First Selectman’s Update

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Melissa Mack

Melissa Mack

In my short time in office I’ve had the privilege of extending gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the town to many who volunteer for the betterment of our community. This Memorial Day marked ten years since the passing of Corporal Stephen Bixler while in service to our country. It has been my greatest honor to remember this extraordinary young man on such a special day. Thank you to all who participated and attended, demonstrating our town’s respect on a notably rainy Memorial Day.

With Memorial Day as the official kick off for summer, Suffield’s Farmers Market heralds in the season running on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon at the town green. Support our local farms by purchasing fresh produce and homemade goods.

A sincere thank you to the over fifty volunteers who raked, painted and shoveled at the Babb’s Beach Clean-Up Day. The community effort was the first step in revitalizing Babb’s Beach and re-opening it to the public after being closed for over ten years. A tentative reopening date has been set for August, 2016.

For more summer fun ideas, visit the Parks & Recreation Department at their new temporary location, 97 Mountain Road (adjacent to Town Hall in the “annex”). Phone numbers will remain unchanged.

As the State continues to keep us guessing as to the amount of municipal aid we will receive in fiscal year 2016/2017, the most up-to-date numbers have Suffield receiving a $372,000 increase in State funding rather than the $650,000 shortfall we expected at budget adoption time. However, these calculations do not reflect the Governor’s recent additional reduction of $20 million of State aid to municipalities so how Suffield will fare is still unknown.

In that vein, we continue to aggressively seek state grants that return valuable taxpayer dollars to projects within our town. At the Town Meeting held on May 25, residents voted 60-9 in favor of authorizing submission of a Main Street Investment Fund grant application offered through Connecticut’s Department of Housing. The grant would fund site improvements related to the Bridge Street Community Center. If the Town receives the $500,000 grant in its entirety, we are required to reduce the $8.4 million bond issuance for the project to $7.9 million. Site improvements would include sidewalks, parking lot and driveway, site lighting and landscaping. In addition, the Town will be submitting an application to explore obtaining Historic Tax Credits through the State to fund rehabilitation expenses for some of our capital projects. We received an unexpected notice from the State Department of Transportation that we will be reimbursed $31,000 due to the cost-saving efforts of our Town Engineer, Gerry Turbet, on the Suffield Street Bridge over Stony Brook, which was completed in 2011.

We strive to populate our boards with members both rich in historical knowledge as well as new voices, all with diverse backgrounds, to best serve our town. If you are interested in joining a commission or board, please email your resume to Current openings include Conservation, Planning & Zoning, and Parks & Recreation Commissions.

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