Opponents of a controversial proposal to construct a large multifamily housing complex at a 35-acre site near Exit 10 of Interstate 84 are urging the Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) to reject a developer’s requests to provide the project with sanitary sewer service and to designate certain wastewater treatment capacity for its use. The WSA conducted a public hearing on March 12 on 79 Church Hill Road, LLC’s, application submitted on behalf of developer Sirjohn Papageorge of Trumbull. About 30 members of the public attended the lengthy hearing. It continues to remain unclear how many dwellings the developer is actually seeking to construct.
With the snip of an oversized pair of shears, a group of about a dozen local and state officials, supporters, and local school staffers celebrated the opening of a new and independent health center at Newtown Middle School March 13. Newtown resident Melanie Bonjour, the school health center manager for the Danbury-based Connecticut Institute for Communities, organized a brief speaking program ahead of the ribbon-cutting festivities, which included remarks from local and state supporters. Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Janet Brancifort told those gathered for the event that the center is a “fine product today, and tomorrow will be even better."
Freshman State Senator Tony Hwang, who represents Newtown, understands the long-term effects the Sandy Hook tragedy will have on the community. Among his strongest initiatives in Hartford so far this first session is trying to ensure that posttraumatic fallout from 12/14 is not continually exacerbated by individuals who initiate threats resulting in lock-ins, evacuations, and other disruptive reactions at local schools, as well as in other school districts across the state. On Friday, March 20, flanked by Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe and School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, Sen Hwang will formally introduce Senate Bill 1108 — The Zero Tolerance Safe School Environment Act. If successful, the bill would elevate Threatening in the First Degree to a Class C felony from a Class D felony, and Threatening in the Second Degree to a Class D felony from a Class A misdemeanor.
The Police Commission has scheduled a special meeting for next week to discuss the traffic safety issues that exist at the flagpole intersection of Main Street, Church Hill Road, and West Street. The Police Commission is the local traffic authority.
The meeting is slated for 7 pm on Tuesday, March 24, at Town Hall South at 3 Main Street.
Police Commission members have been reviewing traffic data which indicate that during a six-year period, representing calendar years 2009 through 2014 inclusive, there were 94 reported traffic accidents in the area of the five-legged flagpole intersection.
After hearing from one resident, who spoke in support of the school district budget, the Board of Finance on March 12 unanimously recommended a 2015-16 budget proposal of $111,730,513 to the Legislative Council, representing a 0.6 percent increase over the current year. Finance Board Chairman John Kortze subsequently presented those recommendations to the council on March 18.
A partnership between C.H. Booth Library and Newtown Public Schools will offer library cards for all kindergarteners entering the district next school year. For the first time, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi Jr announced at a recent Board of Education meeting, kindergarten packets are being sent home to families with a co-signed letter from the district and from Booth Library Director Brenda McKinley.
As officials prepare to move into the final stages of finalizing the 2016 budget proposal, selectmen on March 16 were forced to amend the current year spending plan by nearly $300,000 to accommodate the materials and overtime costs required to keep Newtown’s roads clear and safe this winter. During their regular meeting Monday and on the recommendation of town Finance Director Robert Tait, selectmen amended the current year’s budget to reflect $298,031 in added spending to cover unanticipated salt, sand, and overtime expenses. During that same meeting, selectmen approved spending $75,000 from the capital nonrecurring fund to underwrite the costs of Phase I and II of the ongoing municipal building strategic planning process.