route 25). P&Z members decided that the firm would not need to obtain a formal revision to the special permit, which the P&Z had granted for the shopping center in the past.
Legislative Council Ordinance Committee Chair Ryan Knapp has released a draft of the revised senior tax relief proposals going to a planned public hearing May 7 before the regularly scheduled council meeting. Officials could deliberate and act on those changes and endorse the revised ordinance following the hearing. According to the draft provided to The Bee, one significant change is the proposed addition of a fourth tier of benefit, which is already being funded at $150,000 as a result of the 2014-15 budget passage earlier this week. If approved by the council, that new tier would apply a maximum credit of $800 to otherwise qualifying applicants whose household income falls between $65,001 and $70,000.
As with the spring flowers that emerge in April, construction projects often also start this time of year. Four notable examples of commercial construction projects that are starting, or are about to begin, can be found on Mt Pleasant Road, South Main Street, and Church Hill Road. George Benson, town director of planning and land use, notes that the coming construction season promises to be a busy one with those projects commencing.
Firefighters from three of Newtown’s volunteer companies provided mutual aid to Southbury Volunteer Fireman’s Association early Friday morning. A team made up of officers and firefighters from Botsford, Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook responded with two pieces of apparatus to the neighboring town, where other firefighters were already on the scene of a factory fire at 1200 Main Street South. Newtown Fire Marshal Bill Halstead believes 15 firefighters from town responded this morning. Newtown’s firefighters were dispatched around 5:20 am for what was described as a fully involved structure fire. Those responding from Newtown formed a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT), to serve as a firefighter search and rescue team if needed. Some of the Newtown firefighters relieved the first round of firefighters in the building, but none had to act as RIT. The fire was knocked down shortly after 8 am, and the local firefighters returned to town by 8:30.