First Selectman Pat Llodra has color-coded a half-dozen projects and corresponding $27 million in potential future bonding in the new Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), that are essentially in limbo until two appointed committees and, to a lesser extent, the Board of Education render recommendations on the future use of local school facilities, several other town-owned buildings, and a $15 million gift from the General Electric corporation. On Monday, August 17, the Board of Selectmen saw the first CIP draft, and heard about the significant number of “unknowns” that prompted Mrs Llodra to request an added measure of patience from the community, on behalf of the volunteers working to determine how these high-profile public projects will develop over the next half decade.
The town has received ten job applications from people seeking to become its new police chief starting in January. That person would replace Police Chief Michael Kehoe, 60, who will retire after more than 37 years as a local police officer. “We have a ways to go,” Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico said this week of the candidate review process for hiring a new police chief. In June, the five-member Police Commission appointed itself as an “executive-level personnel search committee” for a new police chief. That committee also will include First Selectman Pat Llodra, who is an ex-officio member of the Police Commission in her role as the head of the local government. Mr Mangiafico said his goal is to hire a new chief by mid-November.
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) has modified its schedule for two public hearings to be held to review a mixed-use development proposal for Hawleyville, which would include a condominium complex, a church, and a diner at a site near Exit 9 of Interstate 84. IWC members initially had planned to start their regulatory review process at their August 26 meeting. But that review has been delayed for scheduling reasons, according to Rob Sibley, town deputy director of planning and land use. Current scheduling calls for the IWC to start a public hearing on the proposed 180-unit condo complex/diner at 7:30 pm on Wednesday September 9, at Newtown Municipal Center. As currently planned, the IWC may start a public hearing on the church component of the project on September 23. Both dates are subject to change.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced August 19 that bow hunting on Sundays during the private land archery deer season will be permitted in most deer management zones in the state, including Newtown. There are three districts in north central Connecticut where the hunting will remain prohibited. DEEP Wildlife Division Director Rick Jacobson said the new opportunity for hunters “will support DEEP efforts to maintain healthy deer populations and ecosystems."
The beach at Kettletown State Park in Southbury has been is closed to swimmers until further notice because of the presence of blue-green algae which can emit toxins that can be harmful to people and dogs. The announcement was made by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on August 18.
Flags were lowered in Newtown on Tuesday, August 18, after it was learned that former state representative and longtime Newtown resident Julia Wasserman had died earlier that morning. Newtown’s State Representative for 18 years until her retirement in 2008, Ms Wasserman also served on the Newtown Legislative Council, the Conservation/Wetlands Commission, the Sewer Avoidance Committee, the Fairfield County Soil and Water Conservation District, and as legislator, on the Fairfield Hills Oversight Committee. She was a member of the Newtown League of Women Voters for many years. Many were familiar with Ms Wasserman, not only because of her long service as state representative and her town involvement, but as the owner of Medridge Farm Christmas Trees, started with her late husband, Louis Wasserman, at their Walnut Tree Hill property. From local citizens to state officials, Ms Wasserman’s passing was noted on Wednesday, in comments provided to The Newtown Bee.
Residents are being called to a special town meeting tonight — Monday, August 17 — at 7 pm in the Municipal Center Council Chambers to authorize three capital spending proposals. That gathering will be followed by a public hearing and this month’s only scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting, at 7:30 pm. The Special Town Meeting, required by Charter, will accept and authorize spending $975,000 for the purchase of new town fire apparatus; $1.5 million for the new Hook & Ladder Fire Headquarters building project; and $5 million for the remediation and demolition of former state hospital buildings at Fairfield Hills.
Connecticut’s annual tax holiday — which applies to items $100 and under — runs Sunday, August 16, through Saturday, August 22. The Better Business Bureau has tips for consumers to take advantage of all possible savings.
A public hearing that was scheduled for August 6 in connection with Tractor Supply Company’s proposal to build a store at 116 South Main Street was not held because the applicant had not met all legal requirements for holding such a hearing, officials said.