First Selectman’s Report: 4/17 - 4/21
1. Yesterday was both a beautiful and historic day for our community. The Colchester Senior Center Groundbreaking Ceremony was a great success. I would like to thank everyone who attended including all the citizens, distinguished guests and dignitaries, volunteers, and staff members who made it a day to remember.
2. The Fields of Dreams
Securing Field Irrigation has been a cornerstone of my administration from Day 1. I am proud to state that another one of my key initiatives for our community is getting funded. Last night, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved $250,724 for Field Irrigation and an additional $30K for wells. With $280K going to field irrigation and the significant investment for grounds, maintenance, and fence repairs in this year’s proposed Town Budget (an increase of $31,400, for a grand total of $62,400) – the Town is making historic strides. I would like to also recognize Jason LaChapelle of the Board of Selectmen, Tiffany Quinn - our Park & Rec Director, the league presidents, and the many parents who have helped the Town move this key initiative across the finish line. The Town will now prepare a bid and hope to have a contract signed subsequently thereafter.
3. The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved ARPA funding for the C3 Family Empowerment Facilitator ($9,059), 800 MHz Radio System Upgrade for our Colchester Fire Department ($36,260), Norton Park Project, Phase 1 ($141,061), and the Sablitz Open Space Parking Lot ($53,933).
Bids are being prepared for the following: the Town Hall Roof, Town Hall HVAC, the Highlands Woods Water Tower, Expansion in the Operational Quarters of the Police Department, and a new Parking Lot for the Fire Department Headquarters.
Other items being reviewed are the Equipment/Apparatus for the New Vehicles coming to the Fire Department and a Social Services Grant Program to help residents in need.
4. The Board of Finance Special Meeting on the Town Budget will be held on Tuesday, April 25th at 6 PM
To see the proposed Town Budget PowerPoint presentation, the Budget Summary by Function, and the proposed Town Budget please follow this link: https://www.colchesterct.gov/2023-2024-budget-information
5. The Board of Finance Regular Meeting with a focus on the Education Budget will be held on Wednesday, April 26th at 7 PM.
To review the Education Budget, please follow this link: https://www.colchesterct.org/board_of_education/education_budget
6. On March 22nd, the Sewer & Water Commission made motions to approve a sewer budget at 6.5%, a water budget with a 6.5% rate increase, and significant fee increases.
Please follow this link to see the information, along with the original fee structure:
Update: The date of the Public Hearing will not be April 26th. When a new date becomes available, the Town will let the public know.
7. The “Colchester Memorial Day Parade” has chosen the theme for this year’s parade. This year it is “Colchester Honors and Remembers Those Who Served and Sacrificed in the Vietnam War.” All marching units and floats should try and use the theme in preparing for the parade, which will be on Sunday May 28th, 2023. Applications are available at the Town Hall and through the Town's website. Applications are required for those who are interested in participating in the parade. Please contact the Town Hall, First Selectman's Office, and file your application before May 4th, 2023. The Grand Marshall will be Art Shilosky and our Guest Speaker will be James DePaola.
Please follow this link for Memorial Day Parade Applications: https://www.colchesterct.gov/home/news/2023-memorial-day-parade-application
8. I would like to thank Cheryl Garofola for over 20 years of service to the Town of Colchester as the Sewer & Water Financial Assistant. Your cheery personality and dedication will truly be missed. The Town of Colchester wishes her the best in retirement!
9. I would also like to congratulate Ariel Lago, our Assistant Planner/Zoning Enforcement Official, on earning a promotion as a Town Planner in another town. The Town is appreciative of all your hard work and dedication. We wish you the best in your future endeavors.
10. The historic restoration of the Youth Center Roof is anticipated to begin the first week of May.
11. Scotties Frozen Custard
On Monday, I had the opportunity to meet Hysen Kodra, owner of Scotties Frozen Custard. Scotties is a family-owned seasonal restaurant with delicious food and ice cream. Their Cowboy Burger and their S’mores Delight are two of my favorites!
Since taking over Scotties in 2021, Hysen has made it his goal to increase the quality and size of their products, including their top-notch angus beef and gluten free custards. All first responders, military service members, town officials, and veterans are provided a 10% discount of any purchase at the store. On 9/11 they will be closing their stores to the public and be providing food and drinks to all first responders in honor of their service.
Scotties Frozen Custard is located at 327 New London Road, and you can review their menu here: https://www.scottiesfrozencustard.com/s/order