First Selectman's Report: 8/7-8/11


1. The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to support naming a room after Cathy Russi in the new Colchester Senior Center to honor Cathy Russi’s years of service and commitment by the enhancing the lives of all generations through activities for over 30 years. Per Town Policy, this dedication will be put on the November 5th, 2024, election as a ballot question.

2. Cathy Russi (Statement Issued on 8/10/23)

Dear Colchester Residents,

It is with great sadness we inform you of the passing of Cathy Russi, former Director of the Colchester Senior Center, and dedicated advocate for our community’s senior citizens.

Cathy Russi served as the Director of the Colchester Senior Center from January 1979 until her retirement in October 2008. Though she may have retired, her passion and commitment for our senior citizens continued. Our Town recognizes the strong foundation she laid for senior services. Patty Watts, our current Senior Center director, is committed to building upon that legacy.

One of Cathy’s dreams was to see the groundbreaking ceremony of the new senior center come to fruition. I am glad to have been part of that special moment with her. Tonight, the Board of Selectmen will be voting on a citizen driven petition requesting that a room in the new senior center be named after her. If four of the five Board of Selectmen members agree to the request, it will be put to a town-wide vote as part of a future referendum. I will be voting yes, and I encourage my fellow Board members to join me in honoring her memory.

Cathy will be remembered fondly for her passion, tireless advocacy, and the lasting impact she has and will continue to have on Colchester Senior Services. Most importantly, she will be remembered as a kind soul whom many of us were glad to call a friend.

May she rest with the heavenly angels.


Andreas Bisbikos

First Selectman


3. A Special Joint Meeting of the Board of Selectmen & Board of Finance will be held on Tuesday, August 15th at 7pm in a Hybrid Setting (Town Hall Meeting Room 1, Zoom) to discuss a potential Senior Center Referendum.

4. The Town and Board of Education budgets both passed on Tuesday. To review the results, follow this link:

5. First Selectman’s Town Budget Initiatives Update:

2 Firefighters/EMS: The Town is expected to secure rapid 24-hour coverage by early September.

Senior Services Part-time Medical Driver: A job description is being developed for next week.

Historical Document Preservation: This year’s budget for historic documents preservation will pay for the services of a consulting professional archivist to survey the collection and create a plan for preservation and digitization that will allow the project to proceed in financially manageable phases. The archivist will also identify sources of possible grant funding to fund continuing work,

Tree Removal: The Town has immediately contacted tree removal services to address critical trees.

Grounds Maintenance, Irrigation, and Fence Repairs: The Town will be moving forward on fence repairs, new water fountains, and a new mower.

Facilities Maintainer: The position has been posted and interviews will be taking place next Friday.

Transparency Software: ClearGov has provided a contract, it will be up for approval at a future Board of Selectmen meeting.

6. The beautiful Town Green Gazebo is complete!! We just removed the red tape from the project on Wednesday. Work on the electrical box on the Town Green is next.

7. The Repaving of Rt. 16 has begun.

8. The Public Works Department lined, seeded, and cut all the school fields ahead of schedule, they will be working on the Town Green today, Ruby Cohen this weekend, and the Colchester Burial Site starting next week. The Public Works Department is aware of citizen concerns regarding grounds and is working diligently to address those areas.

9. The Library Union Contract was successfully negotiated. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to support the terms of that negotiation. 

10. Green Energy Initiative

As First Selectman, I am committed to Green Energy Initiatives to move the Town into the future. On Thursday, the Board of Selectmen unanimously supported an initiative to install the Town’s first EV Charger at Town Hall as part of a pilot project. I will be looking to expand EV Charger locations to Cragin Memorial Library and to the Rec Fields during my second term.

11. Projects: 

The Youth Center Roof – Should be completed by the end of August/Early September

Trail Head Parking Lot – Construction on the site has been mobilized.

Splash Pad – Tentatively opening next Saturday 

New Fire Department HQ Parking Lot – Paving Begins August 26th. 

12. The Board of Selectmen, the ARPA Ad-Hoc Committee, UHY, and Social Services are collectively working on a Grant Program to help individuals and families in need. The Town expects to have the Program completed by the end of September and begin its promotion in October.

13. Summer Concerts

Join us on the Colchester Town Green every Thursday from 6-8pm for a fun family event. Events are free and open to the public, just bring your lawn chair. 

Thursday, August 17-Concert by Bluesberry Jam

Thursday, August 24-DJ Montez and the end of summer dance party in the park

14. We are still looking for residents to serve on the Public Safety Working Committee, the Sewer & Water Commission, the Fair Rent Commission, and the Colchester Housing Authority. Please reach out if interested.

15. Get involved in Colchester’s 325th Birthday Celebration

We hope you will join us to Celebrate Colchester on Sat., Sept. 9 from 1-5pm on the Town Green followed by fireworks at the RecPlex!

Register here: 

You are welcome to set up a table/tent to showcase your local organization, business, or program! Booths are free, but we ask that you donate one item or basket for the silent drawing that will take place at Celebrate Colchester.

Celebrate Colchester will kick off a month of fun activities and events.  These are some of the things we have planned:

9/9 Celebrate Colchester from 1-5pm

9/9 Fireworks at the RecPlex at dark

10/7, 10/8, 10/9, 10/14 and 10/15- Historical tours, Open Houses, Presentations, activities, and events throughout the town

10/7-10/14 Restaurant Week

10/13 Special Birthday Gala at Priam Vineyard from 7-10pm

16. Cottage Gardens Bakery and Green House

This week, I had the opportunity to spend time with Alicia Schiro, site manager, and the fantastic team at Cottage Gardens Bakery and Green House. I also got to enjoy a lovely early morning M & M cookie to power up my day.

Cottage Gardens Bakery and Greenhouse is one of the four Seabird Enterprises locations. They are a non-profit organization which provides vocational training, job opportunities, and socialization in community settings for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. 

Cottage Gardens has been in the Colchester community for 15 years. They are open to the public Monday through Friday from 8am-1pm, offering a breakfast and lunch menu as well as a variety of baked goods such as cookies, pies, dessert and fruit bars, muffins etc. They also have a greenhouse on site that is open during the same hours, or you can visit their new self-serve plant and produce stand!

Come on by, they would love to serve you!


Andreas BIsbikos

First Selectman