Following a third public hearing on a proposal to construct 74 condominium units on the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center, the Inland Wetlands Commission on May 27 unanimously approved a wetlands/watercourses protection permit for the project known as The Walk at Sandy Hook Village. IWC members approved the project after receiving and reviewing several additional development documents from applicant Michael Burton. Those environmental protection documents concern the plantings planned for the site; the measures that would be taken to protect the water quality of the nearby Pootatuck River, which is a trout stream; how rain gardens at the site would be maintained; and a schedule for various site maintenance work.
The recently established Community Center Commission elected co-chairs and revised its vision statement Tuesday, May 26, at the group’s second meeting. The group has begun the process of planning a community center. This week, the 14-member group reworked its vision statement, talked about their charge and the community's needs, and discussed using subcommittees to develop community. Parks & Recreation staff members spoke with the committee as well, and funding was also discussed during the course of the meeting.
In two different locations Thursday, May 28, the Board of Finance and the Public Building and Site Commission (PBSC) were scheduled to lay the groundwork for the earliest stages of a planned high school auditorium renovation, which may commence as early as July 1, the date funding becomes available for the project. After an early misstep getting the appropriate budget allocation into the town’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the project is back on track, and will receive expedited handling apparently due to the abbreviated time available to complete all the necessary work. This week, the finance board was set to approve a $3.6 million special appropriation for the work, while Robert Mitchell, PBSC chairman, told The Bee that at his May 28 meeting, commissioners would likely authorize proceeding with plans to advertise for a project architect and engineer.
Michael Porco, Jr, stepped onto the sidewalk where parents and children gathered to peer over bridge rails into the Pootatuck River in Sandy Hook Center Saturday, May 23. He urged them to make room for a bucket loader that was rounding the corner from Glen Road onto Church Hill, also headed for the railing. Seconds later a cascade of bright yellow rubber ducks fell from the bucket, and splashed into the Pootatuck. This year more than 3,400 yellow ducks went bobbing down the river, racing toward the Dayton Street bridge, which serves as the finish line. During the hours leading up to the race, countless people of all ages had enjoyed a beautiful day and the offerings of a few dozen local organizations and businesses. The event was again set up in the area of Sandy Hook Center Park, at 5 Glen Road.
UPDATE: The Severe Thunderstorm Warning that went with this afternoon's storm has been cancelled. || The National Weather Service (NYC) is tracking a “strong thunderstorm [that] will affect eastern Putnam and Northern Fairfield counties” within the hour. A special Weather Statement has been issued for Fairfield County; and the area is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 4:15. NWS expects the storm will be in Newtown before 4 o'clock. Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with the storm.
Newtown Patrol Sergeant Matthew Wood and Patrol Officer Felicia Figol, who is the police department’s dog handler, were named as award recipients at MADD’s 29th Annual Law Enforcement Recognition Ceremony, which was held on May 20 at Central Connecticut State University. “The Newtown Police Department is extremely proud of these two officers for being leaders in this area and for their continued commitment to safety of the motoring public and the citizens of Newtown,” said Newtown Police Lt Christopher Vanghele said.
The Newtown Prevention Council closed out its final meeting of the season, on May 21, with a presentation by resident Catherine Larson, owner of Tech Training CT. Also during the meeting, Newtown Prevention Council Grant Coordinator Kim Killoy briefly discussed the council’s plans to use up its Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant through the federal Department of Health and Human Services funding, which she said the council has available until the end of September, and Council Co-Chair Judy Blanchard highlighted some efforts the council will be focusing on when it starts meeting again in September. One of the first things the council hopes to do is looks at the results of the 2015 Youth Survey Report, which was administered to students just prior to the school district's April break.
On Wednesday, May 20, the Newtown VFW Post 308 inducted new officers for the 2015-16 term. Walter Dolan became the new post commander. Mr Dolan served in the US Army in the Military Police Corps, and was overseas during Desert Storm. At the Newtown VFW, he has served as post junior vice commandant and adjutant. Mr Dolan is taking over from James Rebman, who served as post commander for the past three years.
A sampling of Newtown’s population gathered on the grounds of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308 on Monday morning, May 25, to honor the memories of service men and women who have died, as well as to recognize the service of current troops. In the crowd was a number of veterans from earlier wars including World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as more recent efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.