A relaxed schedule of summer meetings by the Board of Selectmen will contribute to a delay in presenting the next five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to the Board of Finance. But finance board members have no issue with the approximate two-week postponement according to Finance Director Robert Tait. Mr Tait said some town departments have also been delayed in finalizing their CIP requests, but he expects to have any missing details added to the latest draft plan by the time the selectmen meet again on August 18. By Charter, the CIP is due to the finance board by August 11. On July 7, selectmen received the latest capital planning document, which the finance director said was “about 90 percent complete.”
Organizers of the 2014 Friends of C.H. Booth Library Book Sale kicked off the highly anticipated annual fundraiser with a song and a special gift to a beloved longtime volunteer Saturday morning before opening the doors to Reed Intermediate School and standing aside as a flood of patrons swarmed stacks and racks of offerings. The calm before the storm was marked by nearly 100 volunteers presenting longtime Friends of the Library volunteer Carm O’Neil with a new cane. She apparently lost one during one of her trips to help fellow organizers preparing for the huge event. Then, a small cluster of her fellow “Friends” serenaded Ms O’Neil with a customized version of “My Favorite Things.” The book sale continues through Wednesday, July 16. By Monday morning, there were still many patrons picking through the remaining selections and Volunteer Toni Earnshaw said she and her many dedicated assistants were very pleased with the large turnout.
Workers this week continued demolition/construction on the $6 million project to replace the two dual-lane Interstate 84 bridges that pass over Center Street in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) recently created a “lane shift” on both the westbound and eastbound lanes of I-84 in the work area, allowing the second phase of the project to begin.
The state has been replacing the two bridges in stages so that I-84 traffic may continue traveling through the area while the project is underway.
Newtown-based Sandy Hook Promise, an organization formed shortly after the 12/14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to support those affected and support solutions to acts of violence, issued a statement July 2, following the group’s failed attempt to have families directly affected by 12/14 meet with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. “Sandy Hook families were in New Jersey today to personally deliver to Governor Chris Christie a petition backed by over 55,000 supporters of A2006, legislation that would have reduced the permitted size of gun ammunition magazines in the state of New Jersey from 15 rounds down to 10. Immediately following the delivery, Governor Christie released a statement vetoing the bill as a ‘trivial approach to the sanctity of human life.’”
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has scheduled a public informational session on its project to create a conventional four-way signalized intersection of Church Hill Road, Commerce Road, and Edmond Road. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 22, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street. DOT officials will be available to discuss the project with the public staring at 6:30 pm. A DOT presentation on its plans to improve traffic flow in the Church Hill / Commerce / Edmond area is slated to start at 7 pm. The DOT’s plans for the intersection improvement project are available for public review at the town land use agency office at Newtown Municipal Center.
Following an hourlong briefing by members of the Sandy Hook School Design Team on July 8, members of the Public Building and Site Commission unanimously approved accepting construction plans and cost estimates, and voted to forward those documents to the state for final approval. The PBSC is serving as the School Building Committee on behalf of the town.Ahead of the vote, Geralyn Hoerauf of Diversified Project Management reminded officials that the Sandy Hook School project is being presented to state officials in phases to help expedite the development process. Project documents must be accepted and approved by the town’s School Building Committee before the state will accept them. Ms Hoerauf explained how the first three phases of the construction process were packaged for approval. They included hazardous materials abatement and building demolition of the former school building, which were completed last fall.
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.
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) this week conducted a public hearing on the wetlands protection aspects of the town’s proposal to construct a new Sandy Hook Elementary School at 12 Dickinson Drive to replace the school that the town demolished last year, following the December 2012 massacre there. The July 9 hearing was sparsely attended, drawing four members of the public. None of those four people had any comments or questions on the construction proposal. The IWC closed the hearing and took no action on the redevelopment application. The IWC is scheduled to meet on July 23 to review the application and possibly act on it.