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Offices Poised To Relocate From Edmond Town Hall



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Offices Poised To Relocate From Edmond Town Hall

By Kendra Bobowick

“Be careful! Those books are heavy!” warned Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Wednesday. Crowding around her and squeezed between book shelves and file cabinets in the office’s vault were Abbey Clement’s Sandy Hook Elementary School second grade students on tour at the Edmond Town Hall amid its last full week of municipal operations.

As of next Thursday, October 22, beginning at noon and the entire following day, the offices there will be closed, reopening on October 26 at noon in their new location — 3 Primrose Street in Fairfield Hills. The former Bridgeport Hall has been renovated to serve as the Newtown Municipal Center to include Edmond Town Hall offices and municipal departments in the Kendro Building on Peck’s Lane. Those offices will move the following Thursday and Friday.

Setting down one hefty volume of town records, Ms Aurelia pointed to the room’s walls close around her. “You can fit at least four of these in the new town hall [vault] when we move,” she said. Visitors to the office are receiving word: “We’re handing out flyers and information reminding people, letting them know we’re moving,” said Assistant Town Clerk Monica Duhancik. While happy to have more room at the new location, Ms Duhancik said, “We’ll miss the historic aspect.” Despite the tug of nostalgia, Ms Duhancik joked, “It will be a longer walk to the General Store!”

Down the hall from the town clerk’s office Tax Assessor Chris Kelsey is also preparing to move. As Ms Aurelia’s staff works around boxes of freshly printed election ballots awaiting use on November 3, at the same time Mr Kelsey is trying to prepare the Grand List. Newtown’s municipal employees are bustling. “There is a lot of work to do,” he admitted, but overall the mood is positive.

As students filed across the lobby and up the staircases to view murals of scenes throughout town, First Selectman Joe Borst settled for a moment in his office, picturing coming changes. The at-times controversial plans to relocate town offices to Fairfield Hills may still prompt political sparks, but Mr Borst believes the move is for the better. “They did a great job on that building; it will be a nice change.”

Since the town meeting vote to appropriate roughly $21 million for the purchase and reuse of the former state hospital campus, opinions have differed over the planning, spending, and current and future uses for the buildings and fields. While the disagreements continue more loudly with political season in full swing, Mr Borst said this week, “It brings along the development for the whole complex and when people see how nicely this turns out they may be more agreeable to other phases to complete the campus.” Already among the town’s Capital Improvement Plan requests are nearly $20 million for future phases.

The Board of Manager that oversees the Edmond Town Hall is working to bring new tenants to the building bequeathed to Newtown by benefactress Mary Hawley in the early 1930s.

The new municipal center location is in Fairfield Hills. Enter by the main intersection at the light across from Reed Intermediate School on Wasserman Way, drive straight at the first stop sign and look for the single-story building on the right.

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