First Selectman’s Report: 4/24 - 4/28

John Jones

1. As of April 30, 2023, Fire Police Captain John Jones is retiring from the Fire Department. He has dedicated over 35 years of service in this officer capacity leading a well-respected Fire Police Division for the Colchester Fire Department. In addition, he has dedicated over 50 years as a volunteer with the organization. This is quite a feat and a testament to his commitment to his community. While we are sad to see him go, we know he will be assisting with the Fire Police Division to ensure it continues to run smoothly and stays on track.

The man is a legend and pillar of our community. Thank you, John, for everything!!

2. The Town of Colchester would like to thank Carol Szymanski (Wetland’s Enforcement Officer), Joseph Leone (Public Works Director), Tim Angell (Grounds Supervisor), and Robert “Bobby” Slocum (Grounds Team) in helping us celebrate our first Arbor Day Celebration today, April 28, 2023.

The town purchased a 6’ tall dogwood locally at Mackey’s Garden Center to adorn the Mill Street secondary entrance to Town hall and a proclamation was read to recognize the overall importance of trees to the environment and cement the town’s commitment to planting trees, saving trees, and preserving the natural environment. Colchester’s residents cherish the existing canopy of trees which adorn the town and the open space which surrounds the town giving the community its pastoral ambiance.

Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1872 as a day set aside for planting trees in Nebraska and today Arbor Day is celebrated the world over. The town is gearing up to become a TREE CITY USA under the guidance of the state of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Arbor Day recognizes the essential role of trees to combat climate change, clean the air, and provide habitat for wildlife.

The town will be pursuing adoption of a tree ordinance which will appoint the existing Conservation Commission as the Tree Commission. The Conservation Commission looks forward to its new duties and exploring ways the community can fund the planting of more trees in Colchester, especially when it comes to replacing trees.

3. The Board of Finance Special Meeting on both the Town Budget and the Education Budget will be held on Tuesday, May 2nd at 5:30 PM

To see the proposed Town Budget PowerPoint presentation, the Budget Summary by Function, and the proposed Town Budget please follow this link:

To review the Education Budget, please follow this link:

4. 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:

The date of the Public Hearing has yet to be announced. When a new date becomes available, the Town will let the public know.

5. This week is National Library Week. I would like to recognize Kate Byroade (Library Director) and our staff at Cragin Memorial Library for all their dedication. You can follow all the latest events and updates here:

6. Town Planner Demian Sorrentino and I will be bringing to the Board of Selectmen on Thursday, May 4th a list of Green Energy Initiatives that we have been exploring. These include:

A.A program presentation by TitanGen (Titan Energy) regarding the lease of Town landfill for ground-mounted solar installation.

B.A non-residential Renewable Energy Solutions (NRES) program service agreement solicitation from Silver Brook Solar

C.Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers at Town Hall

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:

8. The historic restoration of the Youth Center Roof is anticipated to begin the first week of May.

9.The Board of Finance is looking for someone to clerk in their meetings. If you are interested, please reach out to Andrea Migliaccio, the Board of Finance Chair, at [email protected]

10. The Fair Rent Commission has been vacant for a very long time. If you are interested in serving on that commission or any other group, please consider filling out an application here:


Today, I had the opportunity to meet Sean Smith, owner of Woodfellas, and his fantastic team. Sean has been serving residential and commercial costumers in Colchester and surrounding towns since 2011.

Sean and his team of three (Richard Haagensen, Jason Aldridge, and Justin Larrabee) specialize in tree work, land clearing, and firewood. The WoodFellas team can remove unwanted, hazardous, or infected trees safely and precisely. WoodFellas is known for being reliable, efficient, and precise. Their objective is to form connections with customers built on trust and satisfaction of hard work.

WoodFellas is licensed, insured, and offers free estimates for those planning tree work at their home or commercial property. For more information or to schedule an estimate, contact Sean at 860-705-5764 or [email protected]

The name nod to the 1990 classic Goodfellas also gets big thumbs up!!

Andreas Bisbikos

First Selectman