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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
At a brief April 20 Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Pat Llodra and Selectman Will Rodgers reviewed and briefly discussed a proposed charge and a possible list of appointees to a new ad-hoc Community Center Commission. Selectman James Gaston was not present. The planned early May seating of the panel will launch a new chapter in fact-finding and community surveying to eventually render a recommendation on how Newtown should utilize a $15 million gift grant from General Electric in the wake of the 12/14 tragedy. Selectmen will ask the Community Center Commissioners to engage other boards and commissions, including the Community Center Advisory Committee, Commission on Aging, Parks and Recreation Commission, Cultural Arts Commission, the and the Strategic Plan for Municipal Facilities group.
On the evening of April 18, more than two dozen Newtown officials, staff, and local “celebrities” hit the runway at Rock Ridge Country Club to help support the C.H. Booth Library’s CHBMakers initiative. The event featured 3D printer-designed centerpieces and a grand prize jeweled necklace created by Quality Gem's Dennis Janofsky using the technology. Thanks to ticket buyers at the sold-out event, high participation in a silent auction, the pendent raffle, which was won by Judy Rosentel, and a live auction called by Monsignor Bob Weiss of St Rose of Lima Church, organizers of the event representing Booth Library Board raised more than $25,000.
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.
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.”
Police said they received a complaint from a person on Sugar Street concerning erratic driving, so they investigated and located the vehicle in question at about 10 am on April 16.
Police said they stopped motorist Matthew Rieve, 25, of Bethel near 11 Queen Street and then learned that there was an outstanding warrant against him for failure to pay a fine or to plead not guilty to a past marijuana possession charge, which had been lodged against him by state police from Troop A. Consequently, Newtown police charged Rieve with failure to respond to an infraction.
In connection with the erratic driving complaint, police charged Rieve with failure to keep to the right.
Additionally, police arrested Rieve on charges of possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics not in their original prescription container, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
After processing the charges, police released Rieve on $5,150 bail for an April 29 arraignment in Danbury Superior Court. Read more about recent police activity in this week's report.