A new addition to Newtown’s outdoor recreation has dogs and owners filling the new Park and Bark dog park. The off-leash facility celebrated its grand opening in May. Following many months of planning and fundraising, the park on May 3 held its ribbon cutting at the recently constructed facility on Old Farm Road. Since then, dogs and owners have enjoyed exercising, agility equipment, and water features at the site.
The Newtown government beat was a busy one throughout 2014, with developments like the new community center competing with continued recovery and resiliency efforts as the community moved through its second year post-12/14.
It was a year that also saw several parents and survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, as well as government officials, step into the public eye, offering informative, courageous, candid, and often heart-wrenching testimony to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Commission.
In early 2014, the updated Town Plan of Conservation and Development, as well as the updated Fairfield Hills Master Plan, took effect, providing the town with a set of planning guidelines for the coming years on local growth and resource conservation, both in the town at large and at the town-owned 185-acre Fairfield Hills core campus.
The town plan is updated decennially. The Fairfield Hills plan is updated as needed.
2014 was a positive planning year for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Consigli Construction oversaw the demolition of the old Sandy Hook School in the fall of 2013, and by 2014 plans for the new building were taking shape, following community input and work between the town and design team, led by Svigals + Partners.
Police report that after learning that they held a warrant for his arrest, Patrick Capozziello, 20, of 42 Cedar Hill Road went to the police station on the afternoon of December 23 and was charged with driving under the influence and with failure to obey a stop sign in connection with an accident that had occurred almost one year earlier in Hawleyville on December 27, 2013.
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.
Current openings exist on:
*The Conservation Commission has three positions available to a Republican or Unaffiliated voter and one open position available to a democrat or unaffiliated voter.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says it is considering modifications to key provisions of proposed new permit requirements for the management and oversight of municipal stormwater systems — while still allowing the agency to achieve important environmental objectives.
The announcement came following testimony and correspondence from numerous public officials from across the state, including Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra.
The final week of the year brought Newtown’s Water and Sewer Authority together for a brief meeting to discuss proposed changes in regulations to both local sewer use regulations and the community’s water pollution control plan.
After some discussion on December 29, the authority approved sending the proposed changes to a public hearing on January 8. The time and location of the hearing was not set at press time.
Authority and Public Works Director Fred Hurley said many of the proposed changes are procedural.
Republican Registrar of Voters Karin Aurelia has retired from her elected post after 12 years of service. She was honored on her last day, December 18, with a small reception at the Newtown Municipal Center, where she was also presented with a state proclamation by State Representative Mitch Bolinsky.