Workers this week continued demolition/construction on the $6 million project to replace the two dual-lane Interstate 84 bridges that pass over Center Street in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) recently created a “lane shift” on both the westbound and eastbound lanes of I-84 in the work area, allowing the second phase of the project to begin.
The state has been replacing the two bridges in stages so that I-84 traffic may continue traveling through the area while the project is underway.
Newtown-based Sandy Hook Promise, an organization formed shortly after the 12/14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to support those affected and support solutions to acts of violence, issued a statement July 2, following the group’s failed attempt to have families directly affected by 12/14 meet with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. “Sandy Hook families were in New Jersey today to personally deliver to Governor Chris Christie a petition backed by over 55,000 supporters of A2006, legislation that would have reduced the permitted size of gun ammunition magazines in the state of New Jersey from 15 rounds down to 10. Immediately following the delivery, Governor Christie released a statement vetoing the bill as a ‘trivial approach to the sanctity of human life.’”
It is the middle of July and the annual quest for cool retreats from the summer heat is in full swing. Both Eichler’s Cove Marina and Treadwell Park offer swimming, and “overall, both facilities are doing well,” said Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold.
Following the July 4 weekend with its “beautiful weather,” she noted that guests have “been enjoying both” the town beach, boat launch, marina, and picnic area at the end of Old Bridge Road, and the town pool, park, and playground off of Philo Curtis Road.
Treadwell, had to temporarily close Saturday, July 5 into Sunday, July 6, after earlier thunderstorms had knocked out power at the park and pool. A tree fell on nearby power lines, Ms Mangold said, causing Treadwell to close. Once the pool equipment was again running to “maintain the water quality,” it reopened, she said.
Following an hourlong briefing by members of the Sandy Hook School Design Team on July 8, members of the Public Building and Site Commission unanimously approved accepting construction plans and cost estimates, and voted to forward those documents to the state for final approval. The PBSC is serving as the School Building Committee on behalf of the town.Ahead of the vote, Geralyn Hoerauf of Diversified Project Management reminded officials that the Sandy Hook School project is being presented to state officials in phases to help expedite the development process. Project documents must be accepted and approved by the town’s School Building Committee before the state will accept them. Ms Hoerauf explained how the first three phases of the construction process were packaged for approval. They included hazardous materials abatement and building demolition of the former school building, which were completed last fall.
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.
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) this week conducted a public hearing on the wetlands protection aspects of the town’s proposal to construct a new Sandy Hook Elementary School at 12 Dickinson Drive to replace the school that the town demolished last year, following the December 2012 massacre there. The July 9 hearing was sparsely attended, drawing four members of the public. None of those four people had any comments or questions on the construction proposal. The IWC closed the hearing and took no action on the redevelopment application. The IWC is scheduled to meet on July 23 to review the application and possibly act on it.
EAST HARTFORD (AP) — Matthew Bell thought he would never again experience an event as momentous as the September 11 terrorist attacks, when he helped people evacuate lower Manhattan as a member of the Coast Guard.Then came the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.The Connecticut state trooper remembered the chaos and heartbreak of the Newtown massacre as he and dozens of other people received state police awards Tuesday for their outstanding and meritorious service in response to the December 14, 2012, shooting.Bell, 39, was among the first law enforcement officers to enter the school and see the carnage after gunman Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 first-graders and six educators. Lanza, who also killed his mother at their Newtown home before going to the school, shot himself to death as police arrived.While receiving an award is an honor, Bell said, he's always been more concerned about the well-being of the victims' families.
In two separate actions July 7 the Board of Selectmen approved a three-year contract for 24-hour paramedic services, and a two-year contract for the town’s emergency communications staffers. The action on the communications contract occurred following a brief executive or closed session, during which proprietary aspects of the labor negotiations were discussed. The communications contract has been in negotiations since it expired at the end of the 2013 fiscal year, so the 1.9 percent increase is effective for both the past and current fiscal years according to Finance Director Robert Tait. Mr Tait said that the difference the increase represented for the last fiscal year will be paid to each member of that bargaining unit in a lump sum. During negotiations, the town and emergency communication workers also agreed on reducing the length of each worker’s shift from 12 to eight hours.