Comptroller Kevin Lembo says the state of Connecticut is on track to end this fiscal year with a $273.3 million budget surplus. In a letter to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, released on Thursday, Mr Lembo said the largest portion of the excess revenue stems from the state’s recent tax amnesty program, which allowed people to pay off their back state taxes. However, Lembo said there are also positive trends developing in all overall state revenue.
As 2014 opened, members of Newtown Hook & Ladder Company were looking forward hopefully, as their plans for a new firehouse in the borough finally were starting to take shape. The project will enable the fire company to own its facility rather than to continue as a tenant of the Town of Newtown. The group, which has served as a local firefighting organization since 1883, for more than 25 years has sought new quarters that would suitably provide shelter and storage for its equipment. Multiple proposals for a new Hook & Ladder firehouse at multiple places have failed to materialize over the years for various reasons. Hook & Ladder currently occupies a municipally owned structure at 45 Main Street, behind Edmond Town Hall. It is hoping to join the ranks of the town's other four fire companies, each of whom own their firehouses.
With the arrival of winter weather, town police are reminding local residents and commercial snow removal personnel of multiple laws that pertain to snow and ice control. Among the seasonal reminders: one town ordinance prohibits the parking of vehicles on town roads between sunset and sunrise from November 15 through March 15; another requires that residents to clear snow, ice, and debris from sidewalks along any streets adjacent to their homes; and a third makes it illegal for property owners and snow removal companies to deposit snow and/or ice on roadways.
A requirement for state public safety officials to create a registry of people convicted of offenses involving a deadly weapon is one of a host of new laws that took effect in Connecticut as of January 1. The registry, which will also track those found not guilty of deadly weapon offenses by reason of mental disease or defect, was part of the package of laws that passed earlier in 2013 in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The law was one of many that went into effect, or was updated, as of January 1. Connecticut is one of a number of staes that has raised its minimum wage this year. The rates for some state transportation has also increased, however. Snow and ice must be removed from large vehicles before they are driven, and another new law increases the income limit for participants in the state's breast and cervical cancer early detection and treatment referral program.
The Office of the First Selectman has issued an announcement, urging all residents to be prepared for a snowstorm that arrived in the area during the early morning hours. The National Weather Service is predicting between 6-10 inches of snow, heavy winds and very low visibility as a result of the weather event. Public schools have already announced an early dismissal for today, and CL&P has stationed service trucks at Fairfield Hills as a precaution.
Firefighters from eight volunteer fire companies responded about 1:07 pm on Thursday to a report of house fire in Sandy Hook which extensively damaged the wood-frame structure amid frigid conditions.There were no injuries in the blaze, which initially was reported as a fire in a bathroom and was soon upgraded to a working structure fire at 6 Thunder Ridge Road. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.Thunder Ridge Road is a dead-end street which extends southward from Berkshire Road (Route 34), just west of Great Ring Road.Firefighters from Sandy Hook, Botsford, Hook & Ladder, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville, Southbury, Stevenson, and Monroe responded to the incident. More than two dozen firefighters responded to the scene. The town’s assessment records list Michael Holroyd and Carla Seymer as the owners of 6 Thunder Ridge Road. The two-story, four-bedroom house on 2.4 acres was built in 1984. After they arrived, firefighters used ladders to climb to the roof of the house where they cut a hole to ventilate the burning structure. They also used a high-pressure hose line to fight the blaze from an elevated rear deck.
A snow storm that has yet to fully reach Newtown as of late Thursday afternoon has town officials planning on locations for residents who may need to seek shelter should their homes lose electricity, and therefore heat. The snow storm will keep Newtown under a Winter Weather Warning until at least 1 pm Friday. Up to 10 inches of show is possible. Forecasters are also predicting temperatures at or below zero, and wind chills bringing additional concerns. First Selectman Pat Llodra and Governor Dannel Malloy are both concerned about the same thing: that residents stay warm.
A growing number of officials believe that helping residents better understand the relationship between declining student enrollment and the amount school leaders will ask taxpayers to underwrite next year could help pass the annual budget referendum sooner.
Providing additional evidence to taxpayers that town and district leaders are working collaboratively, and with mutual support for each other’s spending proposals, could also go far toward propelling a first-round budget vote to passage, some officials believe.
These were early stage issues emerging following a multiboard budget orientation session held with members of the Legislative Council, and the Boards of Education, Selectmen and Finance