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  • Accidental Fire Heavily Damages Castle Hill Road House

    Volunteer firefighters from all five local fire companies responded at about 6 pm on Thursday, April 23, to a raised-ranch house at 101 Castle Hill Road, where a fire had broken out, heavily damaging the structure. There were no injuries in the accidental blaze, according to Fire Marshal Bill Halstead, who is investigating the fire. Hook & Ladder Fire Chief Ray Corbo was the fire incident commander. Chief Corbo said that about 40 volunteer firefighters responded. Firefighters used approximately 2,500 gallons of water carried on fire vehicles to put out the blaze, he said. Fire companies from Newtown Hook & Ladder, Hawleyville Sandy Hook, and Botsford were sent to the scene at 5:53 pm. At 6:03 pm, Dodgingtown firefighters were dispatched. Firefighters remained at the scene for about 3½ hours.

  • Taxpayers Called To Vote On 2015-16 Budgets; Absentee Session Saturday

    Newtown taxpayers who may be otherwise engaged Tuesday, April 28, or who anticipate difficulties getting to the Newtown Middle School to cast their budget ballots, may do so in a special Saturday voting session in the town clerk’s office April 25 from 9 am to noon. Otherwise, per local charter directive, polls at the middle school gym will be open Tuesday from 6 am and 8 pm for taxpayers to render their split or bifurcated votes on an overall 2015-16 budget request of $111,730,513, which represents a 0.6 percent increase over the current year. If approved as presented to voters at referendum, the new spending plan would represent a net reduction in taxation of 0.71 percent, with a new tax rate of 33.07 mills, down from the current rate of 33.31.

  • Superintendent Drafting Transportation Survey For Parents

    Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, told the Board of Education during its Tuesday, April 21, meeting the district administration would like to launch a transportation survey. The first draft of the survey was presented to the school board during the meeting, and by the end of the meeting, Dr Erardi said he would draft another version of the survey, reflecting the board’s responses from the meeting. “This we believe will offer us a decent number of parent responses,” said Dr Erardi, “and at least give us a baseline of what that looks like regarding how many would be willing to waive the rides with transportation next year.”

  • A Formal Start For Newtown Hook & Ladder's New Firehouse

    It was a long time coming, but on Wednesday, April 22, Newtown Hook & Ladder volunteer firefighters finally celebrated the start of construction of their new firehouse at groundbreaking ceremonies held at the 12 Church Hill Road worksite. The event marked the fruition of the fire company’s long-running pursuit of new quarters to replace the antiquated, structurally unsound town-owned firehouse at 45 Main Street, which the company has been using since it was built in 1929.

  • Report: Town Police Have Highest Traffic Stop Rate In State

    According to a recent statistical report on statewide traffic enforcement, during a 12-month period, Newtown police had the highest rate of motor vehicle stops of any municipal police department in the state. The study found that Newtown police made 452 motor vehicle stops for every 1,000 town residents who are age 16 and over.

  • Road Repair Bonding Prompts Selectmen To Form Policy & Planning Panel

    On April 20, selectmen agreed to form a “Committee for Policy & Planning for Town Roads” that will include residents, town officials, and key staffers — under the leadership of Public Works Director Fred Hurley, and Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob. The panel will ultimately advise and answer to selectmen. The ad-hoc committee will soon begin addressing concerns of residents townwide who are fed up with deteriorating local roadways, by advising on how best to spend both increased operating dollars in the Highway Department budget for roads, as well as $3 million that will be bonded in the coming years to supplement and fast-track work on the worst road surfaces in town. The ad-hoc committee will soon begin addressing concerns of residents townwide who are fed up with deteriorating local roadways, by advising on how best to spend both increased operating dollars in the Highway Department budget for roads, as well as $3 million that will be bonded in the coming years to supplement and fast-track work on the worst road surfaces in town.

  • IWC Reviewing River Walk Multifamily Housing Proposal

    Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) members are reviewing the environmental aspects of The River Walk At Sandy Hook Village, a 74-unit housing complex proposed for the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center, near the Pootatuck River. The IWC open...

  • Residents Sought For Commission Posts

    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.

  • State Planning For Exit 11 Interchange Improvement Project; Info Session Scheduled

    The state Department of Transportation has scheduled a public information session on its  plans to make roadway improvements at and near the Exit 11 interchange of Interstate 84 to alleviate  traffic congestion and thus reduce the motor vehicle accident rate in that area. The Exit 11 interchange and adjacent roads are clogged with traffic during the morning and evening rush periods. The interchange was constructed in the early 1970’s to serve as a high speed interchange to link I-84 to an expanded version of Route 25. The expanded Route 25, however, never was constructed, but the Exit 11 interchange has remained in place, serving as an elaborate set of on-ramps and off-ramps for I-84 in Sandy Hook. The session is slated for Thursday, May 7, in the lecture hall in Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road. DOT officials will be available at 6:30 pm for individual discussions with residents. A formal presentation on the road improvement plans is scheduled for 7 pm.

  • School Board To State: Support School-Based Health Centers

    The Board of Education will be sending a letter to state officials in support of funding school-based health care centers, like the one recently opened at Newtown Middle School, in the state’s proposed budget. As Chair Keith Alexander explained during his board’s Tuesday, April 21, meeting, the letter was drafted by school board Secretary Kathy Hamilton. “The state in [its] budget is currently reducing the amount available for health care centers and we would like, as a board, to let the state know how much we as a board appreciate our health care center already,” said Mr Alexander, “and how much we would like to see the full funding for health care centers.”