Too busy to look up what’s going on in town? Here is a recap right at your fingertips. This article covers selected information from minutes of various Town Boards and Commissions. If you want more detail, it can be found by going to suffieldct.gov, Agenda, Minutes and Recordings.
Welcome to a new year! A lot has happened since our last issue, including two town meetings. A lease to Sprint Spectrum, LLC was approved for renewal through 2047. The sale of 1140 and 1148 South Street to ATR Realty, LLC was approved for $675,000. Also, two DOT parcels consisting of 27.5 acres off Overhill Drive will be purchased for $210,000.
The Board of Education (BOE) was approved to apply for a grants for the proposed McAlister and A. Ward Spaulding boiler replacements. Preparation of schematic drawings and outline specifications were approved and $138,000 authorized for McAlister, and $296,000 authorized for Spaulding. The BOE will also apply for a grant to replace the HVAC rooftop units at Suffield High School with $3,337,047 authorized.
American Rescue Plan – A motion was made and approved for $750,000 for the balance on the tanker truck, $1,000,000 for the landfill’s new bulldozer, $150,000 to the VFW for renovations and $200,000 transferred to the Organizational Fund.
Board of Education – A bid will be going out for the needed fencing for “border distinction” at the schools for safety.
Surrounding schools are charging an entrance fee for home girls’ and boys’ basketball games. There are substantial costs for running these games, and entrance fees will help lessen the costs.
Board of Finance –The WPCA is seeking sole control over their bank accounts as they are for WPCA use only, per state statute. This will be discussed with the Board of Selectmen and the Town’s Attorney.
The shortfall in public utilities is due to fire hydrant fee increases from Connecticut Water and the school turf project came in $55,377 under budget.
Board of Selectmen –The purchase of development rights was approved at $37,500 for Chmiel farm’s 38.97 acres. They also approved the Veteran’s Memorial Expansion Committee to include one monument/plaque honoring all veterans. The request to apply for the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program grant was approved.
The formation of an Affordable Housing Committee, and the Environment and Sustainability Task Force were approved. The latter will make recommendations for spending funds accrued ($10,000) from the state’s ‘Nickel-Per-Nip” bottle program. Approval was also given to apply for the CT DOT Local Bridge Program to repair the bridge on Russell Avenue over Philo Brook.
Economic Development Commission – Several new businesses are interested in Suffield. The former CVS location is being divided into two suites, one anticipated to be a physical therapy office. The owner of the West Suffield Shops is working with the building department to renovate part of the building for a restaurant. Another restaurant is opening at 82 North Main Street.
Fire Commission –It was agreed that the vacant Captain position is a necessity and the position will be posted. A question about insurance coverage and liability was discussed. The First Selectman stated the Town will protect its firefighters and volunteers.
Historic District Commission – The proposed window replacements at 590 North Main Street were approved. There are concerns regarding the renovation/demolition work being conducted at 423 South Main Street that violates Historic District requirements. This requires an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness which has not been made. They are asking the Building Department to enforce the regulation.
Housing Authority – A new Executive Director was hired to fill a vacant position. The CDBG Grant was approved for $2,000,000.
Parks & Recreation – Pickleball court renovations are in progress. Currently, Suffield residents are going to Enfield to register for this. After March, indoor time will be more available as well as outdoor time once the courts are finished.
Planning & Zoning – The major topic of conversation was around the plan to convert the former St. Joseph’s Church into residential apartments. Many concerns and suggestions were discussed which require additional information before moving forward.
Police Commission –A JAG Grant was approved for $20,000 and will be used for eight new portable radios to replace those reaching their end of life. The radio system itself needs to be addressed.
Veterans Memorial Expansion – A memorial to honor all Suffield veterans was approved. Many meetings have occurred relative to the design, location, and restrictions. The idea of adding a flag for each service branch and future cost impacts also need to be discussed.