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From the First Selectman – October 2020

Last month the Board of Selectmen agreed to extend the lease with the Amity Woodbridge Historical Society to 2030.  I am happy to report that the Society is also completing the necessary code compliant items at the apartment which will then allow a caretaker to move in.  As you know the Town owns all the buildings at the Darling House property, and the Historical Society owns all the collections within.

Additionally, both the Darling House Advisory Committee and the Society agreed to remove the deconstructed pieces of the Lucy Street one-room schoolhouse, known as “Little Lucy” from the cow barn, which is the large, yellow barn across the street from the Darling House.  This must be done in order to provide access, so that the planned state grant-funded Survey and Planning Assessment (including structural assessment) may be achieved.  The pieces have been stored by the Town since approximately 1991.  We are looking to see if anyone might be interested in taking the pieces of the schoolhouse, but if not, it will be removed and properly disposed of later this fall.  If you’re interested, please contact me or the Society.

I am aware that many residents are anxious about the upcoming November elections.  This is an unprecedented election, due to the pandemic.  Please see the separate story for details about what voting at the polls and absentee voting will look like.  Our Town Clerk, Assistant Town Clerks, and Registrars of Voters are doing an amazing job of trying to make this all work successfully.  It is a very difficult and time-consuming process.  Please make every effort to return your absentee ballot application quickly, and then once you receive your ballot from the Town Clerk’s office, return it as soon as possible.  You can mail it in, but the best way to return it is via the secure ballot box outside of Town Hall.

I am reminded by our Human Services Director Jeanette Glicksman that transportation may be arranged for seniors or disabled residents to return both absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots to the ballot box outside Town Hall prior to Election Day.  Call 203-389-3430 to arrange transportation at least 24 hours in advance.

Our Human Services Department has organized two flu shot clinics for residents and staff.  On October 20 there will be a drive-through clinic and on Ocober. 26 it will be under the canopy by the Library.  Details are on the Town website.  For both clinics, you must make a reservation.

Two pieces of good news:  The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved two Eagle Scout projects – one from James Cadelina who will build and install a kiosk with a message board, donor wall and bench just outside of the dog park.  Secondly, Jack Fortin will build and install low walkways on a section of a Town-owned trail off Sanford Road to allow passage over wet areas.  Thank you to both of these young men for making our Town even better!

As you know, we have been working on improving the Old Firehouse.  Recently we completed several improvements paid for by insurance proceeds and also a STEAP grant from the state.  Several upgrades included new windows, roofing replacement and mechanical and electrical work.  Most recently, the Board of Selectmen voted that the entire building be used for Town use, such as multi-use meeting room space, and perhaps a new fitness center.  This project will include finishing the Fire Department storage facility behind the new firehouse, to re-locate Fire Department equipment that is still in the Old Firehouse.  We also hope to move forward with Amity Regional High School to eventually have the Amity Transition program rent the upper level.

Due to the pandemic, our normal Halloween plans will be modified.  The Halloween Hoot, organized by the Beecher Road School PTO, and the Volunteer Fire Association’s Truck or Treat will both be drive-through events this year.  Details will be forthcoming.  A lot of hard work has gone into providing fun and safe ways for our children to celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, as I always do, as a reminder to everyone:  out of respect for each other and to keep each other safe, please continue to wear masks, and practice safe social distancing.  When we work together, there’s nothing we in Woodbridge cannot do.

As always, please reach out to me with concerns or questions.  You can reach me at 203-389-3401 or bheller@woodbridgect.org.

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