Town News You Might Not Know

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Too busy to look up what’s going on in Town? This article covers selected information from minutes of various Boards and Commissions. If you want more detail, it can be found by going to, Agendas Meetings and Minutes.

Board of Education: Staffing for the upcoming school year is nearly complete. The hiring process for the physical education teacher position at McAlister Intermediate School is continuing. The Junior Class BOE Student Representative is Keila Silva and Milo Graham continues to serve as the Senior Class BOE Student Representative. The Suffield High School Agriscience field trip request to Indianapolis, IN from October 31 through November 4, 2023, was approved. Agriscience teachers are completing professional development.

Board of Selectmen: Summer building projects were reviewed. School fencing and playground updates were being worked on. Additional funding is needed to make the elementary playgrounds fully ADA accessible.
Reconfigurations and re- novations were addressed at Spaulding School. Portables are being upgraded with new roofing, siding, and carpet.

Conservation Commission: Trails at Stony Brook Park were overgrown, with several trees down that required clearing. Sunrise Park has been very busy. Extending the gatekeepers and lifeguard hours on weekends was discussed. Rain washed away some of the gravel, and the highway department was contacted to make the repairs.

Fire Commission: The Fire Department came in under budget; however, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel are a concern. Increased expenses in some of the stations were due to broken thermostats that have been fixed.

The commission is looking for those interested in learning to drive the new tanker, and will provide training. There are two open positions: Captain and Volunteer Deputy Chief.

Housing Authority: A $25 rent increase was proposed, and residents were informed in writing with an opportunity to comment within 30 days. No questions or comments were received. Therefore the rent increase was approved.

Interior housing inspections were conducted that included stoves, checking pipes, etc. in each unit. Notes were taken for additional maintenance, repairs or upkeep. Along with that, residents will be informed by letter if they have some “housecleaning” to do. Hoarding tendencies were numerous and will have to be addressed by the residents before our state inspection. All bird feeders have been removed and staff will continue to watch for noncompliance. Work continues on vacant unit renovations. All units have someone on the waitlist assigned to them.

Planning & Zoning Commission: Updates for a special permit/site plan modification to build a 21,600 SF multi-tenant commercial building located at 1300 East Street South were reviewed. The revised plan incorporated changes previously suggested. There are 60 parking spaces, with four handicapped spaces. The plan includes a truck turnaround and a loading space. Site lighting shows the wall fixtures and no lights facing the residential area. Ten trees will be planted as well as sixty-five evergreens to screen the building and parking lot from residences. Although the plan complies with zoning regulations it decreases lot coverage to 68.9 percent, which is below the 75% zone requirement. This was approved with the conditions stated in the Town Engineer’s email of July 15, 2023.

A request for a two-lot re-subdivision located at 29 Halladay Avenue West was also reviewed. This will create a new lot on the corner of Halladay Avenue West and North Street. The lot will be served by public water and sewer. The Conservation Commission approved the lot administratively as there are no wetlands on the property. The applicant is requesting waivers for sidewalks, gutters, and streetlights, and is proposing a fee in lieu of open space. The proposal meets subdivision regulation requirements, and a $3,000 fee in lieu of open space was approved as it would not add to the Town’s open space or land preservation goals. A caveat is to be placed on the land records indicating that if the initial transfer of the new lot is completed for any monetary consideration, a fee in lieu of open space of $3,000 shall be paid to the Town of Suffield. A note is to be added to the plans indicating that the Town of Suffield and the State of Connecticut maintain the right to discharge runoff onto this property. The motion was approved.

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