Following discussion at a November 20 Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) session, P&Z members unanimously endorsed Newtown Hook & Ladder, Company, No. 1’s proposal to build a firehouse on Church Hill Road to replace the town-owned firehouse at 45 Main Street which the fire company now uses. The fire company is seeking a special permit from the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) to build a firehouse at a 3.16-acre site, which would have the street address of 12 Church Hill Road. Trinity Episcopal Church of 36 Main Street now owns that land which it would sell to the fire company for $500,000, if the company receives all required regulatory approvals for the construction project. Rob Manna, representing Hook & Ladder, told P&Z members that the firehouse which the fire company now uses is in “deplorable condition.” The structure was declared structurally unsound many years ago. Steel beams are being used to shore up its main-level floor. Also, bracing has been placed on its western exterior masonry wall to counteract wall cracking. The building, which has been in service for about 80 years, was not designed to house modern fire trucks, which are much heavier than those of the past.
On Monday, November 24, Dr Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, superintendent of the Newtown school district, responded to the report from the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA), released Friday, November 21, saying that his first thoughts go directly to the victims’ families. “How can I offer any kind of assistance to families?” he asked. The report was prepared in response to a directive from the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel to review Adam Lanza’s life prior to the commission of mass murder, and develop recommendations for public health system improvements. Failure of the Newtown schools to follow established guidelines and multiple examples of lack of coordination for services are among the many findings in the report.
Updated at 3:50 pm: Governor Dannel P. Malloy has decided that state office buildings will close on Wednesday, November 26, at 12:30 pm due to the anticipated snowstorm that is expected to significantly impact the state. Nonessential state employees will be dismissed at that time. “After speaking with emergency management officials and assessing the current forecast, I have decided to close state office buildings at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon,” said Governor Malloy. “The more we can get cars off the road before this storm’s real impact is felt, the better our chances are for dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws our way. ”The Connecticut Department of Transportation canceled all planned road work today at 3 pm. to ease congestion and accommodate drivers who are modifying their travel plans and traveling to their holiday destinations tonight instead.
The Newtown Public Schools will be closed Wednesday, November 26, due to anticipated weather.
The school disctrict announced the decision Tuesday on its website, www.newtown.k12.ct.us, sharing that all Newtown Public Schools will be closed for Wednesday.
Following a number of letters sent to Newtown High School students in recent days, the school announced Monday night, November 24, the responsible individual has been determined and measures are being taken. According to the school the letters, which were received in the mail, contained personal information and “sexually explicit comments. While nothing in any of these letters posed threats of violence to anyone, they were nonetheless disturbing in nature,” said a letter sent to parents by NHS Principal Lorrie Rodrigue.
UPDATE: Booth Library will also be closing at 12:30 November 26. || Newtown Director of Communications Maureen Will has issued a CodeRed notice that is being delivered to those who have registered for the service, alerting residents that town offices will be closing early on Wednesday, November 26. "Following the governor's lead, Newtown Municipal Center and town offices will be closing at 12:30 tomorrow," Ms Will said in the recorded message. All non-essential town employees will be sent home at that time, she added.
To foster discussion on the wisdom of creating “mixed-use” zoning covering a section of the town-owned Fairfield Hills campus, the town plans to hold two public sessions to explore the controversial topic. The two sessions will be sponsored by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Fairfield Hills Authority, and the Economic Development Commission. The meetings are scheduled for Saturday, December 6, and Thursday, December 11. Both will be at Reed Intermediate School. Discussion will focus on possibly revising the town’s Fairfield Hills Adaptive Reuse zoning regulations to allow rental apartments in certain areas.
Hanover Road resident Scott Conant has witnessed a “huge change” in the invasive zebra mussel population in local waters this year. The mussel population has exploded. A Friends of The Lake board member living along Lake Lillinonah’s shore, Mr Conant first sent the alert to other members in late October after inspecting the underside of his dock. “The bottom of our dock was completely encrusted this year,” he said. Lake Zoar Authority Chairman Ray Hoesten, who also lives along one of the town's lakes with both public and private access, echoed Mr Conant's sentiment when he described Zoar's growing zebra mussel population. "We've got them bad this year," he said. Right now, unfortunately, there does not seem to be an effective method of eradication for the larval species.
Quickly packing canned goods into boxes Friday, November 21 was Danielle Sampson, one of many Newtown High School students helping prepare packages for roughly 80 families in need before Thanksgiving. Women Involved in Newtown (WIN) members coordinate the Thanksgiving Basket program each year, and last Friday afternoon everything came together in the hall of Newtown United Methodist Church. Volunteers of all ages received donations from the public and a number of school groups, while others sorted the donations into separate areas, one for each family that would benefit from the program by the end of the day.
A number of educators presented a report on full-day kindergarten at the Board of Education’s Tuesday, November 18, meeting.
Full-day kindergarten was first implemented in the district last school year, and this is the second year the school board has heard a report about how the program is doing.
“They have a little presentation for us and just a few words about what their experience has been for… a year-plus,” said Assistant Superintendent Linda Gejda.