The Board of Selectmen has appointed seven residents to what is expected to be a slow and thoughtful analysis of all town public facilities with a focus on Town Hall South, the current Newtown Hook & Ladder headquarters, and the multipurpose building that houses the local senior center and a preschool. The appointees include former Selectman William Brimmer, Fairfield Hills Authority member Walt Motyka, Borough of Newtown Senior Burgess Jay Maher, who has been closely engaged in sidewalk projects, Legislative Councilman Paul Lundquist, Board of Finance member James Filan, Jr, Scott Cicciari, who is leading a fundraising effort to develop a new police station, and Michael Marinaccio, who has participated in the Fairfield Hills Master Plan advisory process.
Organizers of the 2nd Annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest made a $25,000 donation, August 21, to the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) General and Community Funds. The donation will be split equally between these funds. Approximately 3,000 New York and Connecticut runners, volunteers, and spectators participate in the Mudfest each spring. The Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest split the 2014 proceeds between Sandy Hook Promise and upstate New York’s Compeer Program’s Center for Family Life and Recovery. The Mudfest is named in honor of one of the children killed on 12/14.
Newtown visitor Todd Ruggere of Massachusetts made a stop at My Place Restaurant on August 15 during his fundraising Pour Tour of Connecticut last week. Stopping in each town in the state and donating a $1 from beer pints sold at particular establishments, he managed, with Newtown's help, to raise more than $50,000 to help fight pediatric cancer.
Charter Communications customers in Newtown will receive more than 200 high definition (HD) channels, better picture quality, and significantly faster Internet speeds as Charter completes its move to a 100 percent all-digital network throughout 2014. The all-digital upgrade for customers in the Fairfield County area is scheduled for September 9. As part of this upgrade process, customers must take action by acquiring Charter-issued digital set-top boxes for each of their televisions. More than 90 percent of Charter customers in the Fairfield County area have adopted digital devices for at least one television in their home.
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. Jeff Capeci and Neil Chaudhary have been researching that idea for several months, gathering data as well as hearing from local police, volunteer fire, and ambulance representatives. Mr Capeci is a former Legislative Council chairman, and Mr Chaudhary is a current councilman, although their participation in this project has nothing to do with their council service. Their recommendations come despite opposition from the local Police and Fire Commissions, and concerns voiced by Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps leadership.
As local officials and volunteers are about to begin a “memorial sidewalk” project that will eventually link Sandy Hook School to Main Street at the flagpole, Newtown’s planning agency announced it will be receiving an unanticipated grant that will underwrite additional sidewalks between Glover Avenue and Mile Hill South. Director of Planning George Benson told the Board of Selectmen August 18 that a $380,000 grant slated to go to Bridgewater through the regional council of governments has been declined, so it will now go to Newtown, the second ranked community on a priority list for a Connecticut State Transportation Enhancement allocation. Mr Benson said Newtown could possibly qualify for up to $500,000 under the program — and if that increase comes to fruition, it could help extend sidewalks even further, from the corner of Mile Hill South to Trades Lane near the entrance to Reed Intermediate School.
The Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) has approved a rate increase for users of the two municipal sewer systems, hiking by 7 percent both the quarterly gallonage rate and also the general administrative fee.
The WSA held a two-minute public hearing on the rate increases before its regular August 14 meeting. There was no public comment. At their regular meeting, WSA members approved the increases. The increases affect both the central sewer system, which serves the borough and adjacent areas, and the Hawleyville sewer system located along Mt Pleasant Road, near the Bethel town line.
The Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) has given preliminary approval to a firm’s proposal to install an automated car wash at the Newtown Mobil gas station/convenience store at 64 Church Hill Road, near Exit 10 of Interstate 84. At an August 14 WSA meeting, agency members endorsed an application from Satyam Sundaram, LLC, which is seeking to install a car wash on its property to increase the range of services that the firm offers customers at its one-acre site. Water used at the car wash would be discharged in the municipal sanitary sewer system. WSA’s endorsement of the project allows the firm to take the next step in this process: to apply to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for an industrial discharge into the municipal sewer system.