I have enjoyed meeting with many of our neighbors during my first three months of service as First Selectman. Please let me know if you would like to stop by Town Hall to discuss your concerns, your likes and dislikes. I am always happy to meet and talk, as it is one of the best ways for me to know what residents are thinking about the way our Town is run. I have been very busy during the past month and would like to use this column to give you a brief idea of what is going on in Town.
A New School Year Has Begun
Our schools are off to a great start at both Beecher and Amity. I spent a wonderful morning at Beecher on opening day, greeting children as they came off their busses on August 28th. At the Beecher PTO’s Ice Cream Social later that week I had fun scooping ice cream for over an hour, and apparently there were close to 1,000 parents and kids there. Woodbridge Youth Services and Human Services department sponsored a 7th Grade Picnic for incoming students from Woodridge and Bethany, which was very well attended. The kids enjoyed getting to know each other during games and, of course, pizza.
We met with representatives from United Illuminating, along with our first responders (Fire, Police, and Public Works) to review and update our Storm Preparedness Plan. Woodbridge is well prepared to handle the consequences of dangerous storms. Please take the time to review the Emergency Preparation Guide that was mailed to every household. The Guide contains valuable information and phone numbers, which should help you prepare for storms and other unforeseen conditions.
Former CCW Pool Update
I met with Town Administrative Officer and Director of Finance Tony Genovese, Recreation Director John Adamovich, and Recreation Commissioner Bob Hill about the pool at the former-CCW. After reviewing financial data for the now concluded season, the Recreation Commission will present a detailed report for the Board of Selectmen (BOS) at our October 11th meeting with recommendations for what might be needed to open the pool again next season. We will need to possibly consider minimal necessary capital improvements. Many residents have told me they enjoyed the pool this season and are urging that it be open for another season. The BOS will be considering all factors, including financial self-sufficiency and the cost of any needed repairs, as we make decisions going forward. I recognize the success and popularity of the pool and believe the Board will make every effort to continue offering pool membership next summer.
Construction Activity At The District Animal Shelter
The Animal Respite Facility Building Committee met in August to review progress on the project to improve the District Animal Shelter at 131 Bradley Road. The Regional Water Authority is in the midst of installing a new water line to the facility, thanks in part to funding for the project in a STEAP Grant. The final water service connection from the curb valve to the building’s meter is complete. There was a one-day closure of the building to finish this work but the building was open for business the next day with access to clean drinking water for the animals in the facility’s care.
I have initiated meetings to determine whether the Town can consolidate services in order to operate more efficiently and most importantly, save money. We are exploring the possibility of sharing services with the Amity School District in various areas including information technology and facility maintenance. I am excited about these and other possibilities, as the Town can leave no stone unturned when it comes to taxpayer dollars. I will, of course, report to you as this review develops.
Helping Our Neighbors
A Town-sponsored effort was coordinated by the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Association to deliver 50 cases of drinking water for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey to a convoy being organized by the Beacon Falls Fire Department. I want to thank our Firemen for their efforts on behalf of the Town.
Please do not forget the wonderful community events in October that will be part of Fallapalooza 2017. You can read all the details by visiting the Town: woodbridgect.org/fallapalooza.
Thank You Woodbridge!
Last but not least, I want to take a moment to thank all the Town employees and members of each Board and Commission for their support over my first three months on the job. In addition, I want to thank all the residents who have taken time to meet with me either in person or by correspondence. I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful, caring community and for the opportunity to serve as your First Selectman.
Beth Heller is Woodbridge First Selectman. She may be reached by phone at Town Hall, 203-389-3401, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.