Legislative Council members this week revised a past funding approval, reducing from $25,000 to $15,000 the town amount to be spent for a study on the local impact of tick-borne disease. At a September 17 session, council members approved a $15,000 special appropriation to be funded through the “Sandy Hook special revenue fund” for consulting services for a marketing/messaging plan on tick-borne disease awareness and mitigation.
Parks and Recreation crews have removed the old tennis courts at Treadwell Park and are now preparing a base for the new tennis and pickle ball courts. Contractors that received the bid will begin work this season. Recreation Director Amy Mangold said her department had recommended Classic Turf Co, LLC to earn the bid for installation work. The company proposed $246,700 for the courts’ reconstruction and design. In August the recreation commission was anticipating the current work. Parks & Rec had Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) funds available then and was ready to soon seek bids for building new courts.
The Board of Selectmen September 15 agreed to pursue the possibility of eventually creating a regional emergency dispatch center in Newtown, or possibly consolidating into a regional facility in Danbury. As a result of that consensus, the board has effectively rejected pursuing regional dispatch partnerships with nonprofit, civilian operated centers in Prospect and Torrington. In related news, selectmen authorized Police Chief Michael Kehoe to move forward closing out the town’s remaining contract with a Minnesota company currently providing emergency dispatch and record-keeping technology. Officials then gave the police chief authorization to begin negotiating with a North Haven company to replace dispatch and record-keeping hardware and software services.
Newtown and Sandy Hook remain popular towns with house hunters, despite economic downturns, the tragedy of 12/14, and taxes that make selling a tour de force for local realtors.With listings of single-family homes for sale in Newtown and Sandy Hook numbered at 284 as of September 14, the inventory is high, admitted Newtown Board of Realtors President Cyndy DaSilva. However, it is not substantially out of line with previous years’ inventories. Selling a home in Newtown is challenging but far from impossible, despite the increased inventory. A single family home in Newtown, with an average listing price of $527,781 currently, can expect to be on the market just over four months. Sellers are cautioned, though, that they should be prepared to drop the initial asking price before the property sells
Blues, greens, tans, and grays made up the primary colors of the proposed interior and exterior materials for use in the new Sandy Hook Elementary School that were presented to the Board of Education at its meeting September 16. Geralyn Hoerauf from Diversified Project Management reminded the school board that the last time the board was updated on the project was at the end of June, when the school board approved Phase 3 of the project, which includes site work.
“Since that time the project team has successfully marshaled the project through the local review process,” Ms Hoerauf said. Adding later, “and then we were able to take that packet of information back to the state to the office of school facilities and received their approval to proceed to bid on Phase 3.” Aaron Krueger, project manager for Consigli Construction, reported that bids for the third phase of the project came in earlier that day.
Legislative Council members have unanimously approved providing a property tax break to a firm which plans to construct a gas station/convenience store on Church Hill Road at its intersection with Edmond Road. The site at 67 Church Hill Road formerly held a vacant Shell gas station/convenience store, which was long considered an eyesore and was recently demolished in preparation for the new construction. On September 17, council members approved the tax break for Consumers Petroleum of Connecticut, Inc (CPCI), which will call its new facility Wheels.
Since August 25, three billboards have been posted in the Bridgeport area seeking leads on the whereabouts of Sandy Hook resident Robert Hoagland, who has been missing for more than a year. The billboards are scheduled to be displayed until September 21. At the request of the Hoagland family to more broadly publicize Mr Hoagland’s July 2013 disappearance from his Sandy Hook home, police recently agreed to advertise his “missing person” status on three billboards in the Bridgeport area in the heavily traveled Interstate-95 corridor. The billboards list Mr Hoagland as a missing person, display photos of him, and provide the Newtown Police Department telephone number as a contact point for any information on his whereabouts.
Following discussion at a September 17 session, Legislative Council members, in an 8-2 vote, approved spending $29,000 in public funds to demolish a house and related structures at 31 Great Hill Road, which were heavily damaged in
After hearing several presentations and visiting site locations, the Board of Education unanimously approved a grant-funded school-based health clinic for Newtown Middle School. After two earlier presentations, and mentioning a few measures they would like to see happen before the clinic is implemented, the board gave Superintendent of Schols Dr Joseph Erardi the go-ahead vote during its September 16 meeting.
Following a brief update to the Board of Selectmen by the Town’s Pension Committee and representatives from Westport Resources, which administers the fund, Finance Director Robert Tait pronounced the local program to be “in good health.” The highpoint of the September 15 presentation was the news that after several years of falling substantially below the earnings benchmark, the fund has rebounded and yielded a 14 percent return for the 2014–15 fiscal year, Mr Tait explained following the meeting. At the same time, he noted that the benchmark for the current fiscal year is 16 percent.