ROXBURY — The Board of Selectmen went over several town issues during its meeting on Tuesday, January 4, including a Covid-19 update and the details of a public forum to discuss commercial use and sale of marijuana.
First Selectman Patrick Roy told selectmen the state fell through with a full delivery of masks and at-home Covid-19 kits; however, Roxbury did manage to secure about half of its allotment. They were handed out to the EMS, fire department, Booth Free School and the senior center. The town also gave out about 50 kits to residents with a Roxbury address.
“Residents were thankful for the kits,” said Mr. Roy.
The town is due to receive further kits some time in mid-January, according to Mr. Roy, and will continue giving kits to the schools and residents.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced in late December that Connecticut towns would be receiving at-home Covid-19 test kits and N-95 masks on December 29; however, there was a setback in the shipment due to warehouse delays. Gov. Lamont noted in his press release on December 30 that the delays were outside of the state’s control.
He added that his staff and state agencies were working around the clock to accelerate the movement through a “shipping and distribution bottleneck on the West Coast” and “due to unprecedented international demand for tests.”
The state started receiving shipments on December 31 into January 1 and distributing them to towns with the assistance of the Connecticut National Guard.
According to a National Guard statement, members worked late into New Year’s Eve to make the deliveries happen. On January 3, Gov. Lamont said they distributed 575,040 tests to communities across the state and they have millions more at-home rapid tests on the way to supplement the 400 testing sites around the state.
More than three million masks have gone out statewide with more on the way, according to Gov. Lamont.
“This will provide relief in the very high demand for testing we’re seeing right now,” Gov. Lamont said in his news release.
He said higher quality masks, testing, vaccinations and other supplies are getting into the hands of those who need them most to slow the spread of Omicron. He thanked local partners during the frustrating times of the shipment delays and encouraged everyone to be patient, as local governments prepare their distribution plans.
In other news Roxbury will host a virtual, public forum on recreational marijuana use and sale at 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 19. Residents will have the opportunity to voice their concerns and their preferences on the issue, according to Mr. Roy.
Recreational use of marijuana in Connecticut was legalized in July 2021 with the sale of cannabis products to begin in late 2022. In previous selectmen meetings, there was concern about where cannabis products could be used within town grounds (excluding private homes) and sales.
Mr. Roy called the forum an open voice for the community before anything moves forward. The three issues to be focused on are sale, growing and use. Mr. Roy added he wants the selectmen heavily involved with the forum.
Selectmen approved Juneteenth as a town hall holiday for June 19. The selectmen plan to look into other holidays they can possibly eliminate or swap with Juneteenth after Selectman Russell Dirienzo pointed out the town has a long list of holidays already.
He said he fully supports Juneteenth, but suggested swapping out another holiday so taxpayers are not left with another day town personnel are out of office.
Selectmen approved an ARPA funding proposal which will be moved forward to the Board of finance. Mr. Roy said about 50 percent of the funds have been received.