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Tercentennial Panel Plans Logo, Fireworks And Other Forms Of Celebration



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Tercentennial Panel Plans Logo, Fireworks

And Other Forms Of Celebration

By Jan Howard

A logo for the tercentennial celebration in 2005 was the center of discussion at the November 25 meeting of the Steering Committee of the Newtown Tercentennial Commission.

Mae Schmidle presented several designs for the logo created by Curtis Packaging for review by the committee.

“A lot of their artists had a hand in this,” Mrs Schmidle said as the logo designs passed from member to member around the table of the Newtown Savings Bank’s conference room.

Following discussion, the designs were referred back to Curtis Packaging for recommended modifications to two alternate designs.

The official logo for the tercentennial is expected to be unveiled on January 24, which would give the company time to incorporate the modifications suggested.

A final vote on the logo is to take place at the Steering Committee’s meeting on January 6 at 3:30 pm at the Newtown Savings Bank.

The committee also discussed a planned fireworks event, and whether the committee should interview possible fireworks companies and request bids. Selectman Bill Brimmer said he has heard from a resident, Michael Fitzsimons, who is interested in volunteering with a fireworks committee. Janet Woycik and Barbara Kasbarian, who are in charge of major events, are to meet with him.

Mr Brimmer noted that the Board of Selectmen would work with the Steering Committee in regard to obtaining an exemption from Newtown’s ordinance against fireworks. He said the Board of Selectmen has also approved the committee’s right to seek advice from the town attorney, if any need should arise.

Dan Cruson, chairman of the Steering Committee, is to contact the Grucci family, which is well-known for its fireworks displays, and other companies that may inquire.

August 5, 2005, is a possible date for the fireworks display.

In other business, it was noted that the Newtown Post Office is interested in developing a postage cancellation that would be used during 2005.

The Steering Committee unanimously approved the Tercentennial Commission bylaws. The bylaws state that the Newtown Tercentennial Commission’s mission is to promote the celebration of the town’s 300th anniversary through activities that would begin on January 1, 2005, and culminate on December 31, 2005. The Steering Committee is planning several activities during the tercentennial, including, in addition to the fireworks display, a colonial ball and town picnic.

The bylaws also set up the Steering Committee as the governing body of the tercentennial. The number of members is set at 12, which include the town historian, town clerk, a member of the Board of Selectmen, and the first selectman as an ex-officio member. Vacancies would be filled through a majority vote. It also lists officers and committees, which would be appointed as needed.

The committee also heard reports from Gordon Williams on volunteer coordination and John Trentacosta on the finance committee’s investigation into nonprofit status and incorporation.

Mr Trentacosta said more documentation for the tercentennial budget is needed in order to submit a budget request to the town for seed money. “More documentation will make it easier for them to make decisions,” Mr Trentacosta said. The committee also will be looking to the community for donations.

State Rep Julia Wasserman said budget numbers are also needed for a request for funding from Hartford, though she said the state budget is “pretty grim.” However, she noted the state required “more numbers than I gave them. We need to hash out some numbers.”

Mr Williams suggested that the committee look at other towns that have celebrated anniversaries to see what their budgets were.

Questions were also raised about police coverage of tercentennial events and insurance for events, such as fireworks.

Brigette Sorensen, who is in charge of outdoor events, suggested the use of land near Newtown Hall on the Fairfield Hills campus for an outdoor exhibit and also raised concern about security. She said she would be receiving letters of intent in the next few months from vendors who would be participating. She also questioned if Newtown Hall could be used for an indoor exhibit.

However, Mr Brimmer and Ms Wasserman raised concerns about tying up the building so far in advance. Mr Brimmer noted that the building has a potential commercial use. “It’s a building that people are very interested in,” he said.

Ms Wasserman said, “We can’t tie the town’s hands in the use of Fairfield Hills. I’m loath to commit anything at Fairfield Hills.” She suggested that the Reed School be considered for an indoor exhibit.

Ms Sorensen said she has contacted the Air Force Band for an outdoor event, but it will not commit prior to six months before the event. She also raised the suggestion that the tercentennial might include a reenactment.

Ms Woycik reported that Kathy Beals has volunteered to do a website for the tercentennial.

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