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From the First Selectman: Fall Fun And A CCW Proposal Information Tour

Please join me as we celebrate “All Things Woodbridge” with Fallapalooza this month.  Fallapalooza is a series of fun fall events during the month of October.  The month kicks off with the Living Treasure Award Dinner on October 2 and ends with a bang at the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Association’s annual Truck or Treat event with safe fun trick or treating at the Fire House and spooktacular fireworks on Halloween.

The Recreation Commission will again run its annual Road Race on October 5, and the Massaro Community Farm will host a Shakespeare play on October 5 and 6.  The JCC invites everyone over to its building for an open house with crafts, farm animals, open swim and an open climb on October 6.  The Woodbridge Town Library gets creepy with a ghost hunter on October 8 and a visit from live reptiles on October 26.  Plus, the “Power of the Pumpkin” will be explored by local food guru Robin Glowa on October 23.

Over the weekend of October 18-20, the First Church of Christ will host the second annual Arts and Music Festival which will include an art show, live music, dance and crafts for kids during the day and a square dance at night in the Town’s Center Gym.  Woodbridge Trails Day is also on Saturday, October 19.  There will be a short Family Hike with a ceremonial tree planting at Fitzgerald Field and a more challenging hike.  Both hikes start at 9 am and end at the Town Center.  There will also be a shredding truck at the Center Building on this day.

Progressions Salon’s annual Pampered in Pink fundraiser is October 26.  Details for all these wonderful events are on the Town website at woodbridgect.org/Fallapalooza.

Also, during the month of October residents will be invited to get answers to their questions about the proposal to develop a portion of the former Country Club of Woodbridge.

I have asked Insite Design and its new partner, Wernert Construction, to visit all the Town’s major boards and commissions during October and early November to do a Q & A presentation and give our board and commission members and the public several opportunities to ask their questions.  Once we know the schedule is finalized, we will publish it on the Town website.

I believe strongly that this is an important and worthy project for the Town.  Every year it costs the town almost half a million dollars to repay the money we borrowed to buy the former Country Club property.

In these tight financial times that’s money that could be used elsewhere.  In the past, both the golf course and the swimming pool lost money.  Its time to move on.  We can sell a portion for development for 55+ housing, use that money to pay off the debt, saving $500k every year, keeping almost 100 acres as open space for everyone to enjoy and generate $1.5M in additional property taxes once the project is finished.

That’s real money that could be used to reduce our mill rate and bring relief to taxpayers.

The proposal is for the Town to sell approximately 60 of the 155 acres for $5.4 million for construction by Insite/Wernert of no more than 120 units of free-standing active adult (55+) housing.  Additionally, Insite/Wernert will remove the old clubhouse, renovate the Town pool and build a new pool house for Town use.  The Town will retain approximately 95+/- acres for Town use.

I will ask the Board of Selectmen to schedule a Special Town Meeting for late October or early November and I anticipate a Referendum will be scheduled shortly thereafter.  As I have stated many times, I believe this important matter should be decided by the townspeople at a referendum so everyone will have the opportunity to vote.  Let’s let the voters decide!

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate Administrative Officer and Director of Finance Tony Genovese whose office has once again earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the national nonprofit Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for fiscal year 2018.

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