First Selectman’s Update

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Melissa Mack

Melissa Mack

Belated New Year’s greetings! The Town was delighted to end 2016 with the excellent news that we maintained our S&P bond rating of AA+ and Suffield’s outlook improved from stable to positive. Suffield’s financial security is attributable to the fiscally responsible approach consistently employed by our financially savvy Board of Finance and the implementation of the Town’s recent governance improvements and internal controls. The favorable rating enabled us to secure not only a 2.73% rate for the $9.1 million in bonds for road improvements and a $377,281 premium to apply toward debt service, but also paves the way for favorable rates on issuances over the next few years.

At this writing, the Town has just begun the budget process. I am aiming for a 0% budget increase over last fiscal year. The State’s fiscal worries bring even greater uncertainty than usual to planning this year. In the interest of fiscal prudence and given the number of infrastructure projects on the docket, including the Library, Town Hall and Bridge Street School Community Center, the 0% increase is warranted and within reason. As evidenced in the course of my tenure, we will continue to look for savings through efficiencies and cost sharing internally as well as working with the school district and other Towns while we zealously seek whatever grants are available. I believe it will be difficult to secure the nearly $1.9 million in state grants that our hard work yielded last year, but as always, we will do our best on behalf of the town.

Speaking of digging out, it is winter in Suffield and never a better time than to remind residents of some important emergency information as well as general housekeeping around the fluffy white stuff. If you have not signed up for CTAlert, which provides state and town wide emergency notifications, please do so at Also visit the Town’s Emergency Management website page with key links to essential resources for emergency preparedness. As there may be times during a state of emergency that the Town has limited ability to communicate with residents, preparing yourself and your family is key to weathering any storm. Additionally, residents with either sidewalks or fire hydrants on their property need to be aware that they are responsible for clearing snow within six hours and 24 hours, respectively, from these structures.

As we think of greener days, and after the influx of packaging materials from on-line holiday purchases, we remind you that additional recycle bins can be requested from Public Works at 860-668-3232 or by submitting a request at While the Town pays by the ton for its regular garbage removal, we are not charged for hauling of recycling so feel free to maximize these efforts.

Chief among the events that many will be looking forward to in 2020 is Suffield’s 350th Anniversary celebration. In order to develop proceedings worthy of our great town, planning is underway now. The First Selectman’s Office is in the process of organizing applicants for a 350th Anniversary Committee, comprised of nine energetic, organized and creative members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. We are also seeking sub-committee level members to work on specific events. Please consider that these positions will involve a large investment of time and require extensive work. Interested candidates should forward letters of interest and ideas for celebratory activities to Kris Lambert at Stay warm and safe the last several weeks of winter 2017!

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