Too busy to look up what’s going on in town? Here’s 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, Meetings and Minutes.
Board of Education: Business Manager Bill Hoff congratulated Dr. Laura LaFlamme, Teacher of the Year, and Kathy Bissonnette, Paraeducator of the Year. He said these are two incredible individuals who are very deserving of these awards.
The April Financial Report reported on a projected surplus for the year, state and federal grants, food service, and possible end of year purchases.
A new French textbook request was discussed and approved as the current one is 20 years old. They also discussed the online option provided with the new textbook and that students will be able to watch videos of French dialogue being exchanged between people.
Fencing has been ordered for school grounds. An RFP is being worked on for the elementary playgrounds.
Policies relating to Assignment of Former Home-Schooled Students to Classes, Graduation Requirements, and the Grading/Assessment System were discussed. Virtual Online Learning and Student Discipline were not discussed.
Digital signage is gaining traction and moving forward. The Town Attorney is drafting a social media policy in anticipation of this digital signage. It is the hope that the Planning & Zoning Committee will approve.
Board of Finance: Payment of River Valley invoices totaling $14,068.32 was approved. Town Attorney Derek Donnelly updated the Board on the contractual arrangement to have River Valley provide animal control facility services to the Town. Attorney Donnelly refreshed the Board on the situation arising from a fatality in 2019 resulting from a canine attack. The Town ordered the dog be disposed of and appeals by the dog’s owners have necessitated the housing of the animal until resolution of the case. The dog’s owners initially paid the boarding fees but stopped paying the monthly boarding charges in January 2022 of approximately $2,000. The Town is contractually obligated to make the payments. The Town has been presented with invoices for September 2022 through March 2023 totaling $14,068.32, which was not a budgeted expense. The Town has cross claimed against the dog owners and is seeking a prejudgment remedy to secure payments to recover these costs. Legal fees have been substantial to date and reimbursement is likely capped at $7,500 maximum per state statute if the Town is successful in defending the appeal.
Several transfers from Contingency were reviewed and approved. Police Payroll received $65,000 to fund retroactive payments related to a contract settlement. An additional $85,000 went to the Police Payroll. Animal Control received 8,000 to fund a retroactive settlement payment with a portion going to educational training. An additional transfer of $24,000 went to Animal Control Veterinary Services to house an animal in quarantine.
Transfer of $12,000 from the Police Cruiser Operating Budget was made to Capital Expenditures from the sale of cruisers. A transfer of $7,200 from the Asset Forfeiture Fund went to Police Consultant Fees for the costs of a promotional exam with an additional $2,850.76 to fund the costs of the Police Department Policy Project. The Assessor requested to encumber $182,600 for revaluation services provided by EQUALITY.
Planning and Zoning: A request was made for a special permit to build a 21,600 SF multitenant commercial building located at 1300 East Street South; located south of the HP Hood in the industrial area.
The proposal is for a new 12-unit building for contractors and other small businesses needing storage and office space. Each unit will consist of a small office, bathroom, and a garage/storage space. The plan allows five parking spaces per unit, two handicapped spaces, and a loading area.
Veterans Memorial Expansion Committee: There was discussion of additions and changes to Veterans Park. A potential design idea is to have two 7-foot-long stones on each side of the path made to look like it was one 14-foot stone broken in half. Different placement options within Veterans Park were also discussed. Members will be passing fliers, business cards, and paper copies of the application around town.