First Selectman's Report 9/11 - 9/15


1. Senior Center Referendum Update

This week, the Board of Finance unanimously agreed that two questions be sent to referendum. The first question is a vote on the utilization of the Bendas Donation & ARPA dollars. The second question is a vote on additional bonding. 

I would like to recognize the work of Andrea Migliaccio (Board of Finance Chair), Mary Williamson (Finance Director), Glenn Rybacki (Bond Counsel), Barry Bernabe (Financial Advisor) for all their hard work. Thank you for keeping the Senior Center Project moving forward.

2. Audit & Credit Rating

The Town has completed its draft audit, our bond rating remains strong, and our financial statements indicate that our town is extremely healthy. I want to thank Mary Williamson (Finance Director) for her excellent work. The Town is very fortunate for Mary’s dedication and integrity. It is unfortunate that some elected officials have unfairly targeted her throughout her tenure. The Town has the utmost confidence in her as our Finance Director. Credit should also be extended to Maggie Cosgrove (Financial Advisor) for her due diligence as well.

3. Transparency Software

The Town has moved forward with a tentative agreement with ClearGov to begin the integration of the transparency software with the town’s financial data. The Board of Selectmen will have until December 31st, 2023, to formally approve the service agreement with ClearGov. If the Board of Selectmen does not approve of the service agreement, all work related to the integration will cost the town nothing. Based on the current climate, the formal vote on the Transparency Software service agreement may happen after the election.

4. The Facilities Maintainer position has been filled by Doug Bennett. Colchester welcomes him to the family.

5. The Town of Colchester would like to recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated annually from September 15th to October 15th. National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions that Hispanic Americans have provided to the history, culture, and achievements of our great country.

6. The Town of Colchester would like to recognize Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, and extend “L'Shana Tovah tikatevu.” During Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people around the world ask God for forgiveness for mistakes they've made over the past year and remind themselves not to repeat those mistakes in the coming year.  

7. The National Council of Aging recognized the Colchester Senior Center for their efforts to expand access to COVID and flu shots. 

You may read more about it here:

8. On Monday, September 11th Colchester held its annual Patriot Day 9/11 Ceremony in front of Fire Headquarters. Thanks to the Colchester Honor Guard for supporting the event with a color guard, TAPS and firing squad. We would like to thank all those that were in attendance. We will never forget.

9. On Tuesday, September 12th Colchester held a Recognition Ceremony for personnel and Cadets who provided assistance for a cardiac arrest patient on I-91 while returning from the CT Fire Academy after a graduation ceremony on 8/12/23. Fire Police Officer/EMR Brendan Fiala, Cadet EMS Lt. Zerrin Ratzer, Cadet Brody Derr and Cadet Josh Fenton all reacted quickly to help. During the ceremony, EMS Captain Barnes and EMS Lt. Standish explained the incident and how proud they were of all of them. They were presented with Recognition Awards by Chief Steven Hoffmann and Acting Deputy Chief Brad Bernier from the Department. Also in attendance, CT Fire Academy Director of Training PJ Norwood who presented them with a certificate and a challenge coin. THIS is the future of our fire service and with these Cadets our future looks bright! Well done!

10. Project Update:

Trail Head Parking Lot – Construction on the site is nearing completion.

New Fire Department HQ Parking Lot – Project Complete

11. Celebrate Colchester

Celebrate Colchester is scheduled for Saturday, September 30th from 1-5pm at the Town Green. 

We will provide fun; community games and activities so let’s fill the Town Green and CELEBRATE COLCHESTER!

12. Boutique at 56

On Monday, I had the pleasure to meet with Mary Lu Reed and her daughter, Maryssa Edele, co-owners of Boutique at 56. Not only do they have a wonderful shop, but they have a wide assortment of candles, including Pieces, New Home, and Toasted Pumpkin – which I couldn’t resist picking up!

Boutique at 56 is a small, quaint, retail shop specializing in clothing and accessories located at 56 Norwich Avenue. Mary Lu and Maryssa work together to provide customers with a unique and personalized shopping experience. They believe in "Ageless Beauty" where all customers can find something to accentuate their best features and feel confident, happy, and empowered. Their hope has been to provide the town of Colchester with a place for people to find what they need before a night out, a special event, or just something new and fun. You will find the latest styles and trends in jewelry, accessories, and clothing in a range of sizes from small - 3x. 

Andreas Bisbikos

First Selectman