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.
Shortly after posting new information on the town’s municipal website tracking survey responses, the chairman of the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission visited with local selectmen to update the commission’s progress toward possibly establishing one or more memorials in recognition of the lives lost on 12/14.
Owners of electric powered vehicles, including those that may be part of the town’s future municipal fleet, could soon cruise into Fairfield Hills or Edmond Town Hall parking lot and plug-in for a free “top-off.”
Following more than a year of negotiations, the town and the Newtown Police Union, Local 3153, Council 15, of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have reached a three-year labor contact, specifying the terms of employment for 43 of the 45 sworn officers at the police department.
Since last July 1, police have been working without a contract because the previous agreement expired last June 30.
Over the course of its last two meetings on February 25 and March 2, the Board of Finance continued its review of the municipal and school district budget proposals, and continued its attempts to define possible additional areas of taxpayer savings.
The Board of Selectman appears to continue having problems making appointments to boards and commission. When the Economic Development Commission was created by the Legislative Council, they specified that there would be term limits of two consecutive three-year appointments. Clearly the Legislative Council felt that more than six years on the commission was not in the best interest of the town.
After months of research and analysis, a former and current Legislative Council member, who stressed they were not working for the council, recommended to the Board of Selectmen last month that the town go forward and determine “the best path” for joining a regional emergency dispatch system. In making their recommendation, Jeff Capeci and Neil Chaudhary emphasized that the town could potentially save 30 percent of the $1.03 million it now spends by consolidating Newtown’s dispatch services with the operations of a regional service in Torrington.
There is enough compelling evidence that public safety could be improved and cost savings realized for a two-person advisory team to advise the Board of Selectmen to consider a formal study on turning local emergency communications over to a specialized regional dispatch organization.
Top elected officials began what is expected to be a slow, deliberate, and complex process to produce the most comprehensive analysis of town-owned buildings and facilities ever mounted in Newtown.
After much pre-meeting discussion, the Board of Selectmen June 2 welcomed Geralyn Hoerauf, AIA, LEED AP, and senior project manager from Diversified Project Management. Ms Hoerauf will be supporting selectmen and other town staff, contractors, and officials through at least the preliminary stages of facilities analysis prep.
The Board of Selectmen approved $15,000 during a meeting March 17 that will underwrite a tickborne disease awareness and prevention campaign that will be launched in the coming weeks by the Newtown Health District.