On Monday, January 26, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released revisions to a proposed permit for the management and oversight of municipal stormwater systems. The agency touted the draft as offering municipalities and institutions less costly and more flexible requirements for compliance. State officials and representatives from some of those municipalities still voiced concerns and objections to DEEP’s attempt to protect Connecticut’s waters at a lower cost than was originally estimated from an earlier, poorly received proposal. DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said that after carefully reviewing those draft requirements with earlier concerns of local officials in mind, the agency developed new approaches to achieve environmental and public health objectives with lower costs for municipalities.
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has awarded a $40,000 competitive grant to Newtown Youth & Family Services Inc. This grant will provide funding for an NYFS case manager, help support NYFS social groups programs, be used to hire and train two new mentors for those social groups, and assist with community communications.
At a brief, windswept press conference staged at the I-84 Exit 2 Welcome Center January 22, Governor Dannel P. Malloy said widening Interstate 84 in both directions through Danbury is critical for economic growth in western Connecticut, as well as easing rush-hour traffic along that heavily congested section of the highway to improve quality of life. The governor, joined by Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, noted in a post-event release that the I-84 corridor through the western part of the state carries more than 125,000 vehicles on an average weekday, resulting in busy morning and evening peak hours. “Congested roads are bad for business and bad for families — and we need to fix them,” Gov Malloy said.
John Voket, Kendra Bobowick & Andrew Gorosko
• News •
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10:30 am
This summary of Winter Storm Juno also appears in The Newtown Bee print edition of January 30, 2015. Stories by Bee Editorial staff were also posted online as the storm approached, arrived and then dispersed earlier this week. || Residents were well prepared this week for Winter Storm Juno, which was billed as a storm that would be historic in proportions. Fortunately Newtown was spared the worst of the snow storm, which arrived Monday, January 26, and dropped about a foot of snow before continuing on its easterly path.
In a statement, police said this week that plowing snow from private driveways and walkways onto roadways is illegal and dangerous. Private snowplow drivers and homeowners are legally liable when snow is plowed onto roadways. All residents are also reminded that Newtown has an overnight parking restriction that prohibits the parking of private vehicles on state and town roads during overnight hours, November 25 to March 15.
The town fire marshal’s office is asking for help from the public in terms of snow removal. Fire Marshal Bill Halstead asks that people who have a conventional fire hydrant, a dry hydrant, or a fire suppression water storage tank located in front of their businesses or residences, or which is located on their property, to keep those fire safety devices clear of snow by plowing and/or shoveling. Mr Halstead reminds businesses that their secondary exits, or stair exits, must be cleared of snow and ice.
Since opening in 1975 with 40 one-bedroom units, Nunnawauk Meadows has provided affordable housing for the elderly in Newtown. The community on Nunnawauk Road, off Mile Hill Road, has expanded more than once in the past 40 years, with current units now numbering 134. More than More than 150 residents enjoy the affordable housing, and many more would, said Nunnawauk Meadows Board of Directors President Richard Kovacs and Linda Manganaro, executive director of the facility since 2011, if there were more apartments. “There has always been a need for more housing here,” said Ms Manganaro, “and we usually have a wait list of over 100.”
In a special meeting Wednesday, January 29, the Board of Selectmen continued the process of reviewing and approving recommendations for a dozen department budget requests, including several of the largest spending proposals tendered by the police, Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments. The selectmen’s budget request for next year currently stands at a 1.22 percent increase totaling $483,058 over the current year’s spending. Debt service on all capital projects including all school projects represents $10,110,702 of the selectmen’s requested $40,203,958. Perhaps the biggest news came when Police Chief Michael Kehoe and Police Commissioner Brian Budd took their turn before the selectmen.
Over the next ten nights, temperatures across the state are expected to be near zero or subzero. Governor Dannel P. Malloy has ordered the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol to be extended and remain in effect through Sunday, February 8, as dangerously cold temperatures continue to affect the state. The order activates a network of procedures among the relevant state agencies to ensure that the most vulnerable receive shelter from the cold. Residents calling 211 from anywhere in the state will find the latest list of warming locations around Connecticut.