The appointed Municipal Building Strategic Plan Committee has nearly completed its initial charge, advising the Board of Selectmen to abandon a more costly idea of renovating Town Hall South so the Newtown Police Department can eventually expand into the entire facility. Instead, the commission is advising town officials to proceed with plans to design and build a new police facility. That recommendation assumes the less expensive option of building new would transpire on publicly-owned property, presumably at Fairfield Hills.
The annual Fill the Fire Truck Food Drive is just around the corner. Newtown firefighters will be spending time outside two of the town’s markets this weekend, accepting donations for FAITH Food Pantry just in time for Thanksgiving. Members of Hawleyville, Newtown Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook fire companies will be at Big Y, at 6 Queen Street, on Saturday, November 21. Then on Sunday, members of Botsford and Dodgingtown will be outside Stop & Shop at 228 South Main Street.
In view of a recent rash of motor vehicle thefts, as well as thefts of items from vehicles, police are urging residents to employ some basic deterrents to decrease the likelihood of such crimes occurring. Since September, there have been five thefts of vehicles, as well numerous cases of thefts of items from vehicles.
The Newtown Foundation, in partnership with St Marks Episcopal Church and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, will host a Third Annual National Vigil Service of mourning and loving remembrance for all who have fallen victim to gun violence in America, Wednesday, December 9, at the Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. Registration is required. In addition, those in need of transportation from Newtown, on a chartered bus, are asked to register by November 16.
President Barack Obama on Sunday issued a proclamation honoring the victims of shootings in Paris, France, on November 13 that took the lives of more than 100 people. His declaration, which also ordered that American flags are to be lowered to half-staff until sunset Thursday, November 19.
The Newtown Fund has for many years helped Newtown’s residents in need around the December holidays. Most referrals come through the town’s Social Service Department or local clergy. Families, couples, and individuals — who are referred to The Fund by Newtown Social Services — receive emergency donations throughout the year but the holiday season is the time when the fund, and residents, provide the most help to make their holiday and their lives brighter. The Holiday Basket Program holds its collection and distribution on what is referred to as Depot Day — a Saturday, approximately ten days prior to Christmas, when all donations are sorted and then delivered to the families who will receive food and gifts in time for the holiday. This year’s Depot Day has been scheduled for Saturday, December 12.
Creating a place that offers a destination, “feels like an experience,” and serves as a “place to gather,” are just some of the “takeaways” of what the public wants in a community center. Newtown Community Center Commission members Tuesday evening looked at feedback from its outreach, including a recent online survey completed by more than 3,400 people, public discussions, site visits, and more, as they begin to apply what they have learned to center planning. They anticipate another meeting as soon as next Wednesday, November 18, to continue discussions. Sneak peeks include survey data revealing that an indoor aquatic center gained a 32 percent ranking as most desirable with just six percent rating it as least desirable. An ice rink, although gaining a 30 percent most desirable ranking, also received a 25 percent rating of least desirable.
Following lengthy discussion at a heavily attended November 5 public hearing, Planning and Zoning Commission members have approved a controversial change of zone for an eight-acre site at 116 South Main Street, thus allowing a commercial real estate firm to formulate a development proposal for a Tractor Supply Co. store there. Public comment during the meeting offered both supportive and oppositional positions by residents.
Monroe police have arrested two Newtown men on robbery charges, alleging that they robbed a gas station/convenience store there early on the morning of September 6. Police said they have arrested Wesley Steinfeld, 29, and Christopher Basso, 25, in connection with the robbery at Monroe Buck Stop.
Following his recent arrest by Bethel police on burglary/larceny charges, All-Star Transportation has suspended from work without pay a Monroe man who had driven School Bus #20 in Newtown. According to a statement from Bethel police, on October 30 they arrested Nelson Montalvo, 50, of Monroe on five counts of third-degree burglary, and one count each of fifth-degree larceny, third-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree breach of peace. The burglary charges are felonies.