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From the First Selectman – 9/30/22

As we head into the beautiful fall season, I have several updates on some of our ongoing projects which I shared at the September 14, 2022 Regular Meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

You may be aware that the Town of Woodbridge has been named in a civil lawsuit filed by the Open Communities Alliance Trust LLC.  The Town will defend this case and we fully expect to be successful. Woodbridge is a diverse and wonderful community, which will be demonstrated at trial, and I am committed to contesting the claims made by the lawyers who brought this suit.

As the Board of Selectmen continue to focus on its Strategic Plan, one goal is to “Maintain and Invest in Infrastructure and Facilities,” I have created a new Town Building Committee to prepare for improvements and maintenance projects, such as roof replacement, at Beecher Road School and its surrounding recreational areas including the Kucinskas Loop.

Woodbridge Police Chief Cappiello informed me that officer Vinny Lynch, the School Resource Officer (SRO) at Beecher Road School, represented our Police Department in the filming of a “School Safety” public service announcement.  It was one of several created in conjunction with WFSB and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, which aired on Channel 3 during their newscasts and programming during August and will continue this month.  I hope you get a chance to catch it!

The Ad Hoc Dispatch Committee, which has had many productive meetings over the past year, asked me, and I have agreed, to expand the scope of the committee’s charge to include review and discussion of ALL public safety matters related to Fire and Police.

Road paving is on-going, with milling completed, and paving will be completed shortly.  As a Public Service announcement, this year, the roads included in paving are Homewood Road, Ford Road, Old Mill Road, Oxbow Lane and Oak Hill Lane from Rimmon Road to Highview Drive.

In addition, committee members have requested, and I have agreed, to revise the name of the ad hoc committee that is working to finish the renovation of the old fire house and the upgrade of the surrounding outdoor spaces.  As a result, the Community and Cultural Center Building Committee name now better reflects the many uses for this new building, including recreational, meeting, and cultural spaces, as well as a focal point for gatherings for all residents.  This project is completely funded with $2 million in state grant monies.

At the most recent meeting of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, a proposal from Toll Brothers to build over-age-55 housing on Bradley Road and Litchfield Turnpike was unanimously approved.

Related to my on-going efforts to ‘grow the grand list,’ I am also pleased to report that the 2030 Task Force had a very successful event on the evening of September 15th at the New England Brewing Company on Amity Road.  At this public information session, about 45 residents, property-owners and business-owners joined the task force members to share their feedback and offer ideas after introductory remarks by the 2030 co-chairs Susan Jacobs and Chris Dickerson and a brief presentation from the consultants at Pere Associates.  Thank you to this committee for all their efforts!  The Task Force remains in close communication with the Economic Development Commission, which has been focusing on support for existing businesses.  Please continue to look for more information.

Additionally, I also reported at the Selectmen’s meeting that the Town submitted a new Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant application in August, asking the State for $500,000 to renovate the gymnasium in the Center Building into a modern, comfortable multi-purpose gym and auditorium.  As you all know, currently there is no ventilation or air conditioning, and the windows are inoperable.  This area, which also serves as part of our emergency shelter system, as well as our Town voting venue, has been nearly unusable during the COVID pandemic.  Our proposal includes upgrades to the electrical service to add HVAC to the space, renovate the restrooms, resurface and re-stripe the wood floors, and install safety padding along the walls.  Our application received support from both State Senators Jorge Cabrera and James Maroney, and State Representative Mary Welander.

Since the Selectmen’s meeting, we have received wonderful news from Governor Lamont that our project has been awarded, and $500,000 in state funding is now approved for the renovation of Woodbridge Center Gym, as part of a package of $31.3 million in ‘State Grants for Infrastructure Improvements’ in 77 small towns across the state.  We will get to work right away to get this project underway as soon as possible.

As a reminder, on Saturday, October 1st the 40th Annual Woodbridge Road Race and Fun Run will take place in the center of town.  The Fun Run begins at 9 am at the Fitzgerald Fitness Trail on Beecher Road and the 5K starts at 10:30 am in front of the Library on Meetinghouse Lane.  Registration is on-line ONLY up until race time.  From 8 am to 12 noon, the Woodbridge Police will have a table at the Road Race near registration, in conjunction with Human Services, collecting donations for the Woodbridge Food Pantry.

On Sunday October 9th, our Annual Celebration of Diversity event “Woodbridge Like Me” will be held on the Woodbridge Town Green from 11 am to 2 pm.  This is hosted by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and includes live performances, a community mural, music, food trucks and more!

Please save the date of Monday, October 31st (which is Halloween) for the Annual ‘Truck or Treat’ event sponsored by the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Association.  The fireworks display is also scheduled for that evening.

For further information on Town events, visit woodbridgect.org,

Finally, please save the date of Monday, November 11th for the always beautiful and moving Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 am at the VFW Memorial Monument on the Town Green.  More information and updates will follow.

Please continue to stay safe, and take some time to enjoy the colorful changing leaves.  As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have either at 203-389-3401 or bheller@woodbridgect.org.  Thank you!

This is an opinion piece.

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