WOODBURY — First Selectman Barbara Perkinson provided a number of reminders and updates for town residents during her comments at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Thursday, July 22.
Ms. Perkinson spoke later with Voices to expand on the information she presented during the meeting.
During the meeting, Ms. Perkinson read two letters of resignation. Town Planner Maryellen Edwards has resigned.
Ms. Perkinson said the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments agreed to assist in finding part time help for the Land Use office, but she stressed there are now seven vacancies to be filled. It will take time to fill those vacancies, she said.
The other resignation was from Sandy Vos, resigning as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Among her comments, Ms. Perkinson invited residents to view the landscaping project at the library, which is all being accomplished with donations. No taxpayer dollars have been used, she stressed.
In addition to the landscaping upgrade, the library will soon have two new concrete tables with seating so that patrons may stop and read or chat outdoors. The tables and seating were obtained through a grant, again, at no cost to taxpayers.
Ms. Perkinson asked residents to label their homes and driveways with street numbers so that responders can quickly find the right residence in the event of an emergency. She shared that she was listening to an emergency scanner recently when a dispatcher had to try and describe which interior driveway belonged to the caller.
It’s also important to label an individual home if the mailbox is part of a collection of boxes, she said.
Ms. Perkinson reminded residents that homeowners or tenants are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of their homes, if there is one. This is not only true for snow and ice during the wintertime, she said, but also removing obstacles during the summer, such as low hanging branches or bushes that are growing onto the path.
Selectman Karen Reddington-Hughes also expressed concern about sidewalks being maintained during her comments to the board. She said a resident had contacted her about low-hanging branches in the area near the Marketplace.
The town cannot go onto private property to cut branches, but it should notify the property owner. If the path is not cleared, the town can issue a fine.
Ms. Perkinson responded that she does not have staff available to follow up and notify residents of individual concerns.
A resident, Kathy Doyle, continued the discussion about sidewalks during public participation. She thanked the Public Works Department for addressing some of the areas of concern. She said two sections of Main Street have been cleared in the past few weeks.
She suggested it might be a good idea if the town developed a brochure for residents outlining their responsibilities as homeowners and provided a sample brochure.
Ms. Perkinson agreed that such a brochure would be useful, especially for new residents.
All residents need to be aware that permits are required before doing any type of major work on their home or yard, Ms. Perkinson reminded. That includes installing a deck or pool, for example, or doing any type of landscaping in an area that is near wetlands.
Home businesses also require permits, she said. Contractors should be aware of the rules, but it remains the owners’ responsibility to see that a permit is pulled before work begins. A building inspection will be required after the work is completed and that is also the homeowners’ responsibility.
Ms. Perkinson informed selectmen that the town’s insurance provider, CIRMA, sent a check to the town for $17,540. Each year, the company returns equity back to its members, rather than shareholders, and this was the town’s share.
In other updates, Ms. Perkinson announced that members of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition will be conducting a streamwalk assessment survey along the 9.7 miles of the Weekeepeemee River and that Eversource provided some information about Unite CT, a program offering energy assistance to residents.
She noted the town’s website includes a checklist for storm preparations on the Emergency Management page. Correspondence received from Eversource advised the town the company will be conducting stray voltage testing during the overnight hours of August 2 through August 5.
Ms. Perkinson read a brief email from Conservation Commission member Jeff Sherman. Mr. Sherman wrote he had visited the area off Minortown Road where it had been alleged at a previous selectmen’s meeting that the farmer who rents the fields had been “dumping” material at the river.
Mr. Sherman said he felt there was no need for action as long as the farmer does not continue to use the area to pile up additional rocks.
The board awarded a number of bids, including the sale of the Woodbury Fire Department’s Gator to the North Kingston, R.I., Fire Department for the bid price of $4,995. The board approved the sale of a UTV Wagon by the Woodbury Fire Department to Scott Kettelle for a price of $1,500.
The bid to repair the chimneys on the Shove Building was awarded to Lon Smith Masonry of Woodbury for a total price not to exceed $8,400.
The motion to approve a bid to install a new well and pump at Three Rivers Park to Grela Well Drilling, Inc., Terryville, for a total price not to exceed $10,377 failed after much discussion.
The board agreed it needed additional information. There is a possibility that the building could be vacated in the near future, if the town agrees to construct a new maintenance building, as has been proposed by the Parks and Recreation director.
A contract for brush grinding at the Department of Public Works was awarded to WeCare Denali of Farmington for a lump sum price of $18,000, based on the bid specifications.
A donation of $300 to the Animal Control officer and the town of Woodbury was accepted. The funds came from the Dog Fund Donation Jar at the Town Clerk’s office.
Under new business, the board referred acceptance of the improved portion of Fawn Meadow Lane to the Planning Commission for consideration. This is the first step in approving the road and accepting it into town’s road system.
Before adjourning, te selectmen discussed the new cannabis legislation. Selectmen reached a consensus to pursue an ordinance.
Selectmen also briefly reviewed a report from the Board of Finance on capital needs and the possibility of crafting a bond package for consideration by voters in November. The current draft is essentially a wish list of approximately $14 million in capital needs.
Some items can be immediately removed, as they have already been done, Ms. Perkinson said. Other items might be added. She asked selectmen to review the document for future consideration.