First Selectman's Report - January 19, 2024

Truck 128 Arriving

Fire Apparatus Arriving

This week, the new Truck 128 arrived at Colchester Fire & EMS headquarters. This is one of four vehicles set to arrive at Fire & EMS HQ this month as part of the 2021 fire apparatus bond. We expect these vehicles to begin entering service in the coming weeks!

I also want to update residents on the status of the fifth vehicle, a tanker, which was included in the 2021 referendum. The four vehicles arriving this month were all produced by a single manufacturer. A second manufacturer held the contract for the tanker and recently canceled the Town’s contract due to procurement issues.

I am working with Fire Chief Steven Hoffmann and Deputy Chief Brad Bernier to identify a suitable substitute for the tanker that was originally ordered. As we explore alternatives, we are committed to remaining within the original budget for this project as set by voters at referendum. We hope to have news on this later this winter.

ClearGov Logo

ClearGov Financial Transparency Software

At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, board members viewed a presentation from ClearGov for interactive software designed to give residents more transparent insight into the town’s finances. ClearGov was originally presented to the Board of Finance under the previous administration and a line item to fund the software was included in this year’s approved budget.

Since taking office in November, we have identified a number of issues with the Town’s accounting practices since July 2022 which our new Finance Department team is working to correct. The public deserves to have confidence that our finances are being managed correctly and efficiently. ClearGov will help provide the public that reassurance going forward by giving residents a greater level of financial transparency than we have been able to provide until now.

Based on last night’s discussion, I expect that the Board of Selectmen will authorize a contract with ClearGov at our February 1st Regular Meeting for a Summer 2024 implementation in the new fiscal year.

Committees on Recreation Needs and Facilities Planning

The Board of Selectmen is considering establishing two ad-hoc (temporary) committees focused on Recreation Needs & Coordination and Facilities Planning.

The Recreation Needs & Coordination Ad-Hoc Committee would examine the existing recreation spaces and resources managed by the Town and Board of Education to determine more efficient ways of coordinating and sharing these spaces and potentially identify gaps in these resources. This will likely include evaluating the need, feasibility, and potential public support for a turf field.

The Facilities Planning Ad-Hoc Committee would examine space needs related to the future of the current Senior Center Building and the Veteran’s room, the proposed Police Department office expansion, the future of the Youth Center building, and the location of the Food Bank.

Based on the Board’s discussion, the charge of both committees will be to develop recommendations based on needs, public support, and financial feasibility.

The Board of Selectmen expects to formally authorize these committees at the February 1st meeting and to begin soliciting applications at that time.

Taxes Due

Taxes and Water Payments Due

Reminder, the last day to pay without interest for real estate second installments, motor vehicle supplemental bills, and sewer/water bills is Thursday, February 1st.

Snow/Sidewalk Ordinance Reminder

As snow and ice continue today and next week, please remember that property owners with public sidewalks must clear them within 24-hours of the end of the storm. The Public Works Department will reach out to property owners who fail to keep public sidewalks clear. Reminder, there is free sand available to residents at the Town Garage located at 300 Old Hartford Road.

Summer Staff and Teen Leaders Applications Open

We are continuing to accept applications for Summer Staff and Teen Leaders.

Day Camp Summer Employment

Applications will be accepted through March 25, 2024.

We are looking for camp staff and volunteers that have a very strong background in working with children of all ages and abilities. Applications are available online.

Teen Leaders (C.I.T.’S)

Teen Leaders must be 14 years of age prior to the start of camp. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2024. Applicants must commit to attending one 3-week session (Session 1- June 24-July 12 or Session 2- July 15-Aug. 2). The Teen Leader curriculum, calendar, expectations, and requirements can be found online along with the application.

Now Hiring Summer Camp 2024

Community CPR

Colchester Fire & EMS is hosting community CPR training for Colchester residents on February 21st. More details are in the flyer below.

Community CPR Flyer 2024


Bernie Dennler
First Selectman
Colchester, CT