Land acquisitions and lot line revisions shared the Board of Selectmen agenda with a request aimed at improving water quality on Lake Zoar, as the officials convened for a regular meeting April 6. Public Works Director Fred Hurley appeared before selectmen with a memo from the Lake Zoar Authority requesting priority scheduling of street sweeping and storm basin cleaning in five waterfront communities. Mr Hurley said after consulting with Health Director Donna Culbert, he decided to bring the authority’s request to selectmen. Later in the meeting, Deputy Land Use Director Rob Sibley came before selectmen requesting the town acquire two small parcels of land being gifted to the community by residents, as well as recommending lot line revisions to four other small parcels.
After making an announcement to employees, trustees, and corporators at a recent gathering, Newtown Savings Bank President and CEO John Trentacosta told The Newtown Bee this week the bank will close and relocate its Main Street retail branch to a new building at 30-32 Church Hill Road. Mr Trentacosta said he expects the new building will be completed and ready for outfitting as a bank branch by late fall, with expected occupancy by spring 2016. The bank currently owns a parcel of land in front of the former Lexington Gardens and plans to construct a new building on this site. The bank’s headquarters and executive offices will remain at the 39 Main Street, which will be able to accommodate more back office operations and staff as a result of the branch relocation.
In response to a couple’s recent suggestion, the Police Commission, in its role as the local traffic authority, is asking the state Department of Transportation to study and consider increasing the speed limit on the eastern section of Wasserman Way from its current 30-mph posting. Police Commission members discussed the topic at an April 7 meeting. Recently, Deborra and Charles Zukowski of Cornfield Ridge Road suggested increasing the speed limit on the eastern section of Wasserman Way to encourage more motorists to use that street as a bypass road for the town center, and thus alleviate some traffic pressure on Main Street.
The Police Commission, in its role as the local traffic authority, is pursuing having the state Department of Transportation install a traffic signal at the hazardous four-way intersection of Route 34 (Berkshire Road), Bennetts Bridge Road, and Gray’s Plain Road in Sandy Hook. At an April 7 session, commission members agreed to pursue installing such a safety feature there after being presented with an Internet petition signed by about 430 people who want a traffic signal installed. The petition signers want a conventional four-way red-yellow-green traffic signal installed at the intersection to improve travel safety.
The Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) is seeking additional information from the Aquarion Water Company on its proposal to build an above-ground water pumping station at 12 Church Hill Road, the address where the Newtown Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Company is now doing stormwater drainage work for the construction of a new firehouse. BZC members opened a public hearing on the pumphouse application on April 8. The volunteer fire company plans to construct an approximately 16,000-square-foot firehouse at the 3.16-acre site on the south side of Church Hill Road. The facility would replace the antiquated town-owned firehouse at 45 Main Street that is now used by the fire company. Aquarion wants to construct an 1,100-square-foot pumphouse adjacent to the planned firehouse.
Work crews will soon be seen on and around Silver Bridge in Sandy Hook, as the state Department of Transportation begins a multimillion-dollar project to renovate and rehabilitate the decaying truss-style span that carries Glen Road over the Lake Zoar section of the Housatonic River, linking Sandy Hook to Southbury. DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said April 7 that the bridge project technically has begun, although no workers were spotted at the bridge that day. Soon, signs will be posted at the bridge and along Glen Road and River Road in Southbury, warning motorists that a bridge renovation project is underway.
In the wake of 12/14, victims' parents including Dr. Jeremy Richman and Nelba Marquez-Greene heard state politicians including Governor Dannel Malloy talk about their commitment to supporting front line mental health support and research that many hoped would help prevent another tragedy like the one that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School. Today, those parents tell The Newtown Bee that proposed cuts in Governor Dannel Malloy's current and projected state budgets could siphon nearly $160 million from a variety of programs supporting families and individuals with developmental and mental health disabilities, as well as possibly jeopardizing millions more in matching grants for in-state brain health research.
After discussion and hearing from multiple members of the public, the Board of Education voted at its meeting on Tuesday, April 7, to allow The 12.14 Foundation to use Newtown High School’s auditorium and other rooms for its two planned productions this summer. The 12.14 Foundation’s goal is to eventually develop a year-round arts center in Newtown. This is the third year the foundation will involve local students and residents in musical productions.
A Wallingford man was being held on $50,000 bail in the Bridgeport Correctional Center on Thursday, April 9, on pending criminal charges lodged by Monroe police on April 7. The man allegedly made harassing telephone calls to schools in Monroe and Newtown concerning the December 14, 2012, shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School, charging that the incident had been fabricated. Monroe and Newtown police arrested Timothy Rogalski, 30, on a total of 12 charges on April 7, stemming from his allegedly calling three schools, among other places.
Residents who had expected to vote on a local community center project at the upcoming budget referendum may not see that question come up until Election Day after the Board of Selectmen agreed to remove the local advisory question from the April 28 ballot. By unanimous vote of the selectmen April 6, and on the recommendation of First Selectman Pat Llodra, the planned ballot question requesting to build a planned senior center and aquatic complex using a $15 million gift from General Electric will be put off. Instead, the Board of Selectmen will be appointing an ad-hoc committee April 20 to review existing data and collect more resident input before issuing a recommendation on how officials should proceed.