Happy Friday North Stonington,
We hope everyone had an enjoyable week. Another busy one comes to close here in town.
This week I met with Senator Heather Somers to discuss North Stonington’s priorities and issues. We meet and talk regularly with our State representatives to make sure they are aware of our priorities and concerns. The highest priority item for our town right now is the fact that our Grand List (taxes collected from the town) have not been increasing and in-fact dipped very slightly this year. In order to generate more income and control tax rates we need to have some more growth in the economic development and industrial zones. Specifically, we are targeting these zones located off I-95 near Exit 92 as we have some interested developers and parcel owners in that area. To facilitate this development, water and sewer infrastructure is needed. Our State representatives are putting forth a bonding request (i.e. State funding) to help offset some of these costs. Though it is a short session and the request may not be honored this fiscal year, it starts the conversation and puts North Stonington’s needs on the State’s radar. Senator Somers, Representative Kate Rotella, & I will be working together to look at this and additional funding opportunities for North Stonington in the coming months.
Things are in high gear at the new Elementary School with a number of organization meetings taking place. We are now approximately two months from project completion. You may notice that nearly all the windows are now in and painting continues on some walls. Millwork has been received and classrooms are starting to come together. It has been a lot of work and we are thankful to our architect, construction manager, and building committee for their dedication.
Tuesday evening, we had a great meeting with our Historic Village Improvement Committee to discuss whether North Stonington should pursue becoming a certified local government. That committee will be looking into what properties would qualify for this initiative and what work is required to attain this status.
This week Oz Griebel stopped by the town hall to talk about the Connecticut Reformers initiative that www.joinsam.org is working towards. The initiative specifically deals with allowing for more people to have a voice in the voting process and using Ranked Choice Voting to help assure that those elected are done so by a majority. This group will be coming to North Stonington to talk about how you can help with these initiatives on Monday February 24th, 2020 from 6-7pm at the Wheeler Library upstairs. This week Oz joined me on the weekly video to talk about SAM’s work. Click Here to view the video.
Monday is the last day to pay second installment tax payments without interest. Please feel free to stop by between 10-4pm or pay online at https://www.northstoningtonct.gov/home/pages/pay-taxes-online.
Our highway crew was once again busy with tree work and dirt road repairs throughout town. More cleanup, tree trimming, and road repairs will continue next week.
The Board of Selectmen began the budget discussions this past Tuesday. We have many upcoming meetings where different departments will present to us along with the Board of Finance. Please keep an eye on the town calendar on our homepage if you are interested in coming to any upcoming budget planning meetings www.northstoningtonct.gov . Remember all of the board and commission members in town are also tax payers and neighbors. Though they have been elected to help guide our town in the right direction, the difficult decisions ahead are ones that are not taken lightly and affect all of us. I personally would like to thank all board and commission members both appointed and elected for their hard work day-in-and-out.
We are still in need of a few volunteers to help on the Emergency Service Operations Committee. Links to the description for the group can be found here…. https://www.northstoningtonct.gov/emergency-services-operations-committee.
Please consider joining to help shape the direction of our emergency services in town.
That’s it for today, have a great week!