MONROE — First Selectman Ken Kellogg provided updates on several items to the Town Council during its meeting on Monday, November 9, including the town’s Covid-19 status, the status of the proposed cell tower near Chalk Hill and the hiring of Craig Hirsch, the new director of Human Resources.

Mr. Kellogg said that Mr. Hirsch has more than 25 years of experience working for Macy’s in a variety of roles, most recently as a human resources director. He has lived in Monroe for more than 10 years and is a former member of the Board of Finance.

The Town Council approved the hiring of Arcadis U.S. to assist the Inland Wetlands Commission in its review of the 64 Cambridge Dr./4 Independence Dr. project. The applicant will refund the cost of the consultant to the town.

The town has received a $128,205 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant for the public safety communications project.

Mr. Kellogg said the state was looking for “shovel-ready” projects where the town’s match funding has already been approved. The town’s share of the funding was approved at a town meeting in January.

The proposed cell tower ground lease agreement is currently in the hands of the town attorney. The company that is proposing the cell tower is working to provide answers to the questions raised at a recent Town Council meeting.

Some of those answers have been provided, but others are still awaiting further research, Mr. Kellogg said.

The town has launched a new Monroe businesses email notification system. With more than 900 email addresses, the system allows the town to provide useful information to business owners.

A recent notification provided information on a newly announced state grant, the Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program, which provides $5,000 grants to eligible businesses.

The town has submitted its testimony as an intervenor in the PURA investigation into Eversource’s response to Tropical Storm Isaiah, Mr. Kellogg said. Included with the town’s testimony was the 76 submissions received from residents, businesses and property owners.

The town’s finance department was awarded an Excellence in Financial Reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association, for its 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. This is the fourth consecutive year the town has received this award, Mr. Kellogg said.

Monroe is now in code “red” for Covid-19 cases, Mr. Kellogg reported. Town Hall will be available to the public by appointment only. The library will remain open, but with limitations on capacity.

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